Asked June 7, 2018, 3:49 PM EDT

I planted crowns last summer. This year I have a couple of maybe 6-8 inch spears but at least 10-15 three foot long fronded stalks with fronding meaning branching and fuzz at the tops. Are these "male" plants? Anything to do? Again this is year two. I have not cut anything from anywhere not the small or the large ones. I mulched over winter. thanks I live by Macalester college. I planted 6 crowns.

Ramsey County Minnesota

1 Response

Normally this means the plants are maturing and will try to produce seed. Asparagus usually needs 3 years to get established so I would advise to not harvest more than a couple times from the larger stalks (bigger than the diameter of a pencil) then let everything grow up for the rest of the year. If you have not fertilized the asparagus it would be very helpful to give it some fertilizer, maybe 1 C of 10-10-10 fertilizer sprinkled along each 5' or row. You might also consider applying compost over the planting area too, to help reduce weeds and provide nutrients too. When you see very thin spears, that means that the plant is weak and needs to get built up by allowing the spears to mature and therefor store food in the crown for the winter and next year's growth. Normally female spears are thicker than male.