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Growing Asparagus

(Aspargus officianalis)

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

(Best months for planting Asparagus in Australia - temperate regions)

P = Plant direct in garden where they are to grow.

August: frost tender

  • 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 16°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 20 - 40 cm 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

26 Jan 15, bruce wheeler (Australia - temperate climate)
27 Oct 14, Genevieve (Australia - temperate climate)
Bought a punnet of purple asparagus "ferns" from Bunnings garden centre. About dozen ferns in punnet. Would appreciate some tips on how deep to plant and should I cover every few weeks with soil? Intending to grow in a raised bed measuring 90cm x 90cm x 40cm.
02 Oct 14, Victor Jeva (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Can I grow cucumber In the same bed with asparagus? Many thanks for your feedback......
30 Sep 14, ray johnson (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted Some packaged root stock 6" deep in August. I now have a 2" spear showing through. For the first year should i just let them grow and the die back in winter? Should i move my leeks to another bed. I am planning on using this bed for more rhubarb and more asparagus if this first batch survives. regs ray
31 Aug 14, lisa (Australia - temperate climate)
Where can my friend in Melbourne buy some asparagus crowns? Thanks! Lisa
06 Sep 14, stapo (Australia - temperate climate)
type "the plant shop" into your search engine i orderd their 4 three year old crowns and there was 7 in the parcel i had by the weekend
28 May 14, KIM TAYLOR (Australia - temperate climate)
i have planned my asparagus and it is 3 years old i have the ferns i have pick 1 spear today for the first time i have never cut the ferns off am i suppose to i think i need some help please. I have a big veggie garden and want to grow more.
31 May 14, Stewart (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Kim, you need to cut to old ferny growth every year once it starts to die off.
21 May 14, Helen (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I cut the ferny tops off my 2 year old crowns a few weeks ago and covered with lucerne hay. The weather has been so warm that they are sending up spears again. Should I cut these off or let them grow up to further feed the crowns. Am hoping for first good crop this spring.
31 May 14, Stewart (Australia - temperate climate)
The weather sure is warm Helen. I'd be inclined to cut your spars off and have some late season asparagus. With winter just around the corner the spears are unlikely to develops any further.
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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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