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What can I do about my bitter ASPARAGUS?


By Suepid

Bucks, United Kingdom Gb

I planted an asparagus bed 5 years ago - I don't remember the type - but did it all properly - left it for 2 years before harvesting any. It's very productive, but unfortunately it's horribly bitter tasting. I've tried cutting it earlier, smaller, cutting below the soil, breaking the stem above the soil, fertilizing...Any suggestions? Or shall I just give up and pull it out and plant something else?
I live in Bucks, have a clay soil but it's been well prepared and is a sunny site.



Are you blanching your asparagus or cutting it green? Do you know what variety it was?
We harvest our asparagus which we grew from seed when it's green, and it's wonderfully sweet. We are on heavy clay soil too. But the white asparagus we buy from our neighbour is horribly bitter like yours.
The white is forced under black polythene. We find the older it is, the worse the bitterness.
Another factor is when it grows slowly with fairly low temperatures (which was the case earlier in the season, though not recently of course)
I can't believe it's anything to do with fertiliser or how you cut it. You probably know about covering the bed with a lot of organic material in the winter or spring so the spears emerge through this.
If it stays inedibly bitter in the next season, I'd choose one of the modern varieties and establish a new bed.
Waiting two years takes a lot of patience, but once the bed is there you have it for many years.

6 Jul, 2009

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