“Growing your own food may be one of the most powerful steps you can take for the health of yourself, your family, and your planet.” ― Lindsay Oberst (foodrevolution.org)
Welcome to Day 6 of my Gardening 101 Series! I am excited to share with all of you how easy it is to plant and care for asparagus so you have beautiful & bountiful harvests for years to come.
Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables, and the fact it is a perennial that produces more and more each season is a huge bonus! It is a delicious and healthy vegetable that is relatively easy to grow, but it does require some special care when planting. To ensure optimal success follow these five easy steps.
If you missed the last post in this series, be sure to stop by my Podcast to listen to My Top 5 Favorite Perennial Fruits & Vegetables to Plant.
Here are my five easy steps for planting and caring for asparagus:
Location, Location, Location!
Choose the right location: Asparagus prefers well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.8. It also needs full sun, so choose a spot in your garden that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.
PRO TIP: Whether you grow your asparagus in a raised bed like me, or in a regular garden be sure to give each crown 2 square feet to grow. It will fill that space in just a few short years.
I will do a YouTube video this spring when I am planting my new asparagus crowns in my NEW raised bed garden!
Timing is everything!
Plant at the right time: Asparagus should be planted in the spring, as soon as the soil can be worked. This will give the plants enough time to establish themselves before the hot summer weather arrives.
- Dig a 12 inch deep trench allowing for 2 feet between each crown.
- Mound up a pile of soil every 2 feet about 6 inches high. It should resemble an upside down icecream cone.
- Take one asparagus crown and place it on top of the cone spreading the roots around. It should look an octopus.
- Bury the entire crown up to the base of the soil. It should be covered at by 6 inches of soil. Tamp down & water.
You will see shoots popping up within one to two weeks of planting.
What variety should you plant?
Use the right variety: There are two main types of asparagus: green and purple. Green asparagus is the most common and is the variety that is most commonly found in grocery stores. Purple asparagus is less common, but has a sweeter taste. Both varieties are easy to grow, so choose the one that you prefer or grow both!
PRO TIP: If you want to have white asparagus, cover the plants with a bucket to deprive the plant of sunlight. Yes, it’s that easy! Some people even cover the spears with dirt, but it is hard to get the dirt out of the tips.
Fertilize regularly: Asparagus is a heavy feeder and will need regular fertilization to grow well. Use a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, and apply it to the soil around the plants every four to six weeks during the growing season.
PRO TIP: I use fish emulsion to fertilize my veggies. Neptune’s Harvest is my preferred brand!
Time to feed you!
Harvest correctly: You can start harvesting asparagus the third year after planting. Once you see the asparagus growing, wait until the stalk is about 6-8 inches in height and cut it off. Do not harvest too much in the first year to allow the plant to grow and establish itself.
PRO TIP: Each year the parent crown produces more off shoots or stems. In the spring avoid harvesting the thinner ones as these are the newest stems. Choose the medium to large size stems and enjoy!
Asparagus is a delicious and healthy vegetable that is easy to grow, and following these tips will ensure that you get a great crop of asparagus every year.
I certainly hope you are encouraged to grow your own food. Even if you start with only two or three of these things, that’s a great start!
Don’t be dismayed if you don’t have a yard to garden in, container gardening is a great alternative.
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