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Growing Asparagus

(Aspargus officianalis)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    S   T              

(Best months for planting Asparagus in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays. T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings.


  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden, or plant as crowns. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 61°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 8 - 16 inches apart
  • Harvest in 2-3 years. Plant 'crowns' to harvest earlier .
  • Compatible with (can grow in same bed): Parsley, Basil, Nasturtiums, Lettuce
  • Avoid growing in same bed: Garlic, Onions
  • Seedlings (approx 6cm/3in)

Seeds will take 2-3 years before maturing into crowns. Plant crowns (roots) 20-40cm apart and a few cm (1 inch) deep in well manured soil. The asparagus shoots grow in spring. Harvest the shoots which are bigger than 1-2cm/half-inch in diameter. Leave the rest to grow into the leafy ferns (1.5m/5-6ft tall) which will feed the crowns to give a crop next year. In autumn the ferns will be covered in bright red poisonous berries. Leave the ferns to die down in autumn, then trim off the dead stalks and pile on plenty of rotted manure/compost to give the roots plenty of food to produce new stems in spring.

Harvest by cutting off the stalk, close to the ground. From the second or third year you can get an additional crop by letting the first lot of ferns grow, then bending down the stalks to break them. A second crop of shoots will grow and can be harvested. Leave subsequent shoots to grow on to ferns. Asparagus does not like continuously wet and warm soil. It grows better where there is a cool or frosty season.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Asparagus

Steaming is traditional, then coating with melted butter or hollandaise sauce.
Alternatively break in short lengths, and cook quickly in hot oil in a wok and sprinkle with soy sauce or balsamic vinegar.

NOTE: The asparagus berries are poisonous. Only the young shoots are edible.


Your comments and tips

Display Newest first | Oldest first, Show comments for USA | for all countries
04 Jun 13, Ann Rein (USA - Zone 6a climate)
Have them come up yet? I remember mine were slow the second season. They're on year six or so now and I've been harvesting for a month now.
01 May 13, Sue (USA - Zone 5a climate)
Hi. Just wondering if my asparagus from last year shouldn't be up (visible) by now... It grew successfully last year from seed, (had 2 foot ferns) and even one or two edible stalks..(First year) Expected them to be great this season, but...I'm worried as there is no sign of them... Hope they didn't die... How can I check? I'm in zone 5. Nova Scotia. Its been a cold spring up until this week. Do you think they are dead?
09 Oct 11, Ali Mofazali (USA - Zone 8b climate)
What is the best way to grow asparagus in Georgia USA?
15 Jan 14, Debbie Schwitzer (USA - Zone 7a climate)
I planted 3 yr old crowns that I bought online ( have done this in two homes in same county) and they have come up sparsely every year. They have spread slightly and most of the spears have gotten smaller in diameter. I believe I did not pick the best site for them so I am digging them up this month and replanting them next month in better area. Since they do grow consistently every year with little to no care where they are, I figure a better site would have them producing at least enough for one meal for 2 people!
20 Sep 10, Natalie (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Love to roast them in the oven, lightly tossed with olive oil and sprinkled with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.

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