How to Grow Asparagus at Home!
Asparagus is one of my very favorite things to eat! I love it raw, roasted, or grilled, and I can’t imagine there is a way I wouldn’t like it. It’s easy to grow asparagus.
I hated asparagus as a kid because we ate canned. Bleck! Eaten raw, it tastes sort of like fresh peas straight from the garden. When it’s roasted or grilled until it’s browned and lovely, it tastes so amazing. I can’t even describe it. Browning a vegetable carmelizes the sugars in it making it rich and sweet tasting. It’s so good!
How to Grow Asparagus at Home!
Asparagus is planted in Spring and grows well in most zones up to zone 8b. It may be too warm to grow it there. To check out what your USDA zone is, click here. You will need to know your zone in order to find planting times for what you are growing. Check the instructions on your seeds or crowns to know exactly when to plant your asparagus.
Asparagus is a perennial which means you plant it once and it grows year after year. My mom talks about harvesting asparagus from a field near her farm that was planted after the land run in Oklahoma, so it’s over 100 years old and still producing! WOW! Talk about a return on your investment!
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How to plant asparagus from seed
We are trying to grow as many perennials as possible at Little Sprouts because they are less work and less money we will have to expand in future years, so trying to grow asparagus was a natural choice for us. The first year we planted seeds which take 3 years to produce asparagus you can eat.
How to plant asparagus from crowns
The second year we planted crowns, which can be eaten in just two. We made a big mistake planting them upside down, but after a couple of months of nothing happening, we turned them over, and guess what?
They actually did not die, we are eating asparagus off of them this year! This is our fourth year of gardening, so we are getting asparagus from both beds this year and it’s so wonderful! It’s amazing that we can grow asparagus! You can too!
Several of the kids like it raw, and most of them like it cooked. If you want to grow some for yourself, follow a few simple steps and you are on your way to deliciousness.
How to grow asparagus crowns
Asparagus does not like to compete with other plants, so plant your bed with just asparagus and nothing else. Keep it well weeded as well as it does not want the competition of grass or other weeds either. It is not fussy and does not require a lot of fertilizer or anything else. Just make sure it gets an inch of water a week just like most of your other garden plants, you will be thrilled with your results.
My Little Spouts and I are not exactly a group of green thumbs yet, we make a lot of mistakes and have a lot of failure, but asparagus has been a huge success for us. Even if you think you are not good at growing things, give asparagus a try, I bet you’ll be surprised at how good you are at it.
Plant your crowns or seeds about 1 1/2 feet apart. Make sure if you use crowns, that you put the fat roots down. The crowns we planted upside down had little hairs on the top and fat roots on the bottom, we thought the little hairs were the roots. Asparagus roots are about as big around as a pencil almost. They go down. Live and learn, or listen to what we did. Silly us.
When planting them, make a long row about 8 inches deep and hill the soil up in the center. The crowns are kind of bowl-shaped. Place the bowl of roots on top of the mound in your soil and then fill in around the tops. Your crowns will be completely under the ground when you are finished planting. If you plant seeds, you just place them in the ground about 2 inches deep and follow the rest of the steps mentioned here for crowns.
Once you have them planted, water them in well and mulch them well to keep them moist. Then get ready to wait. When the asparagus comes up, it grows straight up out of the crown. You can harvest any spears larger in diameter than a drinking straw or pencil. To harvest them, just break or cut them off at the ground.
If they are smaller than a straw, leave them. The plant needs some ferns in order to store up energy to make asparagus the following year. Once you leave the spear, it will bloom into a beautiful fern and look gorgeous in your garden all summer. The ferns die off in the winter.
After they are completely brown, you can trim them down for the next year, they have gotten all the energy out of them they can. The following spring, you will start to get spears again and you can watch for any that are big enough to harvest. Then the cycle starts all over again, take the ones that are big enough, leave the skinny ones for the plant.
Asparagus is super fun because it is ready to harvest before most of your other crops are ready. Getting to harvest something in April gets your garden juices flowing. It’s so refreshing as you long for the tastes of summer!
How to grow:
More information on how to build raised beds, build a trellis for your plants, and basic gardening information you need is available here in these beginning gardening videos. Click here for more information. You can even download a tour of what types of beds we have in our preschool gardens for free.
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