Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

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

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
07 Nov 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Try Bunnings or a nursery.
03 Nov 17, (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
I am new to planting Asparagus seeds harvested from my garden. I live in the USA in Northeast (Rhode Island) I had a bumper crop of Aspargus this year and have harvested all the red Seeds: When and how should I plant these seeds?
19 Oct 17, Samantha (Australia - temperate climate)
We have just moved to a little old (ish) cottage in Maldon Victoria and to my delight have just discovered asparagus growing in the back yard. It is not in a "garden bed" as such, but obiously once was. Grass has grown as lawn all around it and spears are popping up left right and centre. How do I encourage and look after it at this late stage (mid October)?
19 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Lucky you!!! To an area about 1 & 1/2-2' around all the plants and between the plants give it a good watering. Next day pull all the weeds out. If you can, buy some horse or cow manure or compost and place about 3" thick over the top of it all. If the weeds are a real problem over the summer I would suggest during next winter when the asparagus ferns all die down, transplant the crowns into a nice prepared garden bed - then about August Sept each year put a 4-6" layer of aged manure or compost on them.
Showing 1 - 10 of 257 comments

They are probably past their use by date. Usually only have a good productive life of about 15 to 20 yrs. You may get more though. My suggestion cut one into a few pieces and plant them out. If you have the ground buy a few new crowns and plant them also. Next spring 2018 will tell, if the old one don't do well then you have new ones on the go.

- Mike

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Buy the app for iPhone/iPod, iPad or Android and support Gardenate

Planting reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on Gardenate. Subscribe to our free planting reminders email newsletter


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.