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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

05 Feb 20, Frank A. Davis (USA - Zone 9a climate)
I live just North of Houston, Texas (20 miles) and I wanted to know if there was any way that Asparagus can be grown here. If so, what is there name or names?
06 Feb 20, anon (Australia - arid climate)
Work out your climate zone from the blue tab above. Then check asparagus and look in the calendar to see what month you can plant or google it..
03 Feb 20, ASHWANI BHATNAGAR (Canada - Zone 8a Mild Temperate climate)
Hi, I live in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I want to start growing Asparagus in my very small backyard to start with. I am looking for someone who can guide me. I am ready to pay consulting fees. Please advise. Best Regards, Ash
06 Feb 20, anonymous (Australia - arid climate)
Work out your climate zone from the blue tab above and then check to see if you can plant asparagus in the calendar table at the top.
30 Dec 19, Katharine Duke (Australia - temperate climate)
I live in Gembrook Victoria. I have asparagus ferns about 3 inches tall, can I plant them now? Can I plant them near garlic? Thanks in advance.
31 Dec 19, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Asparagus needs a bed of their own as the crown will grow 18-24
28 Sep 19, Maryanne house (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have just noticed that I have spears on my asparagus. They have been in the ground for 2 years. My query is to do with the ferns that are still there from last year. The ferns did not die down and I read somewhere to leave the ferns and that they would die of their own accord.But they did not so I guess this was incorrect. So... do I now cut off all the ferns as the spears are now appearing or do I reduce the number of ferns? In future do I cut off all the ferns when the spears stop appearing or at a specific time frame? ( say Jan Feb? ). Thanks in advance for your assistance.
30 Sep 19, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Are they two years old from seed or crowns?I believe the ferns die in the colder weather but not in sub-tropics /tropics. I'm sub tropic and they have not died in the last 3 years. I even stopped watering in early May this year and we have had a very dry time since then. I would cut the old ones out. Pick some of the new spears and eat. Depending on how many spears you are getting probably stop picking in about 4 weeks and let grow for next year. You have to let the crown grow in the first 2-3 years. In future from about Nov or so let the spears go to ferns-even while you are picking leave a couple go to ferns. Leave the ferns there until mid August-the ferns are growing the crown and storing nutrient in the crown for spears next year. Then cut them off and put 50-75mm of compost or aged manure on them and start watering them. And by compost I mean fully broken down organic matter or manure. Not mulch.
09 Dec 19, jenny mullins (Australia - temperate climate)
I was told never to trim the ferny bits as they harness strength for the crown & help develop bigger & better spears for the following season. Is this incorrect. I bought crowns from K-Mart over 15 years ago. Had them in a small pot. They grew, they 'died', they grew again & died again. I decided to transplant them into a large garbage bin, about 75cm deep. They grew & produced lovely tasting, about 3/4 cm thick spears, over the last two years. I've fed very randomly (haven't been well for long while) sometimes Dynamic Lifter, sometimes Seasol, sometimes Complete Fertilizer. I don't think I've even fed them once a year!!! I'm trying to show them some loving respect now, & so shocked at how they tolerated gross neglect & still gave me precious, delicious spears to just pick & eat...never made it to the kitchen!!
03 Sep 19, Kirstee (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Is it possible to grow asparagus in pots? I am currently renting so unable to plant in the ground.
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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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