How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Pruning and training asparagus

During the first year, do not harvest asparagus spears. Allow all the shoots to grow to fern for the summer. This will build up carbohydrates in the roots and support new spear growth the following spring. After the frost turns the ferns brown or during January if ferns are still green, prune them down to the ground and rake them out. Dispose of the ferns rather than leaving them in the field to avoid overwintering pests. Repeat the process each year thereafter. However, before allowing the plants to fern, you can harvest for a period of time. To conserve garden space, the tall asparagus ferns can be supported on a trellis made of wire.


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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