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Growing Asparagus

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                P P P  

(Best months for growing Asparagus in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Plant crowns

  • Easy to grow. Plant as crowns. Best planted at soil temperatures between 61°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 8 - 16 inches apart
  • Harvest in 2-3 years. Plant 'crowns' to harvest earlier .
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Parsley, Basil, Nasturtiums, Lettuce
  • Avoid growing close to: Garlic, Onions, and root vegetables
  • Seedlings (approx 6cm/3in)

Plant crowns (roots) 20-40cm apart and a few cm (1 inch) deep in well manured soil. The asparagus shoots grow in spring. Harvest the shoots which are bigger than 1-2cm/half-inch in diameter. Leave the rest to grow into the leafy ferns (1.5m/5-6ft tall) which will feed the crowns to give a crop next year. In autumn the ferns will be covered in bright red poisonous berries. Leave the ferns to die down in autumn, then trim off the dead stalks and pile on plenty of rotted manure/compost to give the roots plenty of food to produce new stems in spring.

Harvest by cutting off the stalk, close to the ground. From the third year you can get an additional crop by letting the first lot of ferns grow, then bending down the stalks to break them. A second crop of shoots will grow and can be harvested. Leave subsequent shoots to grow on to ferns. Asparagus does not like continuously wet and warm soil. It grows better where there is a cool or frosty season.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Asparagus

Steaming is traditional, then coating with melted butter or hollandaise sauce.
Alternatively break in short lengths, and cook quickly in hot oil in a wok and sprinkle with soy sauce or balsamic vinegar.

NOTE: The asparagus berries are poisonous. Only the young shoots are edible.

Your comments and tips

16 Apr 19, John (Australia - temperate climate)
When we planted crowns about 4 years ago, most seemed to be male. But each year, more and more of the plants started bearing the red berries, indicating female. This year, they are almost ALL carrying red berries. Any thoughts?
15 Apr 19, Lynne Harriman (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
hi do you recommend pulling out the flowering female aspauagus plants as i've read they do not produce sprouts well. thanks
05 Apr 19, Maria (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
When is the best time to sow Asparagus seeds please? Information here instructions crowns with season. Thank you
25 Mar 19, Sally (Australia - temperate climate)
My asparagus plants were planted as crowns last winter and have flourished as great big ferny bushes all summer. I'm a bit puzzled as to why they are still pushing up big fat shoots in early autumn! I don't want to cut them because they are less than a year old, but shouldn't they be going to sleep by now?
15 Mar 19, Loulou (Australia - temperate climate)
What’s a good position for them in terms of sun? I’m in Melbourne.
18 Mar 19, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
Full sun probably in temperate zone.
20 Feb 19, Jeanette Cobb (USA - Zone 7b climate)
Have dug up a dozen thriving Asparagus plants. Needed to move out of existing bed. Shall the dirt around roots be washed off or left undisturbed? Old heirloom type so need to save successfully. Only a few Spring shoots emerging right now. Thank for your help. Zone B
20 Feb 19, Elize Mans (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
Ek soek inligting hoe om Aspersies te plant.Waar kry n mens die plantjies te koop.In watter klimaat kan die aspersies geplant word.En hoe word dit ge oes.Kry n mens boeke wat jy kan koop.En ek soek ook inligting hoe om Mushrooms tuis te kweek.Die maklikste manier . I'm looking for information on how to plant asparagus. Where to buy these plants. In what climate can the asparagus be planted. And how is it harvested? Get books that you can buy. Growing mushrooms at home. The easiest way.
07 Feb 19, Lucia nunes (USA - Zone 10a climate)
Can I grow asparagus in zone 10 .
01 Feb 19, Eric van der linde (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Where can I buy 2 year old asparagus crowns. l live in Meyerton area.
Showing 1 - 10 of 327 comments

It's only the end of July and my asparagus is already sprouting. Should I pick it or leave it alone? It's in it's third year and I haven't picked any for the last two spring/summers

- Valerie

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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