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Beginners Gardening

Asparagus Planting Tips



Asparagus is a perennial vegetable that can live for up to 30 years in a single planting bed. It thrives in well-draining soils that are rich in organic matter and receive full sun. Asparagus plants require a minimum of six to eight hours of daily sunlight for optimal growth. Choose an area in the garden that will receive this much exposure and avoid areas near trees or shrubs.

When planting asparagus, it’s best to prepare a new bed that is large enough for the number of asparagus crowns you intend to plant. It’s also wise to work in plenty of compost before you begin so that the newly-planted asparagus roots have all the nutrients they need to develop.

Select a Site for Asparagus

Asparagus grows best in sunny, well-draining soil that has a pH of 6.5 to 7.0 and is free from clay. Check your soil’s PH before you begin planting, or ask a local extension agent to do the testing for you.

Dig a hole or trench 12 inches deep and 18 inches wide in a location where you’d like to plant your asparagus crowns. Loosen the soil in the trench or hole and then work a mix of rotted manure, compost, leaf mold, or balanced fertilizer into the bottom of the trench.

Place the asparagus crowns in the trench, ensuring that they’re pointed down and that their stem base is covered by two inches of soil. Cover the crowns with another layer of soil and water thoroughly.

Keep the asparagus beds well-watered during hot spells, as their shallow roots are prone to drying out quickly. Overwatering can lead to issues like root rot, which may kill the plants.

Fertilize the beds in spring and fall, using a liquid fertilizer or a balanced soil-less fertilizer that won’t smother your asparagus crowns. Then mulch the beds with straw or other light material to smother any remaining weeds and prevent them from competing with your asparagus seedlings for nutrients.

Harvest Asparagus with Care

Once your asparagus plants are established, cut spears off when they reach 8 inches tall, snapping them at the soil line to prevent them from spreading any disease. This will encourage a more vigorous crop of asparagus, resulting in larger spears and a bigger harvest.

A good time to cut asparagus is in the spring, when the spears are beginning to open and produce foliage. During the growing season, asparagus can be harvested every other day, but don’t allow it to grow too tall or it may wilt before you harvest.

Asparagus plants need a lot of room to grow, so it’s important to plant them in raised beds or other beds with a minimum of 2 feet of depth. You can even grow asparagus in containers, but you’ll need to give the container a lot of space to accommodate the plant’s root system.

Before planting, make sure your asparagus crowns are properly soaked in water for at least an hour to help them become accustomed to the new soil environment. Afterward, plant the crowns about 2 to 3 inches deep in drills or trenches and spacing them about 18 inches apart. Spread about three inches of straw mulch over the seeds, to suppress weed competition and protect them as they grow.

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