I have discussed a lot about gardening vegetables, their benefits and uses. Those vegetables I have mentioned were annual types of veggies. They are the kind that you will have to plant every spring or summer season, except some herbs that you can plant indoors.
I learned that there are perennial vegetables that you can plant only once, but comes back year after year. Growing perennial edible plants needs very little maintenance. One of these perennial vegetables is the one that almost everyone loves, asparagus. Can we grow asparagus at home?
What is Asparagus
Asparagus with the scientific name of Asparagus Officinalis, is a spring vegetable. It is a large genus of flowering plants, with over 300 species and some plants are grown as ornamental plants.
Asparagus Officinalis is the kind of species which is grown and cultivated as a vegetable crop, also known as garden asparagus. It can live and survive in any area having that winterized ground that freezes or dry season.
It is succulent and tender, has no fat content whatsoever, and eating five spears provides only 20 calories.
Asparagus is a herbaceous perennial with fine feathery foliage which is grown and cultivated for its young shoots, or spears, which are eaten as vegetable. it is tall with scale -like leaves emerging from the ground. It grows from 5-1/4″ o 7″ long, with stout stems and feathery foliage.
Powerful Health Benefits of Asparagus You Didn’t Know
Asparagus is loaded with nutrients. It is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability if insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into the cells.
Asparagus can help fight cancer, and is packed with antioxidants because of its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. It is also a brain booster, also high in potassium, which is good to lower your blood pressure.
Asparagus when eaten regularly, shows that it lowers your cholesterol levels because it has a good source of monounsaturated fats. It works great for your liver, too, and is a natural diuretic.
How You Can Grow Asparagus
Select the right spot or location for your asparagus bed carefully, for this will be the same spot for this crop to occupy and grow for the next 20 years or so. This might take a long time of advanced preparation before you harvest the fruit of your labor, but it will be worth it.
Start with a one – year old crown asparagus, it will give you a good year’s headstart than from a seedling. Plant them immediately as possible, otherwise you can wrap in a damp sphagnum most until you are ready to plant.
You might want to start as soon as you can, because it will take a long time before asparagus bed will really hit it’s stride. After that long period, you will see an abundant crops in your garden bed.
Prepare the Soil
- Prepare a planting bed for your asparagus, maybe a simple raised bed
- Remove all the weeds and its roots, dead plants, and grasses around the planting area.
- Dig trenches ( soil that was digged )at least 12 inches wide and 6 inches deep down the center of the prepared bed
- Add plenty of aged and organic compost manure.
- Soak your asparagus crowns in compost tea (concentrated organic liquid
- fertilizer that is made from steeping biologically active compost in aerated
- water), for about 20 minutes before planting. You can also use an all purpose garden fertilizer such as the 10-10-10 blend.
- Place the crowns at the trenches 1 1/2 to 2 feet apart, and then covered with soil around 2 to 3 inches deep. You might need to add more soil from time to time until it settles, so always check your asparagus plants.
Asparagus does well in lighter soil and drains well. It can tolerate some shade, but just like some other vegetable plants, with a lot of full sun, it produces more vigorous plants and helps minimize diseases.
Caring for Your Asparagus Plant
You will need to add on mulch around your asparagus plant to stop the weeds that might compete with the young spears and lessen the growth and your harvest. Always take out the weeds that will come out. Water regularly during the first two years of planting.
As asparagus grows and become matures, it will ake out all the spaces and weeds is not going to be a problem. You just need to fertilize them in spring and fall with the compost tea or a balanced fertilizer
When winter comes and the foliage seems to be dead, cover them with light mulch on the bed, to protect them from the harsh weather conditions. As the new growth comes out, make sure you remove any dead fern-like foliage to protect the new spears from any future diseases.
Why You Should Eat Asparagus?
Eating asparagus along with other fruits and vegetables promotes over-all good health. It provides with a good range of antioxidants that is very essential to your body.
This green veggie is high in vitamin B which naturally supports energy levels by turnng food ( carbs) into fuel ( glucose), and it contains fiber that is good to keep the blood sugar steady.
There are a lot of very good recipes you can do out of this green veggie. You can roast it, bake, steam, or incorporate it with your other recipes or dishes you love.
The one good way I do with it is to drizzle with olive oil, add some garlic, salt and pepper, mix them well. Arrange them in a baking sheet and plut in the oven for about 10 minutes in 350 degrees until you get your desired tenderness. Transfer in a serving dish, and I sprinkle them with almonds.
Believe In Healthy Eating
Growing asparagus at home is cost effective, considering that this type of vegetable is so expensive in the supermarkets. Asparagus is the first crop of spring season harvest. This vegetable is very good to your health, and its fresh picked spears are far more tender and tasty compared to the one that is store bought.
If you love asparagus and want to grow yourself, you can easily do it. Planting your own food is fun, enjoyable and exciting. This is a very yummy vegetable, and has a lot of surprising reasons for you to enjoy it.