Is it possible to rescue a three-year old asparagus bed which has a fair amount of couch grass and thistle growing in it. The bed belongs to a neighbour on our allotment site who recently ‘inherited’ the bed. I do not want to start digging as it could destroy the roots of the asparagus. Would your technique Charles, of using cardboard topped with copious amounts of manure to suppress the couch grass work? Failing that can the asparagus crowns be lifted and transplanted to a cleaner site? I have my doubts about the latter.
I think it may be possible although without seeing how much couch and thistle there is, I can’t be sure. Certainly better for the aparagus than moving plants. If you have compost/manure, put on four inches or so now, then when asp. spears are visible you can put cardboard down between plants – or do it now if confident about where the crowns are! Through the year, keep pulling couch leaves and thistle stems, by year’s end most thistle should be much weakened and remaining couch roots nearer the surface to pull or loosen with a trowel. Good luck.
Thank you for that Charles…I will tell my neighbour to do as you said. Heavy mulch until the harvesting season is over and then cardboard and then some more mulch. My asparagus bed is now in it’s seventh year and the spears are just beginning to show.