HOW TO GROW ASPARAGUS IN YOUR YARD
Asparagus takes some patience to grow. The asparagus plant may need 2-3 years to fully produce edible stalks. Thankfully, once it starts to produce, it will keep doing so for 20 some years. Asparagus plants are best grown in cool weather regions.
- Plant asparagus in the early spring, as soon as the soil can be worked.
- Asparagus is best planted from “crowns”, which are 1 year old plants. You can usually purchase asparagus crowns from your local nursery.
- Start by removing any weeds that may be around the soil. Dig the soil and mix in a 2-4 inch layer of compost, manure, or soil mix.
- Dig 6 inch wide trenches that are about 6-12 inches deep. Some expert gardeners believe that 6 inch deep trenches are best.
- Make sure the soil is well drained, and if not, plant your asparagus in raised beds.
- Create a mount and plant each crown 15-18 inches apart. Spread the roots over the ridge.
- Now cover the roots and crown with 2 inches of soil and water well.
- As the stems grow, cover the trenches with more soil, leaving about 2-3 inches of the stem exposed.
CARING FOR ASPARAGUS:
- Once the trench is filled with soil, add about 4-8 inches of mulch and water on a regular basis.
- Do not harvest the stems in the first year.
- Cut down dead foliage in late fall and dress with compost.
- During the asparagus' second year, mulch heavily, side dress in spring and early fall, and cut down any dead foliage in late fall.
- Asparagus will take about three years to grow, so be patient.
- Harvest after three seasons and only harvest the stems that are thicker than a pencil.
- Once ready to harvest, you only have a 2-3 week period to do so, so make sure you don't miss out!
- After harvest, allow ferns to grow which will replenish the nutrients for next season's crop.