From what I understand:
- It's a perennial that emits spears from a central crown - those are what we eat.
- If we don't eat the spears, they turn into ferns. Those ferns absorb sunshine and fuel the growth of the crown.
- The crown absorbs nutrients from its root system, and underwrites the formation of spears.
- As the crown gets bigger, it can fuel more (and bigger) spears.
- We generally only harvest for about a month out of the year, because we need to support the needs of the crown (carb accumulation).
I'm trying to keep things simple and convenient as I design my garden. Instead of putting our harvest on a calendar, could we:
- Build a year-round greenhouse (I'm in Zone 5b)
- Plant a bunch of crowns
- Cultivate them for a few years - no harvesting whatsoever. Just load up the carbohydrate reserves and fuel the growth of the crown and its root system with compost/biochar/etc
- After a few years, cut 50% of the ferns down, per crown, so that 50% of the spears-turned-ferns are collecting nutrients that provide for a continuous harvest of spears, year-round, no calendar needed?
- Does the asparagus plant really need winter? Is there anything in its DNA that activates critical biological mechanisms in response to cold seasons?