Asparagus is plentiful right now so you will most likely find it at your local farmers market and grocers. Incorporating this nutrient-packed veggie into your diet can render some very notable health benefits! Asparagus is high in vitamins A,C,E, & K – which are considered anti-oxidants that help to break down free-radicals in the body. It is also a good source of fiber and folate – some nutrients that many Americans do not eat enough of each day.
While asparagus is pretty easy to find, it can also be grown in Louisiana home gardens. Dr. Kathryn Fontenot with the LSU AgCenter School of Plant, Environmental Soil Sciences hails asparagus as a true perennial crop for Louisiana home gardeners. Planting dates for South Louisiana are mid-March and early-April in North Louisiana. It is harvested from mid-March to early-May. Dr. Fontenot tells us that recommended varieties are ‘Jersey Knight’
Keep in mind that if you are starting from seed, it will take approximately 3-4 years to harvest your first crop. If you start with asparagus crowns, which Dr. Fontenot recommends, you will have a crop in one year. For more information on growing asparagus in your home garden, visit the LSU AgCenter website at www.lsuagcenter.com/topics/lawn_garden
For more asparagus cooking tips or nutrition information, please call the Rapides Parish Extension Area Nutrition Agent, Quincy L. Cheek at 318-767-3966.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture