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 Oct 20, SUSIE (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
20 Oct 20, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
There is an article here about growing it. Go to the blue climate zone tab at the top of page, work out your climate zone. Go to Asparagus - the Monthly calendar tells you when to plant.
11 Oct 20, Mike G (Canada - Zone 2b Sub-Arctic climate)
Hi I want to try growing asparagus I live at Wasaga Beach, Ontario Canada what is best method to produce healthy productive plants and our winters are very cold often hitting-40 degrees Celsius what is best method to winterize .
12 Oct 20, Mike G (Canada - Zone 6a Temperate Warm Summer climate)
Yikes, my error our climate is zone 6a. If someone could provide me with the Answers to the above questions I would be appreciative.
10 Oct 20, Ginger (USA - Zone 9a climate)
I just received 6 asparagus roots, with 4” growth on top. Can I plant them in my enclosed garden area or should I keep them near a window, indoors? It is still warm to hot, in my zone 9 area, of Southern California.
12 Oct 20, (USA - Zone 9a climate)
I assume you mean 6 crowns, a bulb with roots coming from it, looks like a spider. Plant them out but pay attention to watering.
29 Sep 20, Mai (Australia - temperate climate)
I've just purchased yesterday, 4 of the 2 yr crowns from Guilford Garden Centre in Perth. This is my first time growing asparagus so I'm very curious, have lots of questions to ask......Now one of them already has a pencil size spear, can i be greedy_cut that off and eat it? I've potted them in a 60cm deep big pot temporarily while I'm setting up a new raised bed for the asparagus, how tall should i have the raised bed? If i establish them well this year, can i be harvesting small amounts next year? Thanks guys!
20 Oct 20, Ingrid (Australia - temperate climate)
We purchased some 2year old crowns 4 years ago, it was so very tempting to cut some of the bigger spears. But our patience paid off. Now we are able to cut good sized spears every 2-3 days.
10 Oct 20, (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Mai, Here is an article you might find useful. It has some info on when to harvest
01 Oct 20, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Here are my suggestions. 1 Pick a spot that has sun all day. 2 Dig a bed that is about 4' x 4' or 1.2m x 1.2m for 4 plants or 1.2m x 1.8m for 6 plants, 2.4m x 1.2m for 8 plants - I would recommend 6-8 plants, about 300mm deep. 3 Put a border (sleepers) around it, either 200mm or 400mm high (2 sleepers). Garden sleepers (hardwood) where I live are 2.4m long x 200mm high x 50mm thick ($20). Fill it up with soil/composted manure/compost and dig it over a couple of times. Buy some rooster booster fertiliser from bunnings and apply about a 2l ice cream container to the soil and mix in. Go on the internet and google how to plant and grow and harvest it. 1st year pick a few of the thicker spears, 2nd year a few more and then 3rd yr you can pick all. In future years a tip, stop or cut back watering end of April, cut all the ferns off end of August, apply a 2l container of rooster booster and 6
Showing 1 - 10 of 431 comments

Cut back the watering from end of May. If you keep watering and have a warmish winter it keeps growing. The idea is for the plant to put a lot of energy etc back into the crown (from the ferns) mid summer to Autumn. That is what allows the plant to send up spears during Spring. This time of the year you should have the ferns cut off, put 100-150 (?) of compost on top and applied some fertiliser and be watering heaps. At the moment I'm picking 12-15 spears each third day from 4 crowns.

- Anonymous

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