It's the end of the first year for my asparagus bed and time to prepare it for winter. This first year I did not harvest any of the shoots and let them all grow into tall ferns. The first order of business is to let the asparagus grow until the frost starts knocking it back and it turns yellow.
Once it's turning yellow and starting to die back it's time to cut it down. I had my lovely assistant cut these off from 1-3 inches above the ground. It's very important to discard the ferns. If you have an asparagus beetle infection they will leave their eggs behind. We put the ferns into a wheelbarrow, took them to the burn pile and burned them up. This is the best way to take care of next years asparagus beetles.
The final treatment consists of mulching the bed. This will help keep the soil warm and is the first defense against weeds. I just used newly fallen leaves for this application. They are free and plentiful in my area and should do fine.