Group Title: Extension veg. crops mimeo report
Title: Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)
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 Material Information
Title: Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)
Series Title: Extension veg. crops mimeo report - Florida Cooperative Extension Service ; 60-1
Physical Description: 1 leaf : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Pieczarka, Stanley Jr.
University of Florida -- Agricultural Extension Service
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Extension Service
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 1960?
Copyright Date: 1960
Subject: Asparagus -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
General Note: Caption title.
Statement of Responsibility: Stanley Pieczarka, Jr.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00094941
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 433545333

Full Text

I'xtension Veg. Crops HUME LIBRARY
Mimeo Report 60-1
Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis
SStanley Pieczarka, Jr. JUL 11 1972

Asparagus is a native to Europe and Asia where it has been in cultiva
tion for over 2,000 years. It was prized as a food b I.FtA.$SreUMliArSlf f4dtita
and valued for the medicinal properties of all its pa t. e nu ubt
brought to the United States by the colonists and grown by them along the
Atlantic seaboard.

Asparagus, a genus of the lily family, has at least 150 species native
of Europe, Asia and Africa. All are perennial, have fleshy or tuberous roots
and possess cladophylls, which function as leaves.

The question arises as to why asparagus has not become commercially
important in this state. In the 1930's the Florida Experiment Station attempted
to answer this question and concluded that the environment, particularly tem-
perature was the key factor. Asparagus, a native of the north temperate regions
of Europe where cold weather persists for many months, requires cold weather to
induce dormancy. With the inception of growth following each rest period,
new.- crowns are produced which give rise to the current year's crop of tips.
With the mild temperatures in Florida, except for an occasional freeze, the
asparagus tops are killed back but with the return of warm weather growth begins.
In the course of a year, the tops may be killed two or three times. Each
time new growth occurs, food reserves are utilized which results in new crowns
th3t lack strength and vigor.

The Experiment Station in Puerto Rico maintains that dormancy can be
induced by withholding water for two or three months at the beginning of the
cool dry season. This has been tried in Florida but unsuccessfully.

Asparagus may be grown in Florida by growing or purchasing one or two
year old crowns. After planting, shoots can be harvested but in a year or two
they become very spindly and woody. In north and west Florida asparagus beds
can be maintained in fair production for a few years.

Asparagus can be grown on any well-drained, fertile soil. Loosen the
soil to a depth of 14 to 16 inches and work plenty of manure or other organic
material into the soil. Set the crowns 18-24 inches apart, 8-10 inches deep
and cover with an inch or two of soil and increase the depth as the shoots
develop. The rows are generally spaced 5-6 feet apart. Use the varieties
Mary Washington or Martha Washington as they are rust resistant. For a 100
foot row add 6 to 8 pounds of 5-10-10 fertilizer or similar analysis and a
good application of manure (if available) either before or after cutting each

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