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Growing Asparagus

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28 Sep 19 Maryanne house (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have just noticed that I have spears on my asparagus. They have been in the ground for 2 years. My query is to do with the ferns that are still there from last year. The ferns did not die down and I read somewhere to leave the ferns and that they would die of their own accord.But they did not so I guess this was incorrect. So... do I now cut off all the ferns as the spears are now appearing or do I reduce the number of ferns? In future do I cut off all the ferns when the spears stop appearing or at a specific time frame? ( say Jan Feb? ). Thanks in advance for your assistance.
30 Sep 19 Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Are they two years old from seed or crowns?I believe the ferns die in the colder weather but not in sub-tropics /tropics. I'm sub tropic and they have not died in the last 3 years. I even stopped watering in early May this year and we have had a very dry time since then. I would cut the old ones out. Pick some of the new spears and eat. Depending on how many spears you are getting probably stop picking in about 4 weeks and let grow for next year. You have to let the crown grow in the first 2-3 years. In future from about Nov or so let the spears go to ferns-even while you are picking leave a couple go to ferns. Leave the ferns there until mid August-the ferns are growing the crown and storing nutrient in the crown for spears next year. Then cut them off and put 50-75mm of compost or aged manure on them and start watering them. And by compost I mean fully broken down organic matter or manure. Not mulch.
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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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