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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)
    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

20 Jul 18, Tony (Australia - temperate climate)
Our asparagus spears are shooting out already in Gisborne is it normal this time of the year? Tony
05 Jun 18, Sharon Tomlinson (Australia - temperate climate)
I have asparagus roots that I have stored in sand for about 5 years. Do you think they would grow or do you think they would be dead?
07 Jun 18, Mike L (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
My guess is they are dead. Plant them in Sept and see what happens. If they didn't grow and die off each year then what has sustained them all this time.
04 Jun 18, Mark Hussey (Australia - arid climate)
Mindful that its a little early to cut back asparagus shoots, but when you do ,keep in mind that they are useful in getting rid of nematodes if you dig them through effected areas
04 May 18, (Australia - temperate climate)
wouldnt it be dangerous to grow asparagus in your garden with young children likely to eat the berries?
07 May 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
As an adult you could tell them NOT TO EAT THEM.
01 May 18, Cheryl (Australia - temperate climate)
I am wanting to relocate some Asparagus plants when is the best time please
04 May 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I want to relocate 3 of mine. I have read they don't like it and you might miss a season's crop. Also if a few years old they may be quite large as in 450-700mm deep. Best time would be in mid winter probably.
25 Apr 18, Jene (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Its my first time trying to grow asparagus as i love this vegetable and would like to know its sensitivity to wind and sun? I live in kzn
23 Apr 18, Tony (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi all, our asparagus ferns are still green.We're in Gisborne Vic.Should we wait till they turn completely brown or can we trim them off now.Will it make any difference to the crowns if cut them now while they're still green .Thanks Tony
Showing 1 - 10 of 287 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

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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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