Agriculture: Asparagus Pest Management Guidelines

Planting Through First Year

This year-round IPM program covers the major pests of fresh asparagus and nursery production of crowns in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, Central Coast, southern San Joaquin Valley, and southern desert valleys.

About Planting Through First Year

What should you be doing during this time?

Acquire transplants from a nursery that fumigates or has clean stock.

Examine ferns twice weekly for:

  • European asparagus aphid—shake or beat ferns to detect presence, and consider burning where permitted or discing old ferns according to the Pest Management Guidelines.
  • Beet armyworm—treat according to the Pest Management Guidelines when larvae are present in the ferns.
  • Rust lesions—treat according to the Pest Management Guidelines when rust first appears.

Manage weeds:

  • Choose appropriate preemergence herbicides based on planting method (seedlings versus crowns).
  • Cultivate if needed until ferns become too tall.
  • Spot spray herbicides to eliminate perennial weeds that may be invading the site.
  • Prevent the introduction of perennial weed propagules by cleaning equipment before entering the field.

If thrips damage is observed (needle drop), treat according to the Pest Management Guidelines.

Other pests you may see:

  • Asparagus beetle
  • Asparagus miner
  • Western yellowstriped armyworm
Text Updated: 09/11