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How To Grow Asparagus

Posted Jun 05 2009 2:55pm

How To Grow Asparagus

Asparagus are grown in beds which stay down for many years.  Asparagus are usually grown from crowns.

A crown is the root system of a one-year-old asparagus plant that is grown from seed.   Buy healthy, disease-free crowns from a reputable crown grower.

Asparagus prefer a site which is:

  • sheltered
  • sunny
  • free draining

Asparagus plants live for about 15 years, so need a permanent site, which is not in the way.
Before planting:

  • remove weeds
  • dig in plenty of well rotted farm yard manure
  • either in the autumn or 3 weeks before planting in the spring

Plant in the spring in a trench
Prepare the trench:

  • only a day or two before planting
  • dig out the trench with a spade, so it is 20cm deep, & about 30cm wide (wide enough for the roots to be spread out)
  • then put a mound of soil all down the centre of the trench, about 10 cm high,  for the crowns to sit on
  • place some general fertiliser in the trench  (it does not matter if the crowns come into contact with it)

Plant the crowns, 30 cm apart, in the trench,  on top of the mound, and fan the roots out either side.  The pointed part  of the asparagus root should be facing upward.

80 - 90 cm between rows
After planting:

  • back fill the trench to the original soil level. Pat the soil down to get rid of the air pockets but do not compact the soil too much.
  • Water the newly planted bed.
asparagus-fern-green

asparagus-fern-green

Do not  harvest the asparagus spears in the first year after planting and allow asparagus fern to develop. Cut these to 5cm above the ground in autumn.

cutting-knife

cutting-knife

In the second year harvest the asparagus spears when they are 12cm long above ground.  Use a sharp knife, and cut the stem 7cms beneath the soil.

plump-spear-asparagus

plump-spear-asparagus

Asparagus are easy to cook and have great nutritional value.

White asparagus are grown in a different way, so that the light is excluded.

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