Benefits of Growing Asparagus
There are a couple of different health benefits to growing asparagus in the vegetable garden. Like other vegetables, asparagus provides nutrients such as protein, fiber, potassium, phosphorus, folate, and a few other vitamins. As well as, a good source of antioxidants which helps protect cells from oxidative stress and free radicals. Another health benefit of asparagus is it can improve digestive health in the body. Also, helps reduce blood pressure which is a major risk factor for multiple people in the world. There has been several kinds of research done that suggest that increasing potassium intake and reducing salt intake is an effective way to lower high blood pressure.
Planting & Harvesting Asparagus
On this week’s episode, Greg demonstrates the best way to harvest asparagus in the vegetable garden. When growing asparagus they do best when grown in lighter soils that warm up quickly and drains well in the springtime. It typically takes around three years for asparagus to get established well and have full production in the vegetable garden. However, if you maintain the garden beds that they are growing in you can easily get 10 to 15 years of good asparagus production. To prepare an asparagus bed, you should get rid of grasses and weeds to eliminate weed competition from the garden spot. To maintain asparagus beds, you simply cut them back to the ground during the wintertime, apply good compost, and then add wheat straw on top. Greg mentions that we add wheat straw to help insulate the bed and control weeds in the asparagus bed. In the springtime, when harvesting asparagus spears they start coming up through the wheat straw in the bed, Greg likes to take his asparagus knife and cut it right below ground level. When using the asparagus knife, you simply take the v-shaped blade and push it against the asparagus stalks for a quick and easy harvest. After harvesting asparagus, the best way to store asparagus is by placing them in the refrigerator in a sealed bag. Asparagus should only be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
Cooking with Asparagus
When cooking asparagus, most people prefer to either grill, roast, or eat it raw from the garden. It is great vegetable to incorporate into salads, soups, or as a dip. Whether you are sauteing or eating asparagus raw it is vegetable that has many health benefits to offer and easy to grow in your garden area.