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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

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.
18 May 14, Sue (Australia - temperate climate)
I have had my asparagus crowns in for more than 2 years but they are only forming thin shoots. How can I encourage thicker shoots to grow?
31 May 14, (Australia - temperate climate)
Thin stems usually means the plants need feeding. Cover them with manure and compost over winter and come spring fertilise with some pelletised chicken manure. A good mulch of straw will help also.
13 Apr 14, Stephen Lenehan (Australia - temperate climate)
I have plenty of asparagus ferns and I have read items bout cutting back when they die of in autumn. They are still all green can I cut them back or should i wait till they die back????????????
02 Mar 14, pauline p (Australia - temperate climate)
In Newcastle NSW my 5ft asparagus ferns shade part of my Veg garden. Can I trim the tops a little? They never really brown off much - when is the earliest I can cut them down for winter??
16 Feb 14, Glen (Australia - temperate climate)
I will be planting asparagus crowns this year, but need real advice as to how many, when in full production, for 2 asparagus lovers. So far I have been told anything on the spectrum from 3 to 25! Any real knowledge would be greatly appreciated.
15 Feb 14, Debra Lewis (Australia - temperate climate)
Or join the Diggers Club ... that's where we got ours from!
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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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