Asked May 6, 2016, 9:17 AM EDT

What is wrong with my asparagus? when it breaks above the ground it curls over into the ground. It looks like there is damage along the side it curls to. Is this bug damage? what can I do to stop this damage?

Chippewa County Minnesota

1 Response

I am not sure about your curling spears but a bit of research suggests insects. have you inspected your plants for insects. I hope the following will be helpful. The twelve-spotted asparagus beetle (orange with black spots) also may be present. Its life cycle is similar to that of the asparagus beetle, differing primarily in that the larvae feed on the developing berries. Consequently, spotted asparagus beetles cause relatively minor damage to the spears or fern. When asparagus beetles are present at harvest, they can cause extensive damage. Early-season feeding by adult beetles causes a distorted "shepherd's crook" growth of the spear. Additionally from the MN extension site on asparagus suggests: Cutworms can cut off asparagus spears below ground and even cause damage by feeding on the tips of spears above ground. Shoots damaged by cutworm feeding develop into crooked spears and must be picked and culled. Chemical control is warranted if one or more worms/10 crowns are found. Pyrethroid insecticides, particularly under cool, spring conditions, will usually provide good cutworm control. Consult the Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for the most up to date information which is revised each year.