- Exposure: Full sun
- When to plant: Any time in the early spring
- Recommended varieties: Hybrids such as Jersey Giant, Jersey Knight, and Jersey Supreme
- Pests and diseases to watch out for: Asparagus rust, aphids, asparagus beetle
How to Plant Asparagus
Best results come from planting . Dig a hole about six inches deep, place crowns in the bottom of the hole, and spread roots out evenly. Cover with two inches of soil. As the ferns grow, add two to three inches at a time until the hole is filled. Asparagus doesn’t like crowds, so keep the plants about 18 inches apart.
How to Care for Asparagus
Add an inch of compost to the hole when planting. Then feed again with balanced fertilizer or compost after you harvest. Keep watered, as asparagus likes lots of moisture. If you purchased a variety that sprouts seedlings the second year from the little red berries on the female plants, pull them up. Otherwise, they steal water and nutrients from the other plants.
Can you grow asparagus from a cutting?
No. Your best bet is to purchase (not seeds, which are cheaper but take forever to yield a crop!). All-male hybrid varieties are more productive and will not produce little seedlings that you’ll have to pull up next year.
How long does it take to grow asparagus?
Asparagus is a perennial, so it comes back every year on its own. A good patch can produce for 10 to 15 years! But patience is a virtue when it comes to asparagus. Although you might get a few spears the first season, leave them be. The plant needs those to photosynthesize (make food for itself). You can take a few spears the second season, a few more the third season. By the fourth year, you can harvest anything 3/8" in diameter.
How do you harvest asparagus?
Wait until the fourth season, so the plants become well-established in order to produce for years. Then check readiness every day because spears can go from tender to woody in a matter of days. Cut or snap off the stalk at ground level. Leave some spears to photosynthesize and build roots for next year’s crop.
Can you grow asparagus indoors?
Nope. In fact, it’s a waste of time and energy to try because it takes years to mature and you’ll likely never get growing conditions right. There are better ways to spend your time!
“Asparagus doesn’t like competition and will give up if you don’t keep your bed weeded. Pull those weeds when they’re small so they don’t get tangled in the root clusters,” says Ed Smith, author of and . “When possible, plant in the center of your garden or in raised beds, not at the edge of your plot where weeds and grasses can creep into your asparagus patch and choke it out.”