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How to Grow Asparagus

How to Grow Asparagus

Growing asparagus at home lets you enjoy fresh vegetables right from your garden. You can grow asparagus from seeds or crowns. This article takes you through all the points you need to consider while planting and growing asparagus.
Gardenerdy Staff
Asparagus, scientific name asparagus officinalis, is widely planted as a spring vegetable in almost all regions. Belonging to the lily family, it is related to other culinary herbs like onion and garlic. There are several health benefits of asparagus, which makes it a great choice for healthy eating. With feathery, bright green foliage, these plants also increase the ornamental value of your yard.

A native of marine habitat, asparagus can adapt in saline soil conditions where other common vegetables rarely grow. They are flowering perennials, so you do not have to replant them every year. Once planted, the same plants will grow luxuriantly for several years. At maturity they grow to a height of about 39-60 inches and bear yellowish-green, tubular flowers.

Growing Asparagus

Choose Location
Select a plantation site where your plants can grow undisturbed for 8-10 years. You can always uproot and replant them in the future, if required. Preferably, the selected site should receive full sunlight for healthy growth. Otherwise, you can also plant them in partially-shaded areas.

Soil Condition
As with any other plant in your vegetable garden, asparagus requires specific soil conditions. It adapts well in a near neutral soil pH, ideally between pH 6.5-7. In spring, a few weeks before plantation, prepare the soil by mixing organic compost to garden soil. Supplementation of compost is beneficial for providing nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus to newly planted asparagus.

Vegetable or Container Garden?
Container gardening this spring vegetable is not advisable because of the adventitious root system. If you do not have spare land for growing, then select a large container (about 12 feet across and 5 feet deep) to support the shallow, spreading root system.

Propagation Mode
These plants can be propagated by means of seeds and crowns. As the crowns that come with root systems get established to the soil easily, they are preferred for home growing. Growing from seeds takes longer for germination. So, it is best to buy healthy crowns with dormant tops.

Planting
Make a 6-7 inch deep hole in the soil. To this furrow, add small amounts of bone meal and wood ashes. Then, place an asparagus crown and cover it lightly with soil. Repeat this for the remaining plantlets, maintaining a space of about 12-16 inches between two plants. Moderately water the plants and wait for sprouting of shoots.

Irrigation and Fertilization
In order to promote healthy growth and development of asparagus shoots, provide 1-2 inches of water on a weekly basis. You can reduce the irrigation frequency once the plants get established to the soil. In that time, you can water them once a week. Add a dose of balanced fertilizer (preferably organic) in summer and a dose of organic mulch in fall.

Mulching and Weeding
In order to conserve moisture and reduce weed growth, mulching the garden bed is a useful approach. You can use dried leaves and chopped straw for the mulch layer. If required, follow the steps for conventional weed control, so that your asparagus plants do not compete with the weeds for nutrients.

A thumb rule to maintain healthy asparagus is to provide growth conditions that are nearly similar to that of their natural habitat. It will take around 2 years for harvesting edible asparagus spears from the time of planting crowns. If you are using seeds, you can start harvesting from the third year of planting.
Farmer Checking Soil Quality of Fertile Agricultural Farm Land
Plantation Farmland