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Perennial veg offer long-term cropping for very little care and attention and asparagus is the cream of the crop. KG editor Steve Ott has some top tips for perfect spears

At this time of year we are all in the process of filling our plots with short-lived and fast-growing annual vegetables and salads, but it is worth saving some space for the slow-burners of the veggie world — perennial veg — those which just keep growing to give a crop year after year. And none are as long term as asparagus.

Growing asparagus isn’t difficult, but it does require a little patience. Plants are relatively easy to grow from seeds, but you will have to wait for at least three years before you get to harvest any of those delicious spears.

Also, female plants (those producing berries) may have to be identified and weeded out to prevent self-seeding. Yet there is an easy way to speed up the process and that is to buy ready-grown, predominantly male plants — known as crowns — from a reliable supplier. This is the ideal time to order and plant some.

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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

Welcome to Kitchen Garden Magazine In this issue: A Joy of Summer Veg expert Rob Smith has some top tips for success with courgettes every time Brilliant Brassicas! Former head gardener Sue Stickland explores our changing attitudes to brassicas and the many exciting new varieties available Flights of Fancy Gardener and nature enthusiast Ben Vanheems encourages us all to make room for butterflies on our plots And much more!