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

04 May 24, Jimmy O (USA - Zone 7b climate)
Can I plant my crowns in Early May or do I need to wait until the fall
19 May 24, Melinda (USA - Zone 8a climate)
If you take care to water and watch for pests like fire ants etc... You could actually put crowns in anytime in months that have workable soil in your proposed asparagus beds... they take a long time to harvest when you first put them in so I suggest getting them in ASAP if you have some waiting. They do quite well here in part shade (Pitt County, NC) and they are VERY forgiving and productive. We have the purple asparagus and it puts out shoots ongoing from early spring and sporadically though hot summer... mostly goes to fern mode in hot weather but still will make occasional shoots out of the norm. As long as you fan out the roots as much as possible and plant them properly they should be fine.
11 May 24, (USA - Zone 7b climate)
The start of spring.
13 Mar 24, Peg (USA - Zone 10a climate)
Can I still plant crowns in March? What varieties are suggested for my area? Florida zoom 10. Can I plant them in the ground or would a grow bag be better?
02 Mar 24, Nancy (USA - Zone 9b climate)
I planted crowns last year in a raised bed. As of today, March 2nd, I have a lot of spears and ferns that are 3-4 feet high. Do I continue to let them grow or cut it all down at the soil level? Can’t seem to find the right answer.
25 Mar 24, Jill C. (USA - Zone 8b climate)
You must be south of me. I'm in Bastrop. My "ferns" (not sure what to call those) are over 5 feet tall now! I'm going to let them grow now until they die out when it freezes. I got one spear the first year!
25 Feb 24, Sherry L (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Zone 8b, Central Georgia. Since we have pretty hot, scorching summers, would it be better to plant asparagus where it doesn't get full afternoon sun? Just afraid it couldn't take the heat.
15 Feb 24, John spence (USA - Zone 7a climate)
When and how is the best time to plant asparagus seed in zone 7a
19 Feb 24, (USA - Zone 9a climate)
Best time to plant crowns is February and March or November and December
11 Jan 24, James Bushdid (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Growing instruction in zone 9B, Ormond Beach, Florida.
Showing 1 - 10 of 81 comments

When do you cut the plants back ? They do not die in my garden. I need to know when to cut them down. Thanks. Sarah

- Sarah Hardin

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.