At last: Laziness pays!

asparagus bedIn the finest tradition of only-just-in-time gardening, I prepared the asparagus beds today and made a pleasing discovery.

Turns out that if you’re too lazy to cut down the spent asparagus in November and just leave the old fronds where they are, they fall over and cover the bed… thus excluding light and preventing weeds taking hold over the winter.

Not only that, it’s 10 times easier to clear them up when they’re dry and dead in March than when they’re still bushy and damp in the autumn.

I’ve never done this before and it’s a joyous revelation. How often is the easier, softer way actually better? I’ll tell you: Bloody never.

To anyone who discovered this years ago, apologies for the grandma/egg suck lesson. But if you’re still cutting back your asparagus in November, STOP RIGHT NOW and be a lazy bastard.

You know it makes sense.

8 Responses to “At last: Laziness pays!”

  1. Magic Cochin Says:

    … and if you now remove the dry stalks and burn them you will probably get rid of aspargus beetle too – ta-daaah!


  2. Ford Says:

    I had a similar experience with strawberries. If you don’t tidy up, and thourougly weed the bed; the weeds go mad, of course! Because of the weeds, the strawbs were hidden from the birds, and I had more fruit than I could handle! Not to be recommended though!

  3. mediaOrganic Says:

    A lesson I will take to heart this year, for sure.

  4. Jerry C. Says:


    I like to take all the dried out stems from my herb garden and use them as flavoring when brining the Thanksgiving turkey. Sometimes I soak and add the herbal remnants to my outdoor grill to add smoky flavoring when roasting the Easter leg-o-lamb.

    My swamp-yankee forefathers call asparagus, “grass.” Typically the grass patch was reserved for the farm women and they, mother, grandma and great grandma would pick and sell the crop for their summer mad money.

    I’ve heard leeks called poor man’s asparagus. Because I don’t have the room to cultivate grass, I grow Scottish leeks acquired from Seeds of Change. I dig a trench first, at least 8-12 inches deep and then set the leeks in using a dibber. I fill the trench with screened sandy loam as the Scots grow. Leeks need lots of water to even be considered as any sort of competition to “grass.” And since the Highlanders winter-over very well in Portland’s Pacific Northwest maritime climate, I can be reminded of my low-brow heritage year-round!

  5. carrie Says:

    f-ing brilliant!!!! love you Soilman, thanks xxxx

  6. Roberta Says:

    I love your lazy ways Soilman. You’ll have a place in my heart forever!!!

  7. Tanya Walton Says:

    Good to know for if I ever get any asparagus..thanks Soilman!!

  8. Paul Says:

    I wish I’d done that…
    Mine is so overgrown I daren’t weed it for risk of pulling up some asparagus, so I’m having to leave it in the hope the spears will still rise and then I can weed around them…. Fingers crossed!!