It was a beautiful, warm day yesterday here in Virginia ... sunny blue skies with temperatures in the low 70's. It was in the 70's! The first of our daffodils started opening and I think the buds on the forsythia grew ten fold in just one day.

After the crazy, cold winter we've had, it was just a perfect March day.

And it was a perfect day to start puttering around the garden. So, I put on my garden boots, cleaned up some of the remaining skeletons from last year's bok choy, cabbage, broccoli, eggplant, and peppers and checked to make sure the rototiller was still working. Then, we decided to tend to our overgrown asparagus bed.

We have a pretty big asparagus bed. It is smack dab in the middle of our vegetable garden and about 100 feet long and about 15 feet wide. In it we have three+ rows of Jersey Knight asparagus and one row of Purple Passion asparagus. The asparagus bed is by far my favorite thing in our garden, but after it stops producing for the year and when we are busy tending to the summer veggies in the garden, it tends to get rather neglected. By fall, it's usually a overgrown mess of asparagus and weeds... lots of weeds.

Since the asparagus bed is really too big to maintain by hand, we've tried to come up with good, easy solutions for cleaning it up each year. In the past we've mowed it down in the winter or early spring and that works ok, but doesn't really clean up everything (it leaves little stubs). So, last year we tried burning it off and found that to be a pretty good solution! Quickly burning the top of the bed gets rid of all of the overgrown grass and weeds as well as the dried up asparagus ferns and creates a nice clean area for the new shoots to emerge from in the spring.

So, we decided to burn off our asparagus bed yesterday.

Here's what the overgrown bed looked like in the morning:

Asparagus Bed - Overgrown

And, after about 10 minutes of fire, here's a close up of what it looks like now....

Asparagus Bed - Cleaned

Of course, we hooked up a gazillion water hoses, had extra buckets on hand, and turned on the water ... we were very ready in case there might be an issue with the fire. But the day wasn't windy and the ground is still very, very wet, so we didn't have any problems. It only took about 10 minutes to burn off the top of the entire asparagus bed and to create a clean, weed free area for the asparagus to emerge.

We usually start harvesting asparagus around April 1st, so now we just have to wait!

Mar 12 2014
Posted in: Vegetables

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May 15, 2016

I'm interested to know after the second year of burning your asparagus bed if it worked as well as thw first year? I have a.small asparagus bed, totally overrun with weeds and graas, even a corner of fire ants. I may try the burn process next spring.


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