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How to pick asparagus



 
 
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  #1  
Old 04-05-2004, 04:08 PM
Sue da Nimm
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Default How to pick asparagus

I've just had my wrist slapped for cutting asparagus spears with secateurs.
My neighbour says I should pull the spears to avoid leaving a stump.
But Marshalls catalogue offers an asparagus knife to cut the spears below
the surface.
What is the right way?
Oh, and also ... I always leave the first spear to grow and then pick the
subsequent spears until the end of May.
So, already, the first spears are a metre tall. Is this the right way, or
should I pick so that the spears stay short until the end of the season and
then let 'em grow?
TIA
Sue


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  #2  
Old 04-05-2004, 05:10 PM
martin
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Default How to pick asparagus

On Tue, 4 May 2004 15:08:05 +0100, "Sue da Nimm"
. wrote:

I've just had my wrist slapped for cutting asparagus spears with secateurs.
My neighbour says I should pull the spears to avoid leaving a stump.
But Marshalls catalogue offers an asparagus knife to cut the spears below
the surface.
What is the right way?
Oh, and also ... I always leave the first spear to grow and then pick the
subsequent spears until the end of May.
So, already, the first spears are a metre tall. Is this the right way, or
should I pick so that the spears stay short until the end of the season and
then let 'em grow?


I just read that in the Netherlands the selling price of asparagus has
hit an all time low.
  #3  
Old 04-05-2004, 08:06 PM
Kay Easton
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Default How to pick asparagus

In article , Sue da Nimm
.? writes
I've just had my wrist slapped for cutting asparagus spears with secateurs.
My neighbour says I should pull the spears to avoid leaving a stump.
But Marshalls catalogue offers an asparagus knife to cut the spears below
the surface.
What is the right way?


The Marshalls way. I don't think you could pull them without doing
damage. If you don't have an asparagus knife you can take a sharp
kitchen knife, slide it gently down the side of the spear (this is to
avoid nicking any still-buried spears on the way down) then tilt it and
cut about 2 inches underground.

I'm not quite sure why you cut underground since the white (underground)
bit is usually too tough, and I can't see any logical reason why cutting
at the soil surface would be a problem. But whatever you do, don't just
tug! ;-)

Could your neighbour have got confused with rhubarb?

Oh, and also ... I always leave the first spear to grow and then pick the
subsequent spears until the end of May.
So, already, the first spears are a metre tall. Is this the right way, or
should I pick so that the spears stay short until the end of the season and
then let 'em grow?


It's usually done that way round - cut everything that appears until
about mid June, thenafter leave everything. If you're stopping picking
at the end of may then there's certainly no reason why you shouldn't
just pick everything.
--
Kay Easton

Edward's earthworm page:
http://www.scarboro.demon.co.uk/edward/index.htm
  #4  
Old 05-05-2004, 12:08 AM
Sue da Nimm
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Posts: n/a
Default How to pick asparagus


"Kay Easton" wrote in message
...
In article , Sue da Nimm
.? writes
I've just had my wrist slapped for cutting asparagus spears with

secateurs.
My neighbour says I should pull the spears to avoid leaving a stump.
But Marshalls catalogue offers an asparagus knife to cut the spears below
the surface.
What is the right way?


The Marshalls way. I don't think you could pull them without doing
damage. If you don't have an asparagus knife you can take a sharp
kitchen knife, slide it gently down the side of the spear (this is to
avoid nicking any still-buried spears on the way down) then tilt it and
cut about 2 inches underground.

I'm not quite sure why you cut underground since the white (underground)
bit is usually too tough, and I can't see any logical reason why cutting
at the soil surface would be a problem. But whatever you do, don't just
tug! ;-)

Could your neighbour have got confused with rhubarb?

Oh, and also ... I always leave the first spear to grow and then pick the
subsequent spears until the end of May.
So, already, the first spears are a metre tall. Is this the right way, or
should I pick so that the spears stay short until the end of the season

and
then let 'em grow?


It's usually done that way round - cut everything that appears until
about mid June, thenafter leave everything. If you're stopping picking
at the end of may then there's certainly no reason why you shouldn't
just pick everything.
--
Kay Easton


Many thanks Kay
- I suspect we've been missing out on a few kilos of asparagus the way
we've been doing things!


  #5  
Old 05-05-2004, 12:08 AM
Pam Moore
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Posts: n/a
Default How to pick asparagus

On Tue, 4 May 2004 15:08:05 +0100, "Sue da Nimm"
. wrote:

My neighbour says I should pull the spears to avoid leaving a stump.
But Marshalls catalogue offers an asparagus knife to cut the spears below
the surface.


I agree that pulling would do damage. I often just snap mine off!

Pam in Bristol
  #6  
Old 05-05-2004, 12:08 AM
Kevin Groves
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Default How to pick asparagus

I'm intrested in giving this ago next season. Are there any particular
pests to worry about (I'm not going to mention damn slugs... doh)?

Shade or full sun? How about living in tubs?

Thanks
Kev,
  #7  
Old 06-05-2004, 11:12 AM
Christopher Norton
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Posts: n/a
Default How to pick asparagus

The message
from Kevin Groves contains these words:

I'm intrested in giving this ago next season. Are there any particular
pests to worry about (I'm not going to mention damn slugs... doh)?


Shade or full sun? How about living in tubs?


Thanks
Kev,


Full sun, but the tubs are a no no IMHO. You`ll need about 20 to 30
crowns to make it worthwhile and about 2 years from planting out to
first minor pick.
  #8  
Old 06-05-2004, 02:04 PM
Dwayne
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Default How to pick asparagus

Let me suggest that you build a raised bed for your asparagus. After
digging it out, I places about 8 inches of aged manure in the bottom of my
asparagus bed. I added 2 inches of dirt, and then the asparagus roots.
Then as the crowns came up, I added another 2 inches of dirt on top of the
roots at a time until I had added 6 to 8 inches total.

I placed mine along the sunny side of a fence, and ran the row from East to
West. With the manure in the bottom the asparagus grew large for several
years before I started adding fertilizer to it.

Dwayne



"Christopher Norton" wrote in message
...
The message
from Kevin Groves contains these words:

I'm intrested in giving this ago next season. Are there any particular
pests to worry about (I'm not going to mention damn slugs... doh)?


Shade or full sun? How about living in tubs?


Thanks
Kev,


Full sun, but the tubs are a no no IMHO. You`ll need about 20 to 30
crowns to make it worthwhile and about 2 years from planting out to
first minor pick.




  #9  
Old 08-05-2004, 12:05 AM
Kevin Groves
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Posts: n/a
Default How to pick asparagus

Thanks both of you. Looks like it might take too much room.... I'll just
have to console myself with the spring onion and baby corn that's poping
very rapidly on the window ledge.

Kev,
  #10  
Old 10-05-2004, 05:24 PM
D Russell
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Posts: n/a
Default How to pick asparagus

"Kay Easton" wrote in message
...
In article , Sue da Nimm
.? writes
I've just had my wrist slapped for cutting asparagus spears with

secateurs.
My neighbour says I should pull the spears to avoid leaving a stump.
But Marshalls catalogue offers an asparagus knife to cut the spears below
the surface.
What is the right way?


The Marshalls way. I don't think you could pull them without doing
damage. If you don't have an asparagus knife you can take a sharp
kitchen knife, slide it gently down the side of the spear (this is to
avoid nicking any still-buried spears on the way down) then tilt it and
cut about 2 inches underground.

I'm not quite sure why you cut underground since the white (underground)
bit is usually too tough, and I can't see any logical reason why cutting
at the soil surface would be a problem. But whatever you do, don't just
tug! ;-)


I remember reading somewhere ages ago that leaving a visible above ground
stump can let in disease, which can then propagate through to the roots. So
it's best to cut below the soil, then the wound is covered I guess.
Duncan

p.s. It always amazes me how many crowns people say you need. I have five
crowns in a bed about 7foot long by 18inches wide, and it provides my wife
and myself with a lovely starter, maybe 7 or 8 spears about a dozen times
before mid-June.

I guess if I wanted 20 spears each, or wanted it twice a week, or ate the
spears when they were "baby" and almost tasteless then I'd need more. I do
find though that spears that are almost at the point of opening have the
very best flavour and are still tender enough to really enjoy. These baby
things in supermarkets are just so bland.


Could your neighbour have got confused with rhubarb?

Oh, and also ... I always leave the first spear to grow and then pick the
subsequent spears until the end of May.
So, already, the first spears are a metre tall. Is this the right way, or
should I pick so that the spears stay short until the end of the season

and
then let 'em grow?


It's usually done that way round - cut everything that appears until
about mid June, thenafter leave everything. If you're stopping picking
at the end of may then there's certainly no reason why you shouldn't
just pick everything.
--
Kay Easton

Edward's earthworm page:
http://www.scarboro.demon.co.uk/edward/index.htm



 




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