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 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

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?
12 May 23, don jinks (USA - Zone 4a climate)
starting a new garden at new house what month should I plant the asparagus in zone 4 since Ive missed the spring planting?
13 May 23, (USA - Zone 4a climate)
It says plant now. Try crowns if you can get them.
01 May 23, (USA - Zone 7b climate)
I’m in East Tennessee. Do I plant in sun or shade? I’m originally from Iowa and it would grown wild at the base of trees.
08 May 23, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Full sun.
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.
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....
20 Oct 22, Shelby Stone (USA - Zone 7b climate)
How do I start asparagus from seed in the fall? Do I sow directly into the ground or start indoors? Zone 7b Thank you!
Showing 1 - 10 of 65 comments

The crown will produce many spears. As it grows it produces more and more over the years. Plant 2' apart. Buy 1 or 2 year crowns.

- Anonymous

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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.
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