Allotment Gardening Advice Help Chat

Growing => Grow Your Own => Topic started by: Ian_A on April 26, 2010, 18:52

Title: cutting asparagus
Post by: Ian_A on April 26, 2010, 18:52
I have inherited a large asparagus bed on my plot which is great as it is a favourite of mine. My predecessor says they were planted about 8 or 9 years ago and he has had a great harvest each year. So what I am seeing at the moment is a sea of asparagus in what looks to be about 40 plants - truly wonderful, mind and salivating.

But two questions

(1) Why cut an inch or so below the surface? It is hard to get down there and risk cutting into other spears that are not yet ready for picking but are densely packed around the ones I want. Surely cutting above ground level and covering the exposed cut spears with earth is the same?

(2) Do folk use any sharp knive? The asparagus knife I was given is next to useless. It is sharp but hard to wield. The two spears that were growing in isolation had to be almost hack sawed with it! 
Title: Re: cutting asparagus
Post by: Babstreefern on April 26, 2010, 19:56
I've got an asparagus bed which I inherited (and yes, I had my first harvest on Saturday) :D.

I think maybe you cut below ground level to protect the stalks (may be wrong on this).  I also bought myself an asparagus knife which I find great to use - you do saw through the stem, but that's about all, - they are tough - but my knife is sharp (I only bought it last year). ???
Title: Re: cutting asparagus
Post by: Trillium on April 26, 2010, 22:24
Babs is right, you cut below surface level to protect the cut ends remaining on the crown. Soil will quickly cover the cut and the plant is better off for it. The trick here is to try to cut just the one you want rather than waggle the knife around the ground.

I just use a very sharp dinner knife. My mother uses an old chef's knife which she keeps very sharp.