How much asparagus can I harvest?

How much asparagus can I harvest? I've heard that if I pick too much, I could hurt my plants.
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

The first year after planting, pick only large spears (pencil-size diameter or greater) that emerge early in the growing season. This means gathering only a handful of spears over a period of 2 weeks in early spring. In the second year, gather all the spears you want for a month, beginning with the emergence of the first spear. In subsequent seasons, limit your picking to a 6-week period. (Some people use the end of the spring strawberry season as the sign that asparagus season is over.) If you overharvest asparagus, the plants will produce fewer spears, because they will have less time to store energy and develop the next year's crop.


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