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 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 - 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

04 May 08, zoran (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
how do i get a packet off asparagus seeds or a seedling
18 Jul 08, Dis (Australia - temperate climate)
I have planted three year old Asparagus crowns and they have just broken through. When can I use them?
20 Jul 08, Liz (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Dis, your asparagus spears will be ready to cut when they are about 20-25cm (8-10in) high. Cut with a sharp knife, don't pull, close to the ground. Only take a few this year and leave most of them to turn into leafy fronds (fern) as that will increase your plants for next year. Once planted, a well cared for asparagus bed should keep going for many years. Remember to feed well.
08 Aug 08, lou (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
how often do you feed asparagus and how do they like the soil.
10 Aug 08, Andrew (New Zealand - temperate climate)
how and where do i get a packets of asparagus seed or seedlings
06 Feb 19, Teia (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi Andrew. I bought my first packet of 5 one year old Asparagus crowns from Mitre 10 in Hastings in 2 Sep 2016. I bought another packet of 5 crowns from The Warehouse in Hastings on 25 August 2017. I planted and fed them in accordance with the instructions on the packets and have had my first feed of Asparagus on 21 Sep 2018 (from the 2016 plants). My husband and 2 children then had their first feed on 15 Oct 2018. We harvested our asparagus until 21 Nov 2018 and then let them go to fern. We did not touch the 2017 plants at all but will be able to eat them in spring 2019 until early November and also be able to eat as much as we can from our 2016 plants with continued harvest through to the middle or end of December at least.
11 Aug 08, Tash (Australia - temperate climate)
Andrew I have just recieved my asparagus crowns ordered from, i'm sure they will ship to NZ. They are 2yr old crowns.
03 Jun 18, David Ellis (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Where can I buy some advanced crowns in the Sunshine Coast Qld
13 Aug 08, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Andrew, you could try Kings Seeds (for seeds) or any good garden shop for asparagus crowns.
06 Sep 08, gareth (Australia - temperate climate)
u can buy them at any good hardware or gardening store u ussally dont buy the seed but the dead crown
Showing 1 - 10 of 566 comments

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