Diseases & Pests
Rust, fusarium wilt, and fusarium stem and crown rot can all be problems. Using seed started in sterile soil instead of purchased plants, and planting in soil that has no history of disease will keep asparagus plants healthy.
Asparagus beetles can defoliate the ferns of the asparagus plant. They overwinter in the top growth, so thorough removal of the fronds in the fall (after they have died) is vital. In a small garden, simply hand-pick the voracious insects.
Encouraging beneficials like ladybugs reduces aphids. Aphids are usually found together on growing tips (look for the sooty blotches they leave behind).
Carefully choose companions to reduce your need for pesticides. Plant asparagus seeds or crowns with asters, basil, cilantro, dill, cilantro, marigolds, nasturtiums, oregano, parsley, peppers, sage, and thyme. Asparagus repels nematodes that attack tomatoes, and tomatoes repel asparagus beetles. Here is our full list
of companions to consider!