Asparagus died

About 4 years ago, in the fall, I started putting the leaves from my apple tree on my prolific asparagus bed feeling they were good ground cover to keep the weeds down in the spring. Last year the asparagus did not come up. Is there something in the apple leaves that could have leached into the soil and killed the asparagus? That is the only thing I can think of.
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snipped-for-privacy@sisqtel.net says...

What I know about asparagus would fit in a thimble. And I can't ask my wife because we don't love it enough to grow it.
These questions occur.
Where are you?
What kind of winter did you have?
What kind of spring was it?
How long has the bed been in production?
How deep was the mulch?
Did the asparagus come through the mulch in previous years?
Did the plants look healthy through the previous season?
Did you explore the root systems of one or two of the plants? If so, what did they look like?
The last two questions are probably the most useful because living, dormant root systems means the whole patch might rebound. Dead, rotted root systems means a careful exploration of the whole patch to try to determine whether it was bugs, disease, soil or a combination of the three.
We had a couple of fronds growing in an inhospitable spot. Too shady. Too much competition. Some years they grew. Other years, they didn't. ---They were pretty tenacious.
Rearranging the garden a few years ago probably killed them because last spring was the third season they didn't show up.
Given their tenacity and perennial nature, maybe we should learn to love them. I'm trying to move the garden a little toward tough perennial vegetables.
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Another question to ask. Do you have mice, shrews or other rodents enjoying their vitamin intake? Here in the UK I have a major perceived problem with an infiltration of a wave of wood mice which have turned the mulch on top of my asparagus bed into a Swiss cheese, with their holes and runs. I am trapping them ( 5 per night) in Longworth humane traps and releasing them into the countryside some way from here. Any return could prove fatal!...:-))
--
Tom Withycombe
Milck House
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