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asparagus2Did you know that asparagus is a member of the Lily family? I sure didn’t. Asparagus likes sandy-ish soils, and can grow 10 inches ina 24-hour period under ideal conditions. After harvesting, asparagus grow into fern-like plants, producing red berries. A healthy asparagus plant can produce for 15 years.

In the Spring, plant asparagus from mid-January until mid-March, and in the Fall/Winter, plant during the moths of Novemeber and December.

They are incredibly nutrient rich, high in folic acid, potassium, fiber, thiamin, and vitamins, B6, A, & C. They contain no fat nor cholesterol.

Nutritional facts

A 5.3 ounce serving provides 60% of the recommended daily allowance for folacin which is necessary for blood cell formation, growth, and prevention of liver disease. Folacin has been shown to play a significant role in the prevention of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, that cause paralysis and death in 2,500 babies each year.

Recipes

Planting

Asparagus is a perennial crop, which means it will come back without replanting. They say south central Georgia is about as South as you can get and still grown asparagus. The variety of asparagus most often recommended for Georgia is Mary Washington.

Pick a sunny, well-drained spot for your permanent bed. Plant the crowns by draping the roots over a heavily composted mound. Then cover the crowns with two or three inches of loamy soil. Rows should be about three-to-four feet apart and the plants should be about one-to-one-and-a-half feet apart on the rows.

And here’re directions on planting asparagus from seeds. It’s very important the asparagus area be kept weed free.

Asparagus plants need several years of growth before they can tolerate being harvested. The one year-old fall-planted crowns are not to be harvested the following spring. Harvest three-year-old plants lightly, about every one-to-two weeks. Harvest four-year-old plants for two to three weeks. Harvest five year old or older plants four to five weeks