Care During The Second Year

The treatment of the asparagus plantation during the second year does not differ materially from that of the first season after planting. The ground has to be stirred frequently and kept scrupulously clean, and a sharp lookout must be kept for the advent

of injurious insects. As soon as berries appear on the tops they should be stripped off and destroyed, as the ripening seed absorbs a large share of the nourishment which ought to go to the development and strengthening of the crowns which are to produce the following year's crop. Even with the best of care, some plants will die out from time to time, although the more thoroughly the ground has been prepared at the time of planting, and the better the quality of the roots planted, the fewer failures of this kind will occur. These blank spaces are not only constant eyesores to the methodical gardener, but in the course of several years the aggregate shortage of crops will be considerable, while the amount of labor and fertilizer will be the same as in a fully stocked plantation. Therefore, such vacancies should be filled in the spring, not only of the second year, but whenever they occur in future seasons. The best way to replant these dead or dying roots is to go over the rows each fall, before the ground freezes, and drive a stake wherever there is a plant missing, as in the spring, before the plants have started, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to indicate the blank spaces. For replanting in the second year good strong two-year-old roots should be used. For the third and future years it is best to raise and keep a supply of a sufficient number of reserve plants for this special purpose in a similar manner as is done for forcing. As early in spring as the season permits these clumps should be carefully lifted and transferred to the permanent plantation. For three-year and older beds good strong three-year-old roots should be used, as younger ones would have but a poor chance between two older and well-established clumps.

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