Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

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)
    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

06 Mar 18, MOOKHOANE MAEMA (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I would like to know how to grow asparagus, where to get the seedlings, when can I grow and at what temperature, lastly how long does it take to harvest and how? I live in Lesotho but the site could not list my country hence why South Africa since Lesotho is inside South Africa geographically like a kidney in a body. Thank you
02 Mar 18, Mack Rogan (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Where can I get asparagus crowns to plant ?
22 Feb 18, Theunis (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
Where can i get plant material
27 Feb 18, Sheena (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
21 Feb 18, Sandy (Australia - temperate climate)
Just bought a property with what was told is asparagras. seems to be all fern its Febuary. From what i hv read in previous posts you let the fern dye down & fertilize but when does it come back to harvest ?
22 Feb 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Cut it back late winter and put compost/manure on it. Spears will start coming out in Sept. Pick spears until Nov and then let it go to fern again to let the plant build up for the following season.
20 Feb 18, Elona (USA - Zone 7b climate)
I recently learned that asparagus and strawberries make good friends. Learn something new everyday. Here we go!
08 Feb 18, Dizzy (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
First time growing asparagus, I'm situated in Malawi, Lilongwe. I found this article infomative as I'd no idea the berries were poisonous, I actually thought they were seed pods as they haven't turned red yet ! Any advice on growing in this part of the world would be a great help, thank you.
21 Jan 18, Graham (Australia - temperate climate)
I have just raised asparagus (Fat Bastard) from seed . I have two plants per 4 inch pot planted in November 2017 & seedlings 4-6inches high. Should I plant these out to permanent garden beds now or continue to raise them in pots till next season? Locality is Berwick Victoria.. Graham
23 Jan 18, Mike (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I live near Bundaberg Qld and it was a real struggle to grow from seed last year. Temp was 2-3 degree above normal. I had 6 survive out of about 30 in the garden so I would suggest you keep growing them in pots. Maybe put into bigger pots and push them along a bit with fert and water.
Showing 1 - 10 of 267 comments

On asparagus - I've just purchased one year old crowns (7 in total). What kind of crop could I expect next year? How many spears does each crown produce?

- Jo Logan

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

Buy the app for iPhone/iPod, iPad or Android and support GardenGrow

Planting reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on GardenGrow. Subscribe to our free 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.