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The asparagus is a perennial herbaceous plant provided with an underground rhizome which in horticulture is called paw. From the paw each year sprout the shoots called turioni, which are the edible part. The collection of the shoots should be done as soon as they come out of the ground, before their aerial development otherwise lignify and turn into stems with leaves, flowers and fruits.
It is a dioecious plant with male and female flowers on two different plants. That of asparagus is a polyennial crop, which requires some years of waiting before yielding fruit, but which can last up to fifteen years in production.
Land and rotation
The asparagus grows well in loose and fertile soils, the areas of fertile sand are ideal for asparagus.
This type of cultivation is not part of the rotations, since asparagus remains on the ground for many years. However, asparagus should not be planted after beets and potatoes. After eradicating the plant, the culture should not be repeated for at least eight years.
Sowing and planting
the legs (the roots) are purchased in special nurseries, but can be reproduced by seed with excellent quality seed, distributed in a seedbed at the beginning of spring in rows 30 centimeters apart and at a depth of one centimeter. After about thirty days from birth, they will thin out by placing a plant every ten to twelve centimeters, of course irrigations, hoeing and scraping will be carried out. The following year, around mid-February to April, the legs will be obtained to implant asparagus. In order to facilitate the germination of the seed, the seed is immersed for a few hours in the water. For one square meter of seedbed, 4 to 7 grams of seeds are needed. Paws must be transplanted from November to March, arranging them in pits between twenty and thirty centimeters wide and from fifty to ninety inches wide. The rows will be partially filled by a layer of mixed manure, soil and peat. The legs will be pruned to even out the root system and planted in rows in the pits at a depth of ten to twelve centimeters, separating them between forty and sixty centimeters.
organic fertilizations are carried out at the plant by burial, at a depth of 30-40 cm, of 6 - 7 quintals per hundred square meters, a few months before the plant. As asparagus occupies the ground for several years, it is good to distribute annually, during the winter, 1-2 quintals of manure in the ditches. In the poor calcium soils, 10 kg of rubble per hundred square meters or five kg of lithotamnio per hundred square meters will be scattered at the time of implantation. For the phosphatic fertilization it will be possible to distribute 3 kg / 100 sqm of bone meal.
weeding and hoeing just after the plant to aerate the soil and keep it clean from weeds. The yellowed stems should be removed in autumn and the plants should be removed. In the spring of the second year the legs that will not take root will be replaced. In the third or fourth year, when the shoots begin to collect, the plant will be topped up.
The first harvest after planting takes place in the third year towards April for about thirty - forty days. The shoot is removed with a special tool when it has reached a suitable size.
The irrigations will take place at the time of planting in the case of loose soils, and twice a year in the case of dry seasonal trends.
Among the animal pests it is important the asparagus fly that digs tunnels in the same causing the death or deformation of the shoots. The preventive fight is based on the destruction of the infested stems and the implantation of the new asparagus in ventilated areas. The direct fight involves treatments with quasso wood added to soap.
Asparagus Criocera gnaws instead, the aerial part of the plant. The struggle consists in dusting lithotamnio on the plants with the favor of the dew or rotetone treatments.
Against the cryptogamic diseases it is possible to intervene with the Bordeaux mixture.
Asparagus rust is the most important disease of this plant. It occurs in the spring on the shoots with oval yellowish spots. Later on the stems, branches and leaves spread the brown pustules which make the reddish dust rise, and this makes the aerial part dry.
The preventive fight involves the elimination in spring of the wild asparagus and then burn its stems in autumn to eliminate the infected spores. The direct fight consists in the treatment of hydroalcoholic solution of propolis (150 cc.) Added to Sulfar (250 g. In 100 l of water).
Asparagus - Asparagus: Variety
in commerce we find the early late D'argenteuil, the Mary Washington, the Darbonne selection n.3, the Giant Mammouth, the Big of Erfurt, the Connover's Colossal.