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.
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
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
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!...:-))
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