Asparagus harvest

We planted asparagus a few years ago and some of the plants have survived and prospered. There seem to be two types: one with very thin spears, and one with very thick spears. I suspect they are female and male.
In any event, we are about to cut some spears from the plant with thick spears, and I'm wondering whether we should cut all of them, or leave a few to develop foliage. My wife is walking around, knife in hand, wanting to cut them all, reasoning that the roots can support themselves. Do we cut all or a fraction? The plant only has 16 spears.
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Harvest all of them and keep cutting them at least every day or two during your harvest. As far as I know, a plant producing 16 spears should be ready to harvest. If you let any of the spears grow, the crown will stop producing more spears. Rule of thumb for 4- or 5-year old plants is to harvest for a 4 to 6 week period, after which you must let some spears grow into ferns, to photosynthesize for next year's development.
I don't know about skinny vs. thicker spears. (The female plants produce more spears, but they also produce seeds and can send asparagus volunteers all over the place.) I thought super-thin spears were a sign of an underdeveloped crown, from which you should only harvest for a week or two. All of mine were like that last year (year 3), and I only harvested a tiny bit. This year - after a sunnier summer because we took down some trees and that gave them more light - the spears are thicker, and plentiful.
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wrote:

Also, keep them well weeded (no competition) and in bright sunlight. Stop cutting on 31st May so as to let the crowns build up for next year. The little shoots, called 'sprue', you can eat too. Yummy.
Nick and Nick
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