Growing Asparagus

Category Vegetables
Asparagus is a great addition to your garden and it goes perfect with all kinds of dishes. Asparagus is quick to cook and can be pickled or stored in many other ways. This is a page to growing asparagus.


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Botanical Name:

Asparagus officinalis


Asparagus are perennial vegetables with feathery foliage and edible spears that grown up to 3 feet tall. They are easy to grown and maintain after the first year.


zones 2-9

Planting Time:

fall (mild winter areas) and spring (cooler zones)


sun at least half the day


rich, sandy or loamy, well-drained soil


Start beds with 20 to 40 one year-old crowns. Plant in trenches 12-18 inches deep and 12 inches wide. Build mounds with compost on trench bottoms at 1 1/2 to 2 foot intervals. Set crowns on top of mounds, draping roots down the sides. Refill trenches so that crowns are at least 4 inches below the soil's surface and the final level of the soil is slightly higher than the rest of the garden. Plant asparagus near other perennial plants to avoid accidentally digging them up.


Water weekly for the first two seasons of growth during dry weather so soil stays evenly moist (not wet).


Keep beds weed free. Cut fronds to ground level after they die back and dispose of old foliage. Mulch plants heavily in northern climates over winter. Add fertilizer immediately after planting and compost in the fall each year.

Harvesting and Storage:

Harvest every 3 days in the spring when spears are 6 to 8 inches tall and tips are firm and tight. Pick only for two weeks during the first season, extending the harvest a bit each year until reaching about 8 weeks. Consume spears immediately.

Diseases and Pests:

Look for cultivars that are resistant to Fusarium wilt and rust.

Tips to Success:

New hybrid cultivar produce mostly male plants which give greater yields than female plants. Asparagus can be started from seed (indoors or outdoors) but will not yield spears for harvest for at least two years. Planting crowns at different depths will extend the harvest period.
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April 8, 2009

If you planted asparagus this year, you would normally have to wait 3 years before you could harvest it, but there is a way that you can plant and harvest the same season. Instead of planting the asparagus the usual 12 inch deep, try planting it with the crowns 5 or 6 inches deep. I'm gonna give it a try.



By Joy from Fairview Heights, IL

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 3, 2011

Why does asparagus come up right at first in hard tiny spindles and fern out without making any eatable sprouts? Does it harm the asparagus to cut down the fern at any time, especially the hard stems before mentioned? What is the difference in male and female plants? Why do some say to pull out the female plants? Can asparagus be too thickly planted?

By Linda


July 26, 20110 found this helpful

How thickly did you plant it, and how deep? Also, how long ago? Ideally, it should not be harvested for the first 2 years after planting. (Wait until its 3rd growing season.) It should be planted at least a foot deep, deeper if possible. Roots should not be planted any closer together than about a foot. Sometimes you will get plants closer together because the plant has seeded and you get shallow plants among the "good" ones. You can easily pull these, and they will be spindly at first, and easy to spot. A good mulch will help minimize this.


You can harvest from mature plants from the time they come up in the spring until about the first day of summer, at least in the NE US. (The take-away here is that it should not be harvested all season--it needs time to feed the roots. Around here, we harvest around 2 months.) At the end of the season, once all the ferny tops have turned brown, you can cut them off at ground level. The reason some say to remove the female plants (that bear the seeds) is so you don't get self-seeding; but we have never found this to be a problem. When you harvest, cut or break the spears at ground level.

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May 12, 2014

How can I get asparagus to grow from root plantings? I plant them, according to instructions, but to no avail. I look in the dirt a year later and I find nothing there. I have asparagus growing at the other end of the garden, but I would like to expand.


By Bob

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April 30, 2013

This is a page about extending your asparagus harvest. With a few simple strategies you can stagger and extend the length of your asparagus harvest.

Asparagus Harvest

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June 2, 2016

This page is about harvesting asparagus. Knowing when its best to cut your asparagus takes some experience.

Asparagus spears in basket against a dirt background

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