How To Grow Vegetables

Asparagus Pests And Diseases

Growing Asparagus is not easy, and yet it can bring great rewards both taste wise and financially if you are growing it for profit. And given the fact it can take two years to grow to fruition then it needs quite a lot of car to keep the crop growing well. So what problems can affect your asparagus and what can cure them?

Asparagus beetles: These are probably the worst things that can hit your asparagus crop, they are rare but likewise they can decimate your entire asparagus crop within just days. The asparagus beetles are dark red, blue and cream coloured and around 1cm long.

The cure is to cut down all of your asparagus foliage and leave around 3 plants at the end of each row, this will then make the beetles attack the remaining stems at which point you can destroy them. This is the worst form of attack on your crop, and must be dealt with brutally. Half measures will not suffice.

Brown spot: This is otherwise known as ‘chocolate spot’ and causes brown streaks and blemishes on your asparagus plants, it is simple to cure as it is due to a lack of potash or phosphate in your soil, and can be treated with the addition of colloidial copper spray

Frost: An ever present plant killer worldwide, but none more so when it comes to growing asparagus. Frost can result in the plants shrinking down at ground level and then causing them to go black. This can be avoided by ridging up soil around the asparagus plants, however more modern methods such as covering the plants with fleece blankets, or hessian sacks can be far more easy to implement, and be simply removed when all chance of frost has past.

Asparagus leaves disappearing overnight: This is most often due to cutworms or slugs, which come out at night and then disappear by morning. To treat use the normal techniques to get rid of slugs such as slug pellets, or crushed egg shells.

Violet root rot: This needs treating immediately as it is a fungus that turns the plants purple, they will then go yellow and die. This is the worst form of asparagus pest and will need all affected plants to be removed and burnt. In addition you will need to segregate the affect area with corrugated iron or plastic for the rest of the duration of the asparagus bed is in place.

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By Richard Allen -

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