Growing Asparagus

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) 20-40cm 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

08 Dec 21, KrC (USA - Zone 10b climate)
Hello. I planted a bed of asparagus last year and they grew beautifully. I did not harvest any stalks and the bed is full of ferns. I live in Los Angeles, where the weather has stayed quite temperate, even though it is now December, The ferns are still green. I'm concerned they may not die back fully in our climate. Can I cut the ferns down before they brown without harming the plant?
24 Nov 21, pete Basabe (USA - Zone 12b climate)
Hi, Something is eating my asparagus below the soil line. The new shoots are being hallowed out like small caverns below the soil line. This quickly weakens the shoot and then it dries up and dies. The only insects I can find are small (1/4 in) round black beetle like insects that live in the dirt around the new stalks. The full grown stalks do not seem to be affected by these little guys. Any ideas? Thanks, Pete
07 Nov 21, Pam (USA - Zone 10a climate)
I have purple asparagus, about a 7 year old bed. I read to only harvest spears that are larger than a pencil, but if I do that the smaller ones turn into "bushes" and hide the larger spears. Is this the correct way to harvest and grow? Question 2: I read to only harvest them for a certain number of weeks and then when they start getting pencil thin, to stop harvesting. but this seems like such a short harvest season, and the plants still want to produce. It is as if my asparagus bed is bushy more than it is in the productive mode. Is this correct? Can I continue to harvest longer? Question 3: Can I plant the poisonous red balls and they will grow into new plants? I thought my old plants would reproduce, but my bed seems to be about the same annually. I just don't feel like a confident grower, and the sources I read don't seem to provide information specific enough for my needs. thank you
10 Nov 21, Anonymous (USA - Zone 5a climate)
Asparagus needs two things.1. It needs some ferns left at the end of growing season to feed and build the nutrient storage in the crown for the next season. 2. They also need fertiliser in the growing season. Here is what I do. I cut the ferns off end of winter, give a good watering, a good fertilising, then 6
14 Nov 20, cheri (USA - Zone 7b climate)
How much sun do asparagus plants need? I live in zone 7.
16 Nov 20, Anonymous (USA - Zone 5a climate)
Can handle full sun but will grow in situation where sun in morning and shade in arvo. Google and read up about it.
08 Nov 20, Jean (USA - Zone 9b climate)
I live in Nipomo ca 9 b why can’t s as I grow asparagus from crowns?
09 Nov 20, (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Sounds like you live in arid desert country. If so it might not grow in those conditions. If you have better conditions than desert you could try. Google about growing it.
10 Oct 20, Ginger (USA - Zone 9a climate)
I just received 6 asparagus roots, with 4” growth on top. Can I plant them in my enclosed garden area or should I keep them near a window, indoors? It is still warm to hot, in my zone 9 area, of Southern California.
12 Oct 20, (USA - Zone 9a climate)
I assume you mean 6 crowns, a bulb with roots coming from it, looks like a spider. Plant them out but pay attention to watering.
Showing 1 - 10 of 40 comments

True Female have berries, but some new female do not have berries. Male are thumb size, most female are little finger or #2 pencil size like Mary Reed.

- Joe Legrand

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