Growing Asparagus

Aspargus officianalis : Asparagaceae / the asparagus family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec

(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
  • Asparagus growing
  • Baby Asparagus Seedlings (approx 6cm/3in) ((c) Liz Hutchinson)

Plant crowns (roots) 20 - 40 cm 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 - 2 cm/half-inch in diameter. Leave the rest to grow into the leafy ferns (1.5 m/5 - 6 ft 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

19 Sep 23, Chris Veenstra (Australia - temperate climate)
Have been away and have come home and asparagus is already up, do I cut if and start again or just harvest what comes up?
20 Sep 23, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You can cut all the shoots/fern off. Any that are just spears you can eat. Cut them off each day or two. Enjoy!!!!!
13 Jun 23, Janice (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I planted a few asparagus plants in a small raised bed. The bed now looks very full. What do I do for over crowding?
01 Aug 23, Garlic Breath (Australia - temperate climate)
Try putting some in a seperate bed
16 Jun 23, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Thin out weaker plants and provide adequate spacing between the remaining ones. You can also transplant or divide the crowns.
09 Jun 23, Sandra (Australia - temperate climate)
I bought a punnet of very fine spindly asparagus plants a few days ago from Bunnings not much information on how to plant should they be planted individually or should I leave them in a clump? Theres about 2 dozen measuring 3 to 6 inches in height and should they be planted in a separate piece of ground or tub?
10 Jun 23, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You could plant out but you would have to pay a lot of attention to them. Work out how many plants you want to grow - 6-8-10. Maybe plant two seedlings together and later (3-4mths) reduce to one plant. OR plant into pots and grow them to about ,5m and then plant in the ground. Plant in a separate part of the garden as you will have them for 20 years. The ferns grow to 1.2-1.5m high.
16 May 23, Marsha Kincaid (USA - Zone 7b climate)
Want to start my asparagus bed this Fall. When is best time? Are there different instructions than for Spring planting?
15 May 23, (Canada - Zone 2b Sub-Arctic climate)
I have a single shoot growing from 2 plants that are 12–14in tall already in middle of May. Should I cut these down now?
19 May 23, (Canada - Zone 2b Sub-Arctic climate)
Let them grow for the first 2-3 years.
Showing 1 - 10 of 540 comments

I planted Asparagus roots I’m in the 3rd season now and so far I have picked two batches. I tried seeds and they didn’t grow. You maybe able to buy the roots at a place where they sell plants. The roots are kept in a refrigerator.

- Lucy

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

Put Gardenate in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join 60,000+ gardeners who already use Gardenate and subscribe to the free Gardenate 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.