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

29 Jul 20, Terri (Australia - temperate climate)
We live on the Edge of the Great Swamp, near Koo Wee Rup in Victoria, where most of Australia's asparagus is grown. The plants are in full sun constantly, and in peaty soil which is constantly wet. You should be fine.
30 Jul 20, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
If you live near a bigger town/city see if the company Nutrien Ag Solutions has a depot near you or call the Bundaberg depot. Ring them up and discuss it with them. Ask to talk to their agronomist. If you live near them take the leaves in to them. They are very helpful.
27 Jul 20, (New Zealand - temperate climate)
my asparagus plant is on its 3rd season since being transplanted...this winter the ferns appear to have died. there's 3ferns left and I've supported them. What I'm asking is it looks dead...any advice??
27 Jul 20, Anonymous (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Depends how much water you have put on over the last 2-3 months. The plant goes into dormancy in winter and the ferns die back later autumn/winter. Wait until late August and give it some fertiliser, put 100mm of compost on top and start watering it. It should start sending up spears after that. If not it might be dead. Google about growing asparagus.
25 Jul 20, Leanne (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi all! I have just received my asparagus crowns. I’m concerned now that the bed I’ve chosen won’t be right for them. It gets full afternoon sun in summer and can get quite hot with no shade? Advice would be greatly appreciated :)
27 Jul 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
My plants are in full sun most of the day 6am to 6pm in summer, Bundaberg Qld. We had a lot of hot weather the last summer, had no problems. Give them a good watering each week if no rain in summer.
24 Jul 20, SueEllen LePage (Australia - temperate climate)
I am currently growing white asparagus and the plants are in their 3rd year. It is winter and the asparagus is giving me some large spears that I have harvested and eaten. I am leaving the smaller spears. Now that the smaller spears are growing into ferns, should I continue to cut the larger spears or should I leave them all to grow? Also I always thought asparagus was a spring crop, why am I getting such a crop?
27 Jul 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Why a crop this time of year, probably because you have kept watering them. I did that establishing my asparagus the first two years. I'm sub-tropical and I stop watering mine the end of April, just the odd watering, not heavy, we have had very little rain since mid March. I actually cut my ferns yesterday, will not fertilise, compost and water until the end of August. I only eat my asparagus for about 5 weeks last year in the spring. But I cut my ferns off in Jan and had about 3-4 weeks of spears before letting them fern again. If the crown is biggish 9-12
06 Aug 20, Diane (Australia - tropical climate)
Hi i have just moved to Gladstone and i have always tried to grow Asparagus however i am never in a place long enough to eat any of it. i was told to wait until the ferns have gone yellow before you cut them down is this a fact or fiction. thanks
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?
Showing 1 - 10 of 411 comments

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?

- Maggie

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply

All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put GardenGrow in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join our 60,000+ gardeners who already use GardenGrow and subscribe to the free GardenGrow planting reminders email newsletter.

Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About GardenGrow | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.