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Asparagus harvest - height or diameter?

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Asparagus harvest - height or diameter?

Post  JustMe on 3/22/2012, 11:12 pm

My asparagus (Jersey Knight and Martha Washington) plants are growing, and this will be the first harvest year. I've read they should be harvested when they are 6-8".

Both varieties have stalks that are that height, but they are very skinny. None are larger than a pencil diameter, and the Martha Washington ones are bamboo skewer skinny.

Last year, when I bought the 2 year old Jersey Knight plants, they were toothpick skinny.

Does the circumference change if they stay in the ground longer before harvesting? Will they be larger in circumference next year because the plants are older?

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Re: Asparagus harvest - height or diameter?

Post  curio on 3/22/2012, 11:20 pm

The answer to that question about increasing size each year is "yes". However, each year you will also get those little skinny sprouts also on some plants. By the fifth year, we had all sizes from the tiny ones to the finger thickness ones on nearly every plant.
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Re: Asparagus harvest - height or diameter?

Post  JustMe on 3/25/2012, 1:56 pm

So should I harvest the asparagus that's 6-8" (one is 12") even though they are super skinny?

I saw an asparagus program on a gardening show years ago. We've moved a lot in the last ten years, so I'm super excited to harvest our first crop.

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Re: Asparagus harvest - height or diameter?

Post  curio on 3/25/2012, 6:57 pm

I think I'd probably just let those grow up and "fern" this year. If they're too skinny (less diameter than a pencil) they're often not worth cooking. You might use them raw in a salad if you like them that way.
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