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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

20 Feb 18, Elona (USA - Zone 7b climate)
I recently learned that asparagus and strawberries make good friends. Learn something new everyday. Here we go!
08 Feb 18, Dizzy (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
First time growing asparagus, I'm situated in Malawi, Lilongwe. I found this article infomative as I'd no idea the berries were poisonous, I actually thought they were seed pods as they haven't turned red yet ! Any advice on growing in this part of the world would be a great help, thank you.
21 Jan 18, Graham (Australia - temperate climate)
I have just raised asparagus (Fat Bastard) from seed . I have two plants per 4 inch pot planted in November 2017 & seedlings 4-6inches high. Should I plant these out to permanent garden beds now or continue to raise them in pots till next season? Locality is Berwick Victoria.. Graham
23 Jan 18, Mike (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I live near Bundaberg Qld and it was a real struggle to grow from seed last year. Temp was 2-3 degree above normal. I had 6 survive out of about 30 in the garden so I would suggest you keep growing them in pots. Maybe put into bigger pots and push them along a bit with fert and water.
23 Dec 17, Anton Burman (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi could you please advise how to prepare the beds for growing Asparagus and were to position them IE full sun, shade, part shade, we have a property in Williams W.A. Located 160 KL SSW of Perth, also any information on pest control would be great. Cheers Anton
28 Dec 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Good well drained soil is best - you could make a hill or raised the soil a bit. Dig up the soil add some compost and or manure and let it break down into the soil before planting. Your planting time is next spring. Look on the internet "how to grow asparagus". There probably is some pests but I haven't had any in 2 years. Each winter cut off the deadish ferns and put on about 4-6" of horse poo or compost.
14 Dec 17, john bennett (Australia - tropical climate)
can I grow asparagus in cooktown fnq temp 16-35c if so what Varity
15 Dec 17, Mike (Australia - tropical climate)
If you click the climate zone above and put in Tropics it says Plant May to July. Bunnings usually have crowns from Sept onwards. A hard job to grow from seed in hot weather. Read some of the comments here about growing them. There are only a couple of varieties really grown in Aust - any will do. Look up seed companies for varieties.
06 Nov 17, ken chee (Australia - temperate climate)
How could I would like to grow ASPARAGUS PURPLE BASTARD. Anyone around Sydney who could supply seedlings or crowns? Any help would be very much appreciated....
14 Nov 17, Naomi (Australia - temperate climate)
Try the diggers club online
Showing 1 - 10 of 261 comments

Can you tell the difference between male and female asparagus, and what is the difference?

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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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