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Growing Asparagus

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    S   T              

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

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

  • Easy to grow. Plant as crowns. 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 beside): Parsley, Basil, Nasturtiums, Lettuce
  • Avoid growing close to: Garlic, Onions, and root vegetables
  • Seedlings (approx 6cm/3in)
    Seedlings (approx 6cm/3in)

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 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

04 May 08, zoran (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
how do i get a packet off asparagus seeds or a seedling
18 Jul 08, Dis (Australia - temperate climate)
I have planted three year old Asparagus crowns and they have just broken through. When can I use them?
20 Jul 08, Liz (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Dis, your asparagus spears will be ready to cut when they are about 20-25cm (8-10in) high. Cut with a sharp knife, don't pull, close to the ground. Only take a few this year and leave most of them to turn into leafy fronds (fern) as that will increase your plants for next year. Once planted, a well cared for asparagus bed should keep going for many years. Remember to feed well.
08 Aug 08, lou (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
how often do you feed asparagus and how do they like the soil.
10 Aug 08, Andrew (New Zealand - temperate climate)
how and where do i get a packets of asparagus seed or seedlings
11 Aug 08, Tash (Australia - temperate climate)
Andrew I have just recieved my asparagus crowns ordered from www.ausgardener.com.au, i'm sure they will ship to NZ. They are 2yr old crowns.
13 Aug 08, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Andrew, you could try Kings Seeds www.kingsseeds.co.nz/ (for seeds) or any good garden shop for asparagus crowns.
06 Sep 08, gareth (Australia - temperate climate)
u can buy them at any good hardware or gardening store u ussally dont buy the seed but the dead crown
08 Sep 08, marcus (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
how much water does growing asparagus need, and how often should they be watered?
24 Oct 08, gareth (Australia - temperate climate)
i have planted asparagus 3 months ago and they havent sprouted is this normal or not coz on the packet it said ready to harvest in 8 weeks
Showing 1 - 10 of 247 comments

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!

- Debbie Schwitzer

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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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