But our little asparagus patch produced enough spears for a family meal!
There's nothing like the first vegetable of the spring!
I put in more crowns (roots) last year, and
I am putting in more crowns this year in hopes
that over the next few years that we'll get enough for several meals.
Some places say to harvest after the second year, some after the third. The best rule I've heard is don't harvest anything smaller than your pinkie finger the first two years.
Anything smaller you have to leave to mature for the following year.
This is my fourth year for my first patch, so I should get almost 6 weeks of picking.
I don't have any pictures, but if you let a spear go, it becomes a large feathery plant as a male or berries as a female. After it feathers and berries, it becomes inedible, mildly toxic and can even be a skin irritant; but it protects the underlying shoots for the following year.
In the early, early spring, you cut back all of the dry foliage to the ground and get rid of it incase it has any beetle eggs.
As for the The beetles, I just hand-pick and put them into soapy water.
If you have any patience, it's well worth it. Fresh asparagus from your yard is nothing like what comes from in the store.
*image from gardengate magazine