Asparagus Grower's Guide

Asparagus Growing & Planting Guide

Asparagus is extremely nutritious and has many health benefits! It is also one of the first vegetables to harvest in the spring, and gets top dollar at the supermarket.

Asparagus Planting Tips

What Soil Is Best For Asparagus?

Asparagus grows best in well-drained, fertile soils with a pH range of 6.8 to 7.2. Apply enough lime to raise the soil’s pH to the necessary level. Asparagus needs direct sun, so when choosing your site, plan for a permanent spot in a sunny location. Asparagus is a perennial and should not be grown in a container or pot.

Should you Fertilize Asparagus?

In early spring, apply a garden fertilizer of 5-10-10 at a rate of 5 lbs. per 100 square inches. Till your soil deeply, working in all of the fertilizer. Make sure your bed is free of weeds, then make furrows about 8-10” deep and 4-5’ apart.

How Far Apart Should Asparagus Be Planted?

Plant the asparagus crowns approximately 12-14” apart within the row.

How Deep Should You Plant Asparagus?

Cover the crowns with only 2”of soil. As the plant produces ferns, slowly fill in the trench. By the end of summer, the trench should be at soil level.

In early August, side-dress the plants with 5-10-10 at a rate of 1 pound per 20 linear feet. Work lightly into soil, being careful not to disturb the crowns and ferns. Allow the ferns to grow all season, keeping the bed weed-free and irrigating as needed.

Asparagus Harvesting Tips

When Should You Harvest Asparagus?

In early spring, you will see tender spears emerging, but resist the urge to harvest them until after the first year. The spears will grow into lacy ferns, which store energy and food for the growing plants. You'll have greater yields and healthier plants in subsequent years if they develop strong roots the first year.

2nd Season Asparagus Tips

In their second season, you can begin to harvest your asparagus spears but only for a short time. Cut for about 2 weeks. After that, again allow the plant to grow without harvesting so the plants can continue to develop strong roots and crowns.

3rd Season Asparagus Tips

The 3rd season you can harvest the spears for a little longer, up to four weeks. After four weeks stop harvesting and allow the spears to develop into fronds. The following year you should be able to harvest for the entire season.

How To Harvest Asparagus?

Harvest asparagus when the spears are 4-10 inches long. One of the easiest ways to harvest is to simply snap the spear off at its base. Harvest every other day to prevent the spears from becoming fibrous and tough.

Post Harvest Asparagus Tips

After harvest, be sure to maintain good growing conditions. Keep the bed weed free and well watered. Allow the ferns to grow throughout the entire season and remove only after they naturally die back. The ferns help nourish the crowns which should increase in size each year.

How Much Do Asparagus Plants Yield?

A well-tended planting yields 8 to 10 lbs. or more per 100 square foot of bed, or 24 to 30 pounds per 100’ row.

How Long Does Asparagus Produce?

Asparagus will last 15 to 25 years without replanting if it is well cared for and the climate is suitable. It does not do well if summers are extremely hot and long, and winters are mild.

Asparagus Growing Tips

Your asparagus crown will ship in early spring based on your zip code. At shipping time, your plants will just be emerging from dormancy. Plant them immediately, ideally within 48 hours of receiving them, to avoid any plant injury.

How Often Should You Water Asparagus?

Be sure to water your plants regularly their first season to help get roots established.

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