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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 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 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

23 Apr 18, Tony (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi all, our asparagus ferns are still green.We're in Gisborne Vic.Should we wait till they turn completely brown or can we trim them off now.Will it make any difference to the crowns if cut them now while they're still green .Thanks Tony
24 Apr 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I'm no expert - I have been growing them for 3 yrs. The new spears shoot in early Spring. So do not trim them now. I made the mistake of cutting them in late July last year and I had a very poor crop. My advise is to water them until the end of this month and then no watering. Let the plant die off. Then in late August cut the dead stalks off and put on the composted manure or just some good compost.
16 Apr 18, Marie-louise Bissett (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I bought asparagus seeds, F2 UC172 I sowed the seeds in spring and have a lot of very fine feathery plants, they starting to make shoots that looks like spears, what do I do now? Will they mature, or do I have to cut the and spears and re plant them? I live on a farm in Grahamstown
08 Apr 18, Julie Fielder (Australia - temperate climate)
Where in Perth can I buy seedlings or plants to grow Asparagus please?
09 Apr 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Try the internet, ask around at nurseries or Bunnings.
10 Apr 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Crowns/plants don't usually become available until mid/late winter.
27 Mar 18, Kath Gilchrist (New Zealand - temperate climate)
When do you cut off the ferns and how low do you cut them?
06 Mar 18, MOOKHOANE MAEMA (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I would like to know how to grow asparagus, where to get the seedlings, when can I grow and at what temperature, lastly how long does it take to harvest and how? I live in Lesotho but the site could not list my country hence why South Africa since Lesotho is inside South Africa geographically like a kidney in a body. Thank you
02 Mar 18, Mack Rogan (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Where can I get asparagus crowns to plant ?
22 Feb 18, Theunis (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
Where can i get plant material
Showing 1 - 10 of 274 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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