Asparagus – Asparagus officinalis
Asparagus is a very special perennial vegetable. It only produces edible spears for a six week period every year in May and June.
We grow it without the use of chemicals – neither herbicides nor pesticides are used (we have loads of ladybirds) – we just use our own composted stable manure as a fertilizing mulch in the autumn – and then spend hours hand weeding throughout the growing season so that the healthiest freshest vegetable is available for you straight from the plot to your plate.
Asparagus is grown from crowns which have long spidery roots that penetrate deep into the soil. It loves moisture but hates “wet feet” so a light well drained soil is required. It loves sunshine but hates frost – so it is very temperamental.
Each year lovely tender juicy green spears shoot up from the ground and are harvested early each morning when they are about 6 – 8 inches (15 – 20cm) long. But slugs love the tender emerging spears so it is a race to beat them to it.
And when the harvest is over it grows on into lovely green lacey ferns more than a metre high, which ladybirds and lots of other insects love – as well as playful kittens.