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

18 Jan 23, Ericka Wojcik (USA - Zone 9a climate)
Any one have succes growing in 9b?
23 Jan 23, Anonymous (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Not suited to your climate by the look.
03 Jan 23, david (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
When is the best time to split crowns and replant?
05 Jan 23, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
In the winter while they are dormant.
02 Jan 23, John d braby (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I've bought purple asparagus in a pot. There are 6 woody stems in the pot. Should I try to disentangle the root systems and plant each stem separately ?
05 Dec 22, Jennifer (USA - Zone 8a climate)
I am in southeastern coastal North Carolina and planted asparagus last Feb. They did awesome, and still are doing great, so I don’t know when to cut them back so they start growing next year. They are very tall and full. (Some of them are starting to turn yellow but only a few.) We haven’t cut anything since they were planted. Any advice on when to cut them back is appreciated.
16 Dec 22, Mindi (USA - Zone 8a climate)
Wait until the ferns are fully brown and dormant to maximize the next year's harvest. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com › edible › vegetables › asparagus › cutting-asparagus-foliage-back-in-autumn.htm Tips On Cutting Back Asparagus Plants - Gardening Know How Once you have cut the asparagus back, add several inches (10 cm.) of mulch to your asparagus bed. This will help to smother the weeds in the bed and will help fertilize the bed for next year. Compost or well-rotted manure makes an excellent mulch for asparagus in autumn....
04 Nov 22, Joann Reifel (South Africa - Humid sub-tropical climate)
We actually live in Sierra Leone. We have had our plants for several years. We keep watering them through dry season (Mid Nov-April) so they won't die. Will they die if left alone or just hibernate? Also, should we trim fronds off at all or bend them over to reseed (they have multiplied on their own fairly well). And when should we add compost?
10 Nov 22, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I cut my ferns off late winter (August), apply compost and fertilise and water well. I pick all spears until the end of Oct (2 mths) then I let the ferns grow. I water each week. I do another picking in Feb for 3-4 weeks. Then I let grow again. I water until end of Autumn. Then let the ferns die back. Cut off end of winter. I cut my ferns off water really well. apply 100-150mm of compost and fertilise and water well. Spears usually start shooting straight away (early Sept). I live Sub-tropical Australia.
27 Oct 22, DIEDRE BRAY (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, should asparagus be staked. Every time my asparagus matures the stems always blow over.
Showing 1 - 10 of 525 comments

Thank you. I cut down the ferns because they were browning. Thought it was correct. That asparagus like cold and frosty weather, do the early emerging spears not get burnt by frost at -3C?

- Maura

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