This year I will finally be able to harvest asparagus. Is it best to cut the spears above or just below ground?
Many commercial asparagus growers cut the asparagus several inches below the soil surface. They use knives designed for this purpose. For home gardeners, snapping the spears at or near the soil surface is fine. It eliminates the risk of damaging the young spears developing underground. It also means there is no fibrous stem to remove before preparation. The key to a good yield is timing of harvest. Wait until the second spring after planting the crowns to do any harvesting. This should only be a LIGHT harvest. Remove only a few of the larger and thicker stems. By the third spring you can begin normal harvesting. Cut spears for 6 - 8 weeks. After harvesting leave the ferny leaves to grow throughout the summer. The more ferns the better next year’s yield. Remove yellowed leaves in fall or spring.
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