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Can I still cut this asparagus?

ManderMander GatesheadPosts: 327
edited 1 June in Fruit & veg
I'm finally getting the time to clean up this bit of the garden and there is some forgotten asparagus there that has started to fern out. Can I still cut it to encourage some more edible spears to emerge or is it too late to cut?


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,647
    Once it's got to that stage, it's too late to cut.  However if there any shorter spears, between 6" and 9" tall, you could try cutting those. However you will have to be quick as the asparagus season ends about the middle of June!
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,707
    With the spears they need to be pulled rather than cut and as @Lizzie27 says coming to the end of the season.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,647
    edited 1 June
    @bertrand-mabel , I believe asparagus spears always need cutting, unlike rhubarb which is pulled.
  • ManderMander GatesheadPosts: 327
    With the spears they need to be pulled rather than cut and as @Lizzie27 says coming to the end of the season.
    I don't know how I could pull it. Even when they first emerge the spears are far too thick to pull off and need to be cut off the main plant. I always thought the idea was to cut them below the surface and then cover the plant again.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 19,188
    That's right, they should be cut, just below the soil surface.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • WhiterotWhiterot Posts: 21
    If you pull it you will damage it. We had a special asparagus cutting tool which was like  a saw on the end. A complete waste of money we now use an old bread knife which is brilliant. I will stop cutting tomorrow we have been cutting 150  spears a week for the last 5 weeks then I will put barrier netting around both beds to keep the cats and other creatures out.
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,707
    Stand corrected all but that was the advice we were given by an old gardener many decades ago and so have followed the advice and still had more spears develop.
  • ManderMander GatesheadPosts: 327
    I'm just amazed you could pull the spears off. Anytime I've accidentally pulled on a spear it doesn't budge. I usually dig down a little bit and cut them off with secateurs.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,647
    @Mander, a really sharp, thin knife works better than secateurs.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,069
    It may be too late to cut spears this year but you could give it a generous mulch of well-rotted manure mixed with some garden compost to feed the soil and the asparagus roots so you get more spears next year.  Make sure the soil is good and moist first so you don't lock in dryness and then let the worms and other soil organisms work it all in for you.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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