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

17 Apr 21, Wendy Strathearn (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I will be digging up crowns from an elderly friend's garden. They have been growing, as in, multiplying, over the years and now too many in the bed. I'm guessing to lift them in late winter (subtropics), however, I am not sure. The lifted crowns will then be shared by other people, so, are there any good instructions for re planting the crowns, when etc, please? Thank you very much and also thank you for your monthly email for planting, I have told so many people about your list. Wendy Strathearn Gympie Permaculture
24 Apr 21, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Do it late August. Have your soil well prepared with compost and manures. Plant the crowns and water each week. A really good watering the first time or before you plant them.
19 Apr 21, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Dig up late winter - mid August, break into required pieces and plant into soil with plenty of compost in the soil, Mix in some Rooster Booster from Bunnings or something similar and water regularly - 2-3 times a week. You may not have a big harvest the first year or so, depends on the size of the crown you plant.
29 Mar 21, Pelin Taser (USA - Zone 5b climate)
What kind of asparagus We can grow in chicago? We are working on growing food and we would like to know what to grow.
30 Mar 21, (Australia - temperate climate)
Check around your area what varieties are grown - internet, nurseries, stores that sell seeds and bulbs.
09 Mar 21, Suzie Taylor (Australia - temperate climate)
It's perfect as a side dish for any meal. I grow my own so I was looking for new ideas and like yourself I highly recommend trying to grow your own (As a guide: https://www.gardenate.com/plant/Asparagus?zone=2 or https://gardenerland.com/edible/vegetables/growing-asparagus/ ). It does taste better than the shop bought plants.
10 Mar 21, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Mine are 5 years old and I put compost and rooster booster on mine in late August after trimming back old growth. I pick for about 10 weeks, let the ferns grow until mid Jan and cut back again. Compost and rooster booster again and pick for 4 weeks. Then let it go ferns again. Mainly have it on toast for breaky.
14 Mar 21, tolga (Australia - arid climate)
i was given a small Asparagus seedling and is now growing very healthy in a clay pot. how long before they start producing spears? and where is the best spot to grow these and soil type please
19 Mar 21, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Asparagus requires good friable free draining soil and full sun. Plant it out when it is 12-15
22 Mar 21, Anonymous (Australia - temperate climate)
12-15 (?)
Showing 1 - 10 of 454 comments

Can you grow asparagus in a bathtub and how many plants could you fit in? Many thanks.

- Wendy De Vries

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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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