Good enough to eat

Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

THIS is the month for as­para­gus, a sea­sonal favourite of­ten of­fered as a sim­ple but de­li­cious starter, served hot with melted but­ter or cold with may­on­naise.

Its sea­son is short - May and the be­gin­ning of June - and those who buy it out of sea­son will be dis­ap­pointed at the lack of flavour.

You’ll need to pre­pare the soil well be­fore­hand when grow­ing as­para­gus. It needs to be free drain­ing and well weeded.

If your soil is heavy, add masses of grit in the base of your beds and ro­ta­vate it in, rak­ing the sur­face to make it smooth. Plant as­para­gus crowns (young plants) at the end of March in a shel­tered, sunny spot.

Leave it un­til April if the soil is cold and wet, dig­ging trenches around 1m apart. To en­sure a longer har­vest, plant an early va­ri­ety such as Con­nover’s Colos­sala­long with a later va­ri­ety, such as Martha Wash­ing­ton.

You should not har­vest the spears which ap­pear shortly af­ter plant­ing.

Cut­ting can be­gin prop­erly in the sec­ond year, when the spears reach 10-15cm, and can be cut around 8cm be­low the soil sur­face with a spe­cial as­para­gus knife.

Never let them grow too tall or they be­come lanky and woody.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.