Development of new harvest production system for asparagus (Whole harvest cultivation method of one-year-old plants)

T. Taguchi, Y. Kabuno, S. Motoki
In open field cultivation of asparagus, a conventional cultivation method in Japan, asparagus seedlings are planted in the spring of the first year, and spears of the same asparagus stocks are harvested from spring of the following year for 10 to 20 years. However, this cultivation method has the following problems: the yield is low in the first year (the year after planting), and it takes three years until the yield becomes consistent; the longer the cultivation period, the higher the risk of disease damage; and it is difficult to determine when to stop harvesting to grow mother fern (stocks). The authors have developed a new cultivation method called “Whole harvest method of one-year-old plants”: all spears grown from crowns cultivated in the first year are harvested in the following spring and continued until all spears are harvested. The new cultivation method requires earlier planting and an extended period for fern (stock) growth compared with those in conventional cultivation method, to increase the yield. In this new cultivation method, plug seedlings of asparagus are planted deeply at an earlier date using a new hole maker, although measures to prevent frost damage should be implemented following planting. Two cultivars of asparagus were planted at different times, and their growth and yields were compared. The early planting of both cultivars using a new hole maker produced large ferns (stocks). The earlier the time of planting, the larger the yield of thick spears (L or larger size), total yield, and marketable yield. The new cultivation method is a new labor-saving, low-cost, and profitable cultivation method that can produce a large yield of high-quality asparagus.
Taguchi, T., Kabuno, Y. and Motoki, S. (2018). Development of new harvest production system for asparagus (Whole harvest cultivation method of one-year-old plants). Acta Hortic. 1223, 165-172
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1223.23
Asparagus officinalis L., hole maker, labor saving, open field culture, planting time, yield

Acta Horticulturae