Updated: Feb 4
When my dear husband and I moved to the country we inherited existing flower beds, fruit trees, and an asparagus bed. Neither of us had experience with the plant. We were completely fascinated looking at it in the fern stage. Neither of us had ever seen asparagus this way. While it is not a food I eat (see the carnivore topics), my family and friends enjoy it. I have loved learning about and through caring for this fun plant. Here are a few life affirmations I have had while caring for asparagus.
Seek Help. There are many websites, blogs, and social groups that serve as great resources on what to do and when to do it. Local nurseries will have everything you need. Most will have experts on staff that can help with specific questions.
While asking for help may seem obvious it is something we all struggle with. The timeless joke about asking for directions continues to make us laugh because it is true. It is hard to share with others we have an issue. It requires us to be vulnerable. I have found the risk of exposing myself is met with support. Whether it is an employee at the nursery helping me find nitrogen pellets or a medical professional helping me with a unique way of eating, people are good and want to assist you in a time of need. It is good to do your own research online but when you connect with another person, a professional, that is where you will get more than answers. You will get advice, encouragement, and support.
Be Patient. If your asparagus bed is new, you will have to be patient for a couple of years before you start to harvest. Allowing each root ball to fern for multiple years encourages more asparagus. This will also, promote more productive years to come.
Patience can be tough. It can be especially tough for those of us who prefer dynamic action. Patience often feels passive, waiting. There are many moments in life that require our patience. Time can heal a broken heart. Giving a toddler a minute to work through a fit. Giving yourself time to work through anger. Patience is not passive at all. This is the time to do a personal inventory. While being patient ensure your asparagus bed has been weeded, trimmed, and has the right nutrition. While being patient to mend a broken heart ensure you are seeking help, spending time with friends and family, and helping those in need. While giving a toddler a minute ensure they are in a safe space, your emotions are in check, and be ready with words and actions for what comes next. When working through a moment of anger take time to even your breathing, lower your heart rate, and think through how you want to respond to the situation rather than your reaction. Giving time to be patient can be hard, but the time will go faster and you will have a better outcome if you use the time wisely.
Share Gifts. Once you have a well-established asparagus bed you will have more asparagus than one person or family can eat. I have been able to bring joy to others by sharing asparagus, seeds, root ball, and my lessons learned.
We are all have natural gifts we have been given in this life. It is so important to share those with others. And if you feel you have nothing to share you have your time and knowledge to give. Giving to others is much like lighting a candle in a dark room. While it only takes one person to light the candle everyone in the room benefits from the light. When you give to others the recipient, those close to the recipient, and you all benefit. Giving to others is deeply satisfying. It reminds us that we are part of a community bigger than ourselves. While sharing your gifts is important you must also take time for yourself.
Schedule Rest. The harvest period for asparagus is from March to end of May. I recommend harvesting up to Memorial Day. After that weekend let your asparagus plants fern. This allows them to shift from producing to absorbing nutrients from the soil, water, and sun to feed the root ball. Allowing the bed this time of rest will improve next year’s production and increase the number of years you will be able to harvest.
Taking time to rest is not a new concept. We all know it is important for our best performance to get the fuel we need from healthy food, fresh water, adequate sleep. Where we fail in many cases is to schedule the time in our day. The meal prep time or sleep hours are the first thing to compromise when you are trying to “get everything done.” However, if we make a schedule and commit to when these activities happen, we will be more productive in the time we have and increase the number of years we are able to do what we love.
Remove Waste. If you have female plants, they will produce berries. You can remove these berries to prevent the plant from working so hard to nourish these unnecessary parts. You may also find small red beetles on your plants. Remove them and place them in bowl of soapy water. In the fall, watch for your asparagus to move from green to gold. Once you have had a couple hard freezes you want to remove the gold ferns. Cut the plants leaving two inches from the ground.
Have you ever taken a moment to do a personal inventory of the unnecessary parts you are nourishing? Have you ever considered where you may have parasites taking advantage of what you provide? Have you ever considered the activities you do out of habit but no longer provide the value they once did? Remove this waste from your life. These are the actions, people, and decisions holding you back. Make the inventory and then plan to remove the waste in your life.