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Video: Asparagus - Biological Features And Healing Properties
Growing asparagus - a healthy and tasty vegetable crop
Not every garden contains this amazing plant, although all gardeners know it. They know mainly for flower bouquets from the socialist times, when each bouquet for schoolchildren or anniversaries was decorated with a delicate fluffy sprig of asparagus or asparagus.
Until recently, asparagus was known to our gardeners only as an ornamental plant. And at this time in the West, young juicy shoots of asparagus were in special demand - a delicacy that not everyone has even heard of. It turned out that asparagus as a vegetable crop has been known to people since ancient times.
It was respected by the ancient Greeks and ancient Romans, and the Egyptians also attributed medicinal and magical properties to it. In Germany, it was a royal vegetable, its sale to ordinary people was prohibited, the entire harvest had to go to the royal table. Since the 18th century, it has been appreciated and cultivated as a vegetable in Russia as well. In many landowners' estates, asparagus was grown for the master's table.
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Currently, asparagus is heavily cultivated in the USA, as well as in France, Spain and Italy. Since gardeners know little about this most useful vegetable, I will tell you more about it. Nutritional value. Asparagus eats young white shoots that develop in the ground from buds that winter on the rhizome, or young green shoots that have just come to the surface. The special value of this vegetable is that it appears in early spring, when there are almost no other vegetables in the garden. Due to its low calorie content, asparagus is quickly absorbed by the body.
White shoots are rich in protein, which contains the essential amino acid asparagine, so named in the part of asparagus because it was first discovered in it. They have a lot of vitamins, especially B1 and B2, minerals (calcium, sodium, magnesium, ferric chloride, phosphoric acid, etc.). Green shoots are less fibrous and chemically more valuable than white ones. They contain more dry matter, proteins, vitamin C, carotene, B vitamins. In addition, they contain substances that include sulfur. The tops of the shoot head are the most delicious and aromatic parts of the shoot.
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The healing properties of asparagus
The healing properties of asparagus have long been known in folk medicine. Thanks to asparagine, it is used to treat dropsy and gout, cystitis and kidney stones. From its shoots and rhizomes make infusions, special syrups. It was found that the consumption of asparagus helps to lower blood pressure, normalizes heart function, expands peripheral vessels, and improves liver function. Diet meals are prepared from asparagus, which are especially useful for diseases of the liver, kidneys, gout, diabetes and others. Continuous consumption of asparagus increases vitality.
Biological features of asparagus
Asparagus, or asparagus, is a perennial plant in the asparagus family. The name "asparagus" comes from the Greek word "asparasso", which means "vomiting violently." Indeed, it is difficult to escape from the thickets of asparagus without torn clothes. Straight, up to 2 m tall, branched green semi-lignified stems are covered with a huge number of needles, which makes the plant very delicate, airy and fluffy. In fact, these needles are not leaves, but shortened twigs that act as leaves. Real leaves are reduced into small scales, from the axils of which these branches appear. They can be single or bundled.
The asparagus root system is very well developed. The rhizome grows annually from above and dies off from below, as a result of which, over time, the bush and root system rise up to the soil surface. In the central part of the rhizome, the bases of the stems and vegetative buds are concentrated, from which new thick juicy shoots will grow next spring. This part of the bush with stems is surrounded by radially diverging filamentous roots in which nutrients are stored. These roots live for about six years. In the spring, thin suction roots appear, which die off by winter.
Most of the roots are shallow in the soil, individual roots can go very deep. The underground part of the shoot is white, after emergence, the shoots turn green, over time they woody, leaves and fruits are formed on them - bright red round fruits, similar to berries. Old roots gradually die off, new ones grow from above.
Asparagus is a dioecious plant: male and female flowers are located most often on different individuals. Male flowers are more yellow, bell-shaped, their pistil is underdeveloped, but the stamens are two rows. Female flowers are smaller, they are pale, round, they have a well-developed pistil and poorly developed stamens. Male plants are more developed, they grow more stems than female ones, but they are thinner and coarser. Male plants are more early maturing than female plants. Female plants give thick shoots, but in small quantities, but they are very delicate. The yield of shoots from a bed of male plants alone is significantly higher than from a bed with mixed crops. The number of male and female plants when sowing seeds is approximately the same.
Asparagus plants can grow in one place for up to 15-20 years. They are very hardy, especially males. They winter well in the conditions of the Leningrad region, even with a small layer of snow, because the rhizomes of adult plants can withstand frosts of -30 ° C. Adult plants are not afraid of frost, however, young stems, as well as seedlings from seeds, very often suffer from them in spring.
Read the next part. Growing conditions and propagation of asparagus →