Asparagus

Asked April 10, 2018, 12:48 PM EDT

We have had a wonderful patch of Jersey Giant asparagus for the past twenty five years. This year, we have something "infecting" a few of the clumps of our asparagus and we can't identify it. It's not the asparagus beetles, I know what their damage looks like -- and they are already laying their eggs this year because we didn't have severe enough killing frost this past winter. Anyway, I have attached a picture. It appears to be some kind of wilt or virus. Maybe the beetles have spread it? Thanks, Sherrie Wieland

Douglas County Oregon fruits and vegetables

2 Responses

It does look like Asparagus wilt to me too. That is caused by a soil borne fungi. Since you have had the asparagus bed for a long time the disease will probably keep infecting a few more plants each year. You can dig down into the crown area underground if you want to be more certain to see if the crown/root area is getting a rot and weakening the stand. There really is no long term solution except to rotate out of the old stand to a new place with new material. Your stand sounds like it is still in pretty good health so you can try to dig out the worst area if you find some rotting roots.

Thanks for your advice - it has "self-sown" into the far corners of the garden (near corner fenceposts where we don't rototill) so we will continue to enjoy it, and let it rotate itself to a new area, and dig up the infected plants.