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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 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

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.
05 May 20, Leo (New Zealand - temperate climate)
The property we rent has 1 asparagus plant. Can I split it up and grow more?
06 May 20, M (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Yes you can. Type in
08 May 20, Anonymous (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Go to google and type in can you split asparagus crowns and replant.
23 Apr 20, Wendy De Vries (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Can you grow asparagus in a bathtub and how many plants could you fit in? Many thanks.
27 Apr 20, Anon (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I wouldn't do it. I think it has long roots that need more than a bath tub. About 2 plants if you do do it.
23 Apr 20, Robert Graham Dennis (Australia - temperate climate)
asparagus crowns where to get/buy from reputable source recomodations please Mary WASHINGTON PREFFERRED
24 Apr 20, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have 3 beautiful plants growing now, ready to sell, 8 mths old, Bundaberg Qld lol. Try Bunnings or check with a local nursery if they get them in. Asparagus are normally planted late winter or early spring. If buying from Bunnings ask when will they have them in. Cost about $8-9 a crown. Asparagus die back in winter and start shooting in spring. Go on the internet and read up about growing them.
28 Apr 20, robert Graham dennis (Australia - temperate climate)
thank you for reply very helpful
Showing 1 - 10 of 394 comments

Our asparagus is in its third year, grown from crowns, how many stalks should I leave each year to flower and when can you cut off the stalks that have been left

- Ainsley Armishaw

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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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