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Learn about asparagus
Angela Halliday of Horticulture New Zealand carried out a survey of growers in NZ measuring their priorities now, and in the future. The raw data from this survey, which had 233 respondents, is here. It has also been filtered to asparagus growers as well, so you can see how we responded in relation to other […]
Asparagus is a perennial, with separate male and female plants. It is a native of south-central Europe, western and central Asia and North Africa where it still can be commonly found. It is an ancient crop used by the Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilisations over 2000 years ago. In fact, Cato described the cultivation of […]
Choose straight firm green stems. Select fresh, clean product with trimmed ends and a minimum of white butt. Fresh asparagus is ‘squeaky’ – when the spears are gently rubbed they squeak; old asparagus is rubbery and doesn’t squeak.
Keep asparagus refrigerated with butt ends either wrapped in wet paper towels, stand up in a jar with 1-2 cm of water (like flowers in a vase), or alternatively wash, then refrigerate in plastic bags.
Asparagus is a versatile crop and can provide steady returns for astute commercially minded growers.
Asparagus is a hardy crop and will withstand a variety of soils. Sandy, silty, light textured soils are best with good drainage. The roots of asparagus can penetrate up to 1 meter below the surface and soil must be suitable for this.
The preferred climate of asparagus dictates the best growing regions. Best locations have rainfall in spring and summer. Frosts are seldom a problem, although late spring frosts may cause slight yield losses. Wind shelter is not essential but is beneficial in sites where strong winds are prevalent.
The lie of the land must be generally flat to undulating due to the machinery requirements.
Asparagus is requires both high fertility and high pH to grow well. Under such conditions, asparagus is likely to be highly productive if other conditions such as drainage and temperature suit its growth. The nutrients in the asparagus fern will eventually be recycled through the soil and back into the plants when the fern is […]