The Online Gardener's Handbook 2010
Chapter 4: Vegetables
Asparagus

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Asparagus Beetles
  3. Asparagus Rust
  4. Learn More

Introduction

In this chapter, a description of various asparagus pests will be provided along with suggested management options. These management options will not include the use of pesticides. Some biopesticides and certain reduced risk pesticides are still available to the homeowner for controlling weeds and pests in lawns and gardens. For more information, refer to Chapter 2 of this handbook and the Ministry of the Environment's website. For suggestions on managing specific weeds and pests, consult local horticulturalists, Master Gardeners or your local garden supply centre.

Asparagus Beetles

Asparagus beetles occasionally damage both the spear and the fern stages of plant growth. There are two species of beetles, one orange with black spots, the other metallic blue-black with 6 yellow spots; both are about 0.5 cm long. Larvae are olive-green or dark grey, emerging from dark, bullet-shaped eggs, which are very visible on the developing spears in late May, early June.

Management Options

On small plantings, hand pick and destroy beetles. Cut and destroy any spears when eggs are observed. Wash off eggs, larvae and beetles with a strong spray of water. Destroy nearby wild asparagus, which could harbour beetles. Remove dead fern growth.

Asparagus Rust

Asparagus rust appears in the late spring as slightly raised, light green, oval lesions. They turn creamy-orange and then reddish-brown and blister as they mature. Severe rust infections stunt growth, reduce plant vigour and may even kill young shoots.

Management Options

Plant tolerant varieties. Remove and destroy infested crop residues. Cut spears below the soil line during harvest. Water in the morning to allow plants time to dry off before nighttime.

Learn More

 


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 21 July 2005
Last Reviewed: 25 June 2010