Growing Asparagus

Aspargus officianalis : Asparagaceae / the asparagus family

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

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

22 Sep 22, Atang Tlopo (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I want to know if I can get two years old Asparagus crowns.
26 Sep 22, (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Probably not - if so probably expensive. In Australia a 9 mth crown is about $10 - a 2 yr old probably $30 and you would need 3-6.
27 Aug 22, LYNETTE J HOULIHAN (Australia - tropical climate)
I bought and planted 4 (2 green, 2 purple) Bunnings asparagus seedlings in a very large trough/planter. I have very healthy looking plants (look like dill) about 45 cms high. Do I Just leave these or is there something I should do. Thanks.
02 Sep 22, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Just water and fertilise them. Will take 3 years before you start to produce a reasonable crop. Read up about growing them.
02 Sep 22, Veronica (Australia - temperate climate)
Leave them to grow. You can stake them if you prefer. Once they die off, trim off the dead bits. Definitely mark where they are, as they will probably disappear. Do not harvest for at least 2 years.
07 Sep 22, LYNETTE J HOULIHAN (Australia - arid climate)
Thanks.
08 Aug 22, Sheila (USA - Zone 6b climate)
One 6b - Bought crowns in late spring and they were misplaced.until now August. They are not dried out and I'd like to salvage whatever is possible. If I plant them now ANDif they grow, the season will be over and cold by October. Should I refrigerate the crowns and maybe wait til spring to plant or go ahead and put them out now? Also, would it be of benefit to use innoculant to stimulate them, individually pot them indoors under grow lights and gently transplant to an outside bed in spring? What makes sense?
25 Jul 22, Maura (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Thank you. I will wait until spring next year, even if fronds are browning. I have picked and eaten the emerging early spears. And I have covered the plot with heavy shade mesh on a frame, to avert any frost damage. This is the first time in 5 years that the spears have come up in July!
11 Jul 22, Maura (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Have just cut down old fronds. Noticed a few new asparagus spears coming up. It is still winter, and as we get frosts here in Ballarat, should I cover the crowns with some mesh do that they don’t get burned, or just accept the loss until spring flush?
12 Jul 22, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Pays to read the notes here. It does say they like cold and frosty weather. Don't cut fronds until end of August.
Showing 1 - 10 of 511 comments

Do it late August. Have your soil well prepared with compost and manures. Plant the crowns and water each week. A really good watering the first time or before you plant them.

- Anonymous

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