asparagus bed problem

Asked May 22, 2016, 3:32 PM EDT

My asparagus bed has been is for four years. I had a good crop last year and the year before. I planted two year crowns and have been careful not to over harvest. This spring however, the spears started coming up very spindly like an 8th inch. There are now a few larger spears and a couple of really thick ones, but all in all the bed looks sick. I have added some soil and a little manure earlier. What needs to be done?
Thanks.

Custer County Idaho asparagus horticulture

1 Response

There could be any number of reasons for the problem you are experiencing with your asparagus this year. Unfortunately, without pictures or more information, it is difficult to diagnose the most likely cause.

Possible causes might include frost damage, asparagus beetle, cutworm, or slug damage; disease, fertility issues, or herbicide residues in the manure.

Hopefully you've maintained a good garden journal and can review conditions and what you've done to date in your garden.

Here are some links to publications that may help you with your asparagus:

http://store.msuextension.org/publications/YardandGarden/MT198365AG.pdf

https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/hortcrop/h61.pdf

http://pubstorage.sdstate.edu/agbio_publications/articles/exex6009.pdf

http://extension.usu.edu/files/factsheets/asparagus.pdf

The Idaho Statesman recently published an article on asparagus by Margaret Lauterbach, an Idaho certified Master Gardener, that can be found here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/living/home-garden/margaret-lauterbach/article71597827.html

I would also encourage you to contact your local county extension office and see if there are any local Master Gardeners who might be able view and help diagnose the problem you are having with your asparagus this year. Here is a link to your local county extension office:

http://www.co.custer.id.us/departments/executive/extension/

I hope you find this information helpful and wish you the best of luck with your gardening!