Asparagus is one of those wonderful early spring plants that rewards you with a harvest before you do anything. Now it is mid-summer and those delicious spears have turned to large ferns with berries. You may be tempted to ignore the plants until next year. Don’t! This is the time of year that asparagus needs some attention to help it regain strength in order to make a comeback again next spring.
It is important to add some new compost to the soil. Fertilize the plants monthly with an organic fertilizer and keep the area around them weed free. Asparagus does not like to share its space with any other plants. Living amongst the weeds will reduce the yield and longevity in coming years. Once the area is weeded, often the shade from the ferns will keep weeds to a minimum, and adding some salt marsh hay or straw mulch will help even further.
Let the ferns finish growing during the season. Do not cut them back until they have completely died and turned brown. The asparagus needs this time to regenerate its roots. Once ferns have turned completely brown you may cut them back in the late fall or wait until early spring. The berries on the ferns provide food for native birds and they may deposit a seed that you may find sprouted somewhere else in your yard. If you do find baby aspragus growing in an undesirable location, simply dig it up and move it to your asparagus bed.