Gardening tools

Dandelion Weeder: Ideal for Asparagus Harvesting

Sure you can harvest asparagus with a knife, but you risk cutting yourself as well! Photo: Better Homes and Gardens

Asparagus is usually harvested by breaking or cutting the stalk just below the ground. Some people do this using a sharp knife, but I find it too easy to injure the plant … and yourself! 

This chisel-like tool is called an asparagus knife. Photo: Sumo Gardener

Of course, there is a special tool for harvesting asparagus called an asparagus knife, which can be ordered by mail from a specialty store. Sometimes it is quite knifelike, but usually, it looks more like a chisel with a notch at the tip and has no truly sharp edge that could cut you.

Still, I don’t see the point of multiplying the number of garden tools you have to infinity, especially when I find that the good ol’ dandelion weeder—a basic tool most gardeners already own—is just as good for harvesting asparagus spears.

You can easily use your dandelion weeder to harvest asparagus. Ill.:

Simply hold the spear in one hand, slip the dandelion weeder into the ground at the base of the spear until you feel it connect, then give a slight push forward and up: you’ll have a perfect asparagus spear in your hand.

Plus, you can also dig out a few dandelions in passing: two birds with one stone!

Article originally published on May 16, 2015.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. After studies at the University of Toronto and Laval University where he obtained his B.A. in modern languages in 1978, he succeeded in combining his language skills with his passion for gardening in a novel career as a garden writer and lecturer. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He is a regular contributor to and horticultural consultant for Fleurs, Plantes, Jardins garden magazine and has written for many other garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Rebecca’s Garden and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 50 other titles in English and French. He can be seen in Quebec on French-language television and was notably a regular collaborator for 7 years on the TV shows Fleurs et Jardins and Salut Bonjour Weekend. He is the President of the Garden Writers Association Foundation and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. An avid proponent of garden tourism, he has lead garden tours throughout Canada and to the gardens of over 30 countries over the last 30 years. He presently resides in Quebec City, Quebec.

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