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

29 Aug 20, Jenni Orr (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Want to order some crowns in Pukekohe. Where to order from?
01 Sep 20, Anonymous (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Google seed selling websites in NZ.
22 Aug 20, Chris McGeough (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Heads are just coming up but are being eaten by something very small that is killing each head off or leaving scars. Put some chook manure on a couple of months ago and wonder if its bugs in that? Any help would be great.
24 Aug 20, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
It might be slugs or snails, try using something to kill or deter them.
24 Aug 20, Anonymous (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Google it - bugs that eat asparagus. Probably have to go out at night to see them. Then look for a spray, organic or chemical. Maybe don't use chook manure, or compost it before putting it on. I don't put compost/manure on until mid-late August.
27 Jul 20, (New Zealand - temperate climate)
my asparagus plant is on its 3rd season since being transplanted...this winter the ferns appear to have died. there's 3ferns left and I've supported them. What I'm asking is it looks dead...any advice??
27 Jul 20, Anonymous (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Depends how much water you have put on over the last 2-3 months. The plant goes into dormancy in winter and the ferns die back later autumn/winter. Wait until late August and give it some fertiliser, put 100mm of compost on top and start watering it. It should start sending up spears after that. If not it might be dead. Google about growing asparagus.
25 May 20, Liz Timperley (New Zealand - temperate climate)
In Northland when is the best time to plant and where can you get the crowns from please?
27 May 20, Anonymous (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Go to New Zealand subtropical asparagus and the info is there when to plant. Bunnings generally have them in August to plant. Or internet seed selling website.
05 May 20, Leo (New Zealand - temperate climate)
The property we rent has 1 asparagus plant. Can I split it up and grow more?
Showing 1 - 10 of 32 comments

Google seed selling websites in NZ.

- Anonymous

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

Put GardenGrow in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join our 60,000+ gardeners who already use GardenGrow and subscribe to the free GardenGrow 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.