when to cut asparagus ferns??

thomis(7)November 9, 2008

When should you cut down the asparagus ferns? I have heard that they should be left alone until they die and then cut, removed, and burned to kill any asparagus beetles. But its November 9 and they are mostly still green. Any advice is appreciated, many thanks!

Thomis

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trianglejohn

There is a point in the winter when the day length is so short and the temperatures so low that even if the stems are green they really aren't doing any work (photosynthesising sunlight), at that magic point it is ok to just cut them down. The problem is that it is next to impossible to determine that magic moment - every garden is different.

In my yard, any time after mid November is prime "cut it all down" time. I usually get it done over Thanksgiving weekend.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 9:05AM
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tamelask(z8a NC)

Mine eventually yellow and get dry. It's then that i trim. Since i tend to be late getting fall chores done (january-ish) i don't know exactly when that is.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 10:27AM
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carrie630(z7bNC)

Okay - now, I have a question...

Do you keep your ferns in the ground all winter? I never do that and wondered if I could get away with it here in NC where temps can fall to as low as 18 degrees in the winters.

I keep mine in pots in the garage.

I never cut them back unless they are yellowing

Thanks

Carrie

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 3:22PM
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trianglejohn

Carrie I believe Thomis is talking about edible asparagus which is related to asparagus ferns but winter hardy. Some of the regular hanging basket types of asparagus ferns are remarkably hardy but not the most common ones. With the houseplant/hanging basket type I just try to keep them cool and free from frosts over the winter. If I have to I give them an extreme haircut but usually because they won't fit anywhere without it. They do really well planted in the ground but can only handle a mild winter in the Raleigh area.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 11:23AM
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carrie630(z7bNC)

Thanks, John - I guess i will just stick to what works for me - Appreciate the response

Carrie

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 2:31PM
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shellg34

It is only May, and my ferns are about 4-5 ft tall. When should I cut them. Some of them are falling over. Please help. This is my 2nd year and they are huge already.

thanks

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 10:47AM
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tamelask(z8a NC)

Don't cut them! They need the season (till fall when they turn gold/brown and die)to feed the roots to make you more spears to harvest next year. They do get tall and can get floppy- esp in wet years- so instead of cutting them, give them some support. A couple stakes on either end with string in between is usually enough. They are great background plants.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 11:12AM
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shellg34

Thank you so much for your help. I will definately use your advice.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 10:11AM
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tamelask(z8a NC)

you're welcome!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 10:47AM
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