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 16°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 20 - 40 cm 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
  • Asparagus growing
  • Baby Asparagus Seedlings (approx 6cm/3in) ((c) Liz Hutchinson)

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

24 Jun 20, Alice (Australia - temperate climate)
I have bought some asparagus crowns and grew them yesterday, should I take them out and leave them until August?
25 Jun 20, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You could take them out of the soil. If you leave in the soil don't water them much. They won't start sending up spears until August-Sept.
21 Jun 20, Maggie (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I have just purchased some asparagus crowns and read that it is best to wait until at least August/ September to plant them. Should I keep the crowns moist in the meantime or let them dry out?
22 Jun 20, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
When you bought them they should have been dry, leave them the way they are. They are in a dormancy state over winter. A tip, don't buy things until it is time to plant.
16 Jun 20, Deidre Girdler (Australia - temperate climate)
Have just purchased 4 crowns of asparagus They have very long roots Should I trim before planting?
19 Jun 20, Anonymous (Australia - temperate climate)
Trim back to about 200mm long. Read up how to plant them and don't plant until August..
25 May 20, Liz Timperley (New Zealand - temperate climate)
In Northland when is the best time to plant and where can you get the crowns from please?
27 May 20, Anonymous (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Go to New Zealand subtropical asparagus and the info is there when to plant. Bunnings generally have them in August to plant. Or internet seed selling website.
19 May 20, Helen (Australia - temperate climate)
I bedded my 4 year old crowns down for winter, ie, cut back fronds, fed, remulched - and now I have at least 2 new spears per head. Should I just let them go to frond and cut back in mid June ..... or can I harvest and eat them (preferred option of course .... but a healthy plant is a better one ). Thanks for any advice. Helen.
21 May 20, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have only grown it for 4 years. During the summer/autumn asparagus grows ferns and puts nutrient and energy back into the crown to be able to produce new shoots next spring. In winter the ferns dry off etc. I don't hand water mine from May onwards. In late August I trim off the ferns and apply a mulch/compost and water. New shoots appear in a week or so depending how cold it is. I think you have jumped the gun by about 3 mths. Eat the spears and cut back the watering.
Showing 1 - 10 of 402 comments

The property we rent has 1 asparagus plant. Can I split it up and grow more?

- Leo

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