Controlling Weeds When Growing Asparagus?

Q: We have a 10' X 20" asparagus patch and would like tips on how to stop weeds from taking over. Can mulch be used? Thistle is a huge problem as well as the usual dandelions.

Hardiness Zone: 5b

Thanks for your help.
Kenn Ziebell from, Germantown, WI

A: Kenn,

The best way to control weeds in asparagus beds is to make sure the bed is completely weed-free before planting it. Once asparagus starts to grow, it becomes much more difficult to keep weeds under control. Established beds should be mulched with a weed-free straw or some other type of organic mulch in the early spring, just a shoots are starting to emerge. The few weeds that manage to grow up through the mulch can then be pulled out by hand. If your spears are all cut down to just below ground level, you can try spot spraying a topical organic weed killer on large weeds like dandelions and quack grass. Your asparagus spears will re-emerge as long as you're careful to apply the weed killer only to the weeds. Some sources suggest applying salt to the soil, as asparagus is more tolerant of salt than a lot of other plants. Salt does control weeks, but it can wash into other parts of the garden and damage less salt tolerant plants. It also breaks down the soils structure, so mulching is really the your best bet.


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May 24, 2011

It is way too late to worry about weeds in my asparagus bed for this year, but how do other people fight the weeds? Mulching early spring doesn't seem to do it. My husband thought he read salt would work. Thanks


By Jane


May 24, 20110 found this helpful

I don't know about salt most of the time salt kills. My pal always used horse manure aged.

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June 9, 20110 found this helpful

We have used softener salt on our asparagus bed for years and it does keep the weeds down and it doesn't hurt the plants. This year we have more problems with deer eating them.

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June 10, 20110 found this helpful

Salt will kill plants! Using chemical free grass clippings is one idea but no salt.

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June 1, 20200 found this helpful

For Asparagus, salt will not kill it. It is one of the plants that can handle a salty soil. My grandfather used to have our asparagus beds covered in salt when I was a child and we had massive amounts of it every year.

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