How to Grow Asparagus

Asparagus grow best in full or partial sun and in soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7. They also need good drainage. Select an area where asparagus won’t be disturbed for 10-15 years, until they must be discarded from your garden.

This vegetable can be planted by using one-year old crowns or seeds. Seeds will take longer to grow and are more prone to sickness. If you will use crowns, buy plump, healthy-looking, grayish-brown ones at a reputable nursery.

In cool areas, start planting asparagus in early spring, when soil temperature is 50° F. In warmer areas, plant in the late winter season. Once you have crowns, prepare the soil early. Make a V-shaped furrow that is 7 inches deep. Enrich the soil with well-rotted manure, wood ashes, or bone meal. Dig deep to turn the soil around and make it lighter. These plants will stand tall, so choose a site where no other plants need full sun.

Immerse the asparagus crowns in compost tea for 10 minutes or so. Put them down on their sides over the organic matter, 12 to 16 inches away from each other, in rows 4 feet apart. Fill in the soil so that the roots of the asparagus plus half an inch of the crowns are completely covered. Set a layer of mulch containing straw or chopped leaves.

In late summer, side-dress the asparagus with an organic fertilizer. Lay over a mulch in the fall. The plants have to be watered regularly for about three times a week in the first month of planting. In the succeeding months, water only during dry seasons. Trim some parts of the bushes for ornamental reasons.

Do not harvest the asparagus in the first year because it still needs to establish its spears. The roots will also have to grow stronger .If the harvest is too early, the entire plant might become weak. In the second and third year, you can harvest only for about 2-3 weeks in the spring. When the plant has established itself in the fourth year or so, the asparagus may be harvested for six to eight weeks, or until the spears are thin and spindly. Pick the 6-8 inch spears. The vegetables can be harvested every day of the harvesting period.