When to Plant Asparagus in Illinois
To grow asparagus, you can either buy the “crowns” or the bulbs. While both types of plants require some time to get established, it is best to start your planting season as early as February. Asparagus is a bulb that needs a sunny spot, fertile soil, and excellent drainage. A well-aerated garden bed is ideal, but the soil should also be well-aerated. After you plant the asparagus bulbs, be sure to check the ground for weeds.
To start growing your asparagus from seed, you must purchase one or two-year-old crowns. These plants will grow much faster than seed-grown ones, but they will suffer from transplant shock and will not produce as quickly. To avoid transplant shock, purchase one-year-old crowns from a reputable nursery. The crowns should be healthy and disease-free, and should be planted immediately. For best spear size and flavor, plant asparagus crowns 5 feet apart.
You can plant asparagus crowns every year in early spring. Then, you need to dig a deep trench about 12 inches deep and space them about 18 inches apart. Before planting the crowns, mix a little rock phosphate with the soil to help promote strong root growth. You can add a slug trap to attract these pesky creatures. You can plant your asparagus crowns in succession or all at once. A few weeks later, you can harvest and eat your first asparagus.
To plant your asparagus crowns, you need to dig a hole and place the crowns in it. Once the crowns have sprouted, cover the crowns with about two inches of soil. You should make sure that you spread the soil evenly around them. Water the crowns deeply every week. You should fertilize them every two to three weeks to maintain good health and beautiful asparagus. It is important to remember that the first year of your plants does not produce the best spears, so remember to follow these growing tips.
Asparagus is one of the first crops to come up in spring, and the fern-like stalks are the first to develop. Once the stalks are ready to harvest, the plants will produce numerous spears that are a great source of vitamins and minerals. It takes about two to three years to reach full production, so the harvest should be plentiful and healthy. A good soil test is necessary before starting your asparagus planting. You may wish to hire a professional to test the soil in your garden and provide you with the information you need.
Asparagus crowns are best planted in a trench that is twelve to thirty inches deep and about six inches deep. The crowns should be spaced eight to 12 inches apart, with the tips slightly above the ground. Once the crowns are fully mature, they should be left to grow in the soil. Then, when fall arrives, cut them back to the ground. It should continue to grow over the following years. You can fertilize asparagus plants every two years.
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