Ever wanted to grow asparagus but didn’t know where to start? We’re going to teach you everything you need to know about how to grow asparagus in your backyard garden.
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How To Grow Asparagus
Preparing The Soil For Asparagus
Picking the site is one of the most important steps when it comes to how to grow asparagus. Asparagus will grow in the same place for the next 20 years, so it’s important to choose the right place. Asparagus will tolerate some shade, but to thrive they really should be grown in the sun. This will help to create more vigorous plants and prevent the roots from rotting.
To prepare your asparagus plot, clear the place where you plan to plant asparagus of any weeds and dig in plenty of well-rotted compost.
How To Grow Asparagus From Seeds
The next step when it comes to how to grow asparagus is deciding if you want to grow your asparagus from crowns or seeds. Growing asparagus from seeds will take longer, but in the end, you don’t run the risk of transplant shock and in the end, they often outperform the ones grown from crowns. This will also give you the ability to weed out the female plants and plant an all-male bed.
In the north start your asparagus seeds in Late February or early March in small pots or newspaper pots. Place seedlings in a greenhouse, warm window or use grow pads to provide consistent heat of 77F to your pots. When the seeds sprout lower the temperature to 60-70 degrees. Once your last frost date has passed transfer your shoots out to the garden. Plant the asparagus two to three inches deep in your prepared beds.
If you plan to grow an all-male bed transplant the shoots into a nursery bed and plant them two to three inches deep. Once the asparagus flower, use a magnifying glass to check the flowers. Males blossoms are large and stay longer than female plants. While female plants will have well developed three-lobed pistils. Weed out any of the female plants then the following spring transplant them to their permanent bed.
Growing Asparagus From Crowns
How to grow asparagus from crowns is a bit different than growing them from seeds. Start with one or two-year-old plants (starting with two-year-old plants is usually more expensive and you can run a higher risk of transplant shock), buy your crowns from a reputable nursery, and try to plant them immediately. If that isn’t possible wrap them in slightly damp sphagnum moss until you can plant them.
When you are ready to plant the asparagus dig trenches 12 inches wide and 6 inches deep (8 inches if your soil is really sandy) down the center of the repaired bed. Soak the asparagus crowns in compost tea for 20 minutes before planting. Place the crowns into the trench at 1 1/2-2 feet intervals and cover with two inches of soil. In two weeks top with 1-2 more inches of soil. Continue adding soil every once in a while over the top of the crown until the ground is slightly mounded above the surface level to allow for settling.
Tips For Growing Asparagus
Here are some of our best tips on how to plant asparagus:
- Mulch around the young asparagus shoots to help keep out weeds that will compete with the plants.
- Water regularly during the first two years after planting.
- Fertilize in the spring and fall by top dressing with a balanced fertilizer or side dressing with a liquid fertilizer like compost tea.
- Leave any foliage killed by winter weather in the bed along with any mulch to protect the plants from winter weather.
- Remove any fern-like foliage before new growth appears in the spring, the fern looking foliage can harbor pest eggs disease.
How To Harvest Asparagus
Don’t harvest any asparagus for the first 2 years they are placed in their permanent bed. The asparagus need to focus their energy on growing deep roots. During the third season, pick the asparagus spears over a 4-week period. The fourth-year spread the harvest out over 8 weeks. In early spring harvest spears every 3rd day or so. When the weather is warm you may have to pick asparagus twice a day to keep up with the production. Use a sharp knife to cut the spears, or snap them off with your fingers at or just below ground level.
Does Asparagus Grow Back After Cutting?
Yes! Asparagus will come back year after year if you follow the directions and don’t harvest them all. Asparagus is really easy to grow and pretty low maintenance.
Have a question about how to grow asparagus? Drop them in the comments below and we will try to answer them!
Before you go, check these out!
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