Asparagus

A hardy perennial, asparagus offers the first harvest of spring. Rich in vitamin A and C, asparagus may be steamed until tender or frozen immediately after harvest for later enjoyment. Harvest spears in the third year when grown from seed, the following spring from mature roots. Growing Tips: Field-grown roots should be planted as soon as the soil can be worked in a 25cm (10") deep trench enriched with compost or manure. Set each crown upon a small mound of earth and bury it under several inches of soil. As the stalks grow, continue to fill in the trench until it is level with the rest of the garden. Asparagus is a greedy feeder and will benefit from a yearly mulch of compost or manure. Begin harvesting the third spring after planting by cutting 15-22cm (6-9") tall spears at the soil surface. If sowing seeds, soak them for 48 hours prior to planting to encourage germination.