Har­vest young as­para­gus spears

Amateur Gardening - - Your Gardening Week -

EV­ERY time I’ve been walk­ing past the as­para­gus bed lately, I’ve crouched down to see if I can spot any of those pre­cious spears pok­ing through the earth – and now I have!

This lux­u­ri­ous peren­nial veg makes its ap­pear­ance each spring once the soil warms up suf­fi­ciently. The spears are the plump as­para­gus buds and shoots. If left to their own de­vices they’d de­velop into feath­ery green, 4ft (1.2m)-high stems, and in­deed, that’s what even­tu­ally hap­pens as the sea­son pro­gresses so the plants can bulk them­selves up for next year.

But for the first 10 weeks of growth, we can dive in with a knife, safely cut off the shoots when they’re 8in (20cm) or so tall, and smother them in hol­landaise or but­ter. De­li­cious!

Cut as­para­gus dur­ing the first 10 weeks of growth

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