I had a sad day in the garden this past week. After the first cold snap, I finally had more asparagus spears almost ready to harvest. Six beautiful specimens of heaven on a stick. But alas, I was not to enjoy them – because I killed them. Yes, sweep me off that green thumb pedestal because I committed negligent homicide.
I, Sanctuary Gardener, neglected to cover the asparagus bed with a heavy sheet the night the temperature was forecast to dip below 32 degrees, and I learned first hand that asparagus spears are very sensitive to frost. [Insert crestfallen sigh here.] The next morning, the spears that had been towering delicacies of firmness the night before were now lying limply on the ground like opaque green noodles. After my plantive wails stopped echoing off my neighbor’s house, I trudged to the shed for the garden shears. I tenderly cut the spears below the soil line (as I normally would when harvesting them) and carried their frostbitten bodies to the compost pile for burial. Strewn among the ground table scraps, their wasted lives entreated me on behalf of their soon-to-be born brothers: Remember the sheet! Remember the sheet!
So, DON’T DO THIS! Don’t leave your asparagus spears vulnerable to frost. If you have any portion of spears above the soil line, cover your bed with a thick sheet or other covering at sunset the night the temperatures are forecast to go below 35 degrees. Otherwise, your compost pile will be enjoying your harvest instead of you.