Asparagus Plants

Losing Asparagus


Andrew Davis added on February 27, 2017 | Answered

Just planted some two-year old crowns that are starting to grow. I'm not harvesting anything and trying to let them go this year; however, my two largest spears have now literally been cut in half when they get to about 7-8 inches tall; the cut is about 3-4" off the ground. There was a milky white spiderweb looking substance in one the day before it fell. Trying to find the cause and came across cut worms as possibly the most likely culprit but not sure. Can anyone help? I don't want to chemically treat, but after all the work for the last two months getting this garden up-and-running, going nuclear may have to be an option. Thanks!


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ANSWERS
Alisma
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on February 27, 2017

Cutworms are a possibility- the following sites provide photos of cutworm damage that you can compare to your plants:

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/a_tale_of_two_cutworms_cutworm_control_in_asparagus

The milky white substance could potentially be a slug or snail trail. Slugs do eat asparagus, so that's a possibility too. The beet armyworm caterpillar can also damage asparagus spears. Checking all over the asparagus patch at multiple times of day might allow you to catch the culprit in the act.

https://extension.umd.edu/growit/insects/slugs
http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/r7300411.html
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/cutworms-in-home-gardens/
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/insects/kill-garden-slugs.htm

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