The harvest season for asparagus is from June until September. During this time, the plants are in full bloom and ready to eat. However, there are times when harvesting may not be ideal because of weather conditions or other factors. For example, if it rains during the day while picking, then the plant will die due to lack of water and nutrients.
If the temperature drops too low, the leaves will turn brown and fall off.
In these cases, it is best to wait until morning so that you do not damage your pickers’ hands while they are working. Also, try to avoid harvesting at night since it might cause problems with insects crawling around during the day.
When picking asparagus, one must pay attention to several things:
How much sunlight does my area get? Does it have any frost? Is it hot? What kind of soil is it? Do I need to dig up the ground?
Asparagus grows best in areas where there is enough light. A sunny spot with no clouds is usually good enough. In some parts of Europe, however, the sun shines all year round and as a result many farmers prefer to keep their fields under cover during the winter months. So, they use artificial lights instead of natural sunlight.
Asparagus plants do not tolerate frost. In fact, it may even kill them if the cold lasts for a long period of time. At least three hours of frost will certainly kill the plant. Also, wet soil tends to freeze faster than dry soil.
This is another important reason why some farmers opt to keep their fields under cover during the winter months. This is especially true if there are no heating cables or mats placed under the field to keep it warm.
Asparagus grows best in loose, sandy soil. If there is no loose, sandy soil available then it may be necessary to dig up some of the ground in order to make planting easier. On hill sides, try to find soil that is easy to dig so that you do not have to spend too much time digging up the ground.
The best time to harvest asparagus is in the morning since this is when the plant has stored up the most nutrients. If you are planning to eat the ferns that day then it is best to pick them early in the morning since they do lose their flavor after spending a long time in the sun. Also, if you leave them out in the sun for too long they may turn an unpleasant color and become inedible.
Sometimes it is difficult to remember which plants you have already picked, so it is always a good idea to mark them in some way. A simple method is to take a can or something similar and label it with the current date. Then, simply place the can over the part of the plant that you wish to keep. This will prevent you or anyone else from picking the same plant again.
After a few weeks, it will be necessary to thin out the plants. The best way is to pull out the weaker ones. It is better to pull them out completely when they are still young because if you leave them for too long then they may become stronger than the other ones and then it will be harder to pull them out.
Finally, remember that asparagus grows better in loose, sandy soil. If your soil is not loose and sandy then it might be necessary to dig up some of the ground in order to make planting easier. On hill sides, it is best to try and find soil that is easy to dig so that you do not have to spend too much time digging up the ground.
The farmer finishes speaking and looks at you expectantly.
Sources & references used in this article:
Asparagus harvester by DE Franzen – US Patent 3,176,456, 1965 – Google Patents
Automatic asparagus picking machine by G Bousseau, P Baylou, A Mora, M Monsion… – US Patent …, 1984 – Google Patents
Asparagus harvesting machine by US Patent 2,690,043, 1954 – Google Patents
Design of an advanced prototype robot for white asparagus harvesting by AP Chatzimichali, IP Georgilas… – 2009 IEEE/ASME …, 2009 – ieeexplore.ieee.org