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Grasshoppers ate the leaves on my asparagus stalks

 
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I planted asparagus crowns in a new raised bed this spring. All but one sprouted. They looked great! Then the grasshoppers came by the hundreds of thousands and ate all the ferns off the stalks. Now my question is: do I continue watering? Will the bare stalks continue to help the roots get stronger? Will watering encourage the crowns to rot? I don't know what to do. Any advice?
 
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Did the grasshoppers visit recently? If so the plant is probably still alive. I would keep watering. The above ground parts die off or need to be chopped down for winter anyway. Depending on your location you might see some new growth before winter.
 
Cjm Brown
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The grasshoppers have been here for  about 15-20 days, eating almost everything to the ground. The asparagus stems have turned brown and aren't being eaten as often as green leaves elsewhere, but they don't look healthy at all. I'm concerned because the crowns were planted later than they should have been and only one or two spears appeared before the grasshoppers arrived. I will keep watering, maybe a little lighter than I would have, and hope for the best. Thank you for giving me confidence to do what I thought might work.
 
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I would also cut it down. You figure while the fronds were there they were helping the plant make food, which it stored in its roots. If the stem is already brown it's not photosynthesizing any more, so may as well cut its losses and let the plant get ready to put up sprouts next time around.

As for water- not sure where you are, but I would water minimally. For me that means almost never, since I get rain every so often, YMMV.
 
Mike Barkley
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I think they'll be fine. Asparagus are hardy plants. For future reference it might be useful to add your location via your profile. It often helps with plant related questions. Here in TN my asparagus is about 25% brown now. They're getting ready for winter. Any remaining in late October/early November will be cut down. They need that dormant period during winter to produce bigger & better stalks the following year. Good luck with yours. They require some patience to get established good but once you harvest your first crop you'll know why I think they're one of the best veggies to grow at home. The taste & texture is far superior to store bought.
 
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What part of the world are you in? Sounds like you practically have a locust plague.

They will probably get some new shoots this fall, especially if you get some good rain. If those new shoots are eaten, the crowns may all die.
 
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