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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

Your comments and tips

22 Apr 17, Joy (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Can you tell the difference between male and female asparagus, and what is the difference?
23 Apr 17, Jack (USA - Zone 6b climate)
When the tops are allowed to develop into the feathery stage the female plants will have the berries which turn red when ripe.
29 Mar 17, Charlie (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have 2 asparagus plants, both 2 1/2 yrs old. They look like they will be ready for harvesting this spring. My question is: they are not yellowing or dying back during winter. So do I trim, or leave them. Everything I have read states cutting back when yellowing but they just stay green and keep growing. We have had an extraordinary amount of rain so they are happy and health and a little too tall.
12 Jun 17, Wendy (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I used to live near Brisbane and grew asparagus for years - they never died back in winter. I would try to pick the coldest time (July) and would cut all the ferns (a couple of inches from the ground) and then mulch with the ferns and then mushroom compost and then sugar cane mulch. I would then clear away the mulch gradually in the spring - this seemed to stagger the harvest, so I could enjoy asparagus over a longer period of time.
03 Apr 17, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
It is March the first month of Autumn - not winter. In Aug 2015 I put 1 year old crowns (size of 50c piece) in.. They grew all the time until I cut them in Aug 2016. approx. 9" diameter. I watered them every couple of days. Spears came out a week later. I only picked for about 3-4 weeks. My plants are now 2 1/2 year old also. I gave my ferns a big trim a few days ago. They were 6' high with new growth about 2-3' longer. I even eat some last week. I will stop watering them from about end of June I think. Give them a chance to die off.
30 Mar 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
In cooler climates asparagus normally yellows and dies back in the winter as you say. in the spring if the spears are left they will grow on to form the big ferny tops that we are familiar with. The plant uses these tops along with manure or compost to regenerate the roots in readiness for next springs crop. You could try bending these over so they are bruised and nearly broken off to force the plant into dormancy. If you cut them off the plant may just send up some more spindly spears.
19 Mar 17, Tony Bartlett (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Can I grow asparagus down in the cape, near Hermanus. Also where down in that area can I purchase crowns. many thanks
20 Mar 17, Ken (Australia - temperate climate)
Asparagus is a very hardy plant and you should have no difficulty growing it. Try googling 'Asparagus crowns in South Africa" and you will find a number of suppliers. Asparagus crowns are often available from nurseries, garden centres, hardware stores and online during the winter.
15 Mar 17, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
Keep the seeds in a cool dry place. I kept watering my asparagus all the way into July last year - spears kept coming up. When I did cut them in August, new spears appeared in week or so. I gave my 3 plants a big hair cut a week ago. I have 4 x 6' posts at the corners of the garden bed and cord running around the post to support the ferns. The ferns grow to 6-8' high. I only cut spears for 1 month last year (2 yr old plant). In hindsight I could have cut them for another 4-6 weeks. The crowns are now about 15" in diameter (2.5 yrs old now). The little seedlings I planted out in Sept are still growing - the shade cloth cover did the trick. The last 2.5 mths have seen the temp in the 32-34 degree area (3 d above average). Have grown quite well in this rather hot weather. Looking forward to August - November to having a great feed off them.
15 May 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
All my asparagus grew really well in April especially the new little plants (6) from seed planted Sept last year. Although I keep trimming the older plants back they just keep growing - the warm weather - 26 C here today and nights 14-16 C. Looks like another warm winter coming.
Showing 21 - 30 of 247 comments

I have just dug up old crowns to transplant, will these grow successfully in new fertilised beds or do I need to get new crowns? They are probably 30 yrs old but were still producing some shoots. Healthy long stems on the crowns.

- Margaret

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