How much 3rd yr. asparagus should I harvest?

..don't want to kill off all the plants by eating it all!! How many of the spears should I pick? Thanks!!!
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I pick all of mine every other day, until the end of June or the first of July, or until I have enough in the freezer or canned, and then let them grow the rest of the year.
Dwayne

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The sheet that came with our asparagus crowns this year says to only pick 2 weeks during the third year. Then add 2 weeks each year.
--
Susan N.

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From what I've read and my own experience with my beds, you can harvest until the new growth is as big around as a pencil. At that point, stop harvesting and let the plants grow into the ferns to regenerate the roots for next year. Don't hesitate to fertilize with a good organic fertilizer because they use a lot of energy in the spring sending up those big fat shoots. After the first freeze the ferns will all die back and you can cut them to the ground. We mulch with shredded leaves for the winter. Depending on what zone you're in (I'm in zone 8) begin fertilizing in late December or early January and I always add about 6-12" of compost to the beds. They love that, and so do I because they reward me with big fat stalks. Grilled and drizzled with butter and fresh lemon juice and some sea salt is my preferred method, providing I can get them from the garden to the kitchen without eating them raw. Thomas

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Picked out of the ground and straight to the taste buds eh?
--
K.

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On 4/19/05 9:55 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com,

The longer you can wait the stronger the plants will become and the more you will have in the future. Leave a few and eat a few...that's what birds and predatory insects do...leave enough for next years feast! Or you could be like an insecticide and eat (kill) everything in sight...and leave nothing for tomorrow or next year. Gary PS: I just happened to walk past my asparagus patch...I have enough to feed the neighbours...well at least the ones that like asparagus! I think the others had a mysterious upbringing. They only like carrots, peas etc....boring!
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Thank you all! I'm going to harvest a little less than planned...
Kevin
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