If you are planting a garden this year then you are probably trying to figure out what to grow. One of our favorite family vegetables is Asparagus but unless you know how to grow Asparagus you are going to end up being sad that your growing Asparagus failed and that you wasted time. There are many important things to know about growing Asparagus, and this list will teach you all you need to know about being successful in growing Asparagus.
Basics to Growing Asparagus
Growing asparagus is one of those gardening hurdles that a lot of gardeners want to try, but are afraid the investment of time won’t result in a harvest. Asparagus needs a lot of time to grow, so when you plant it you need to leave the bed it is in empty for over a year. For this reason a lot of gardeners opt not to even try and use the beds to grow other vegetables. If you like asparagus though, and are not afraid to give it a try, you can actually harvest a huge amount of asparagus.
Use these insider’s tips to start growing your own asparagus from seed or crown today and reap the harvest next spring.
Choosing a Garden Bed for growing Asparagus
Asparagus needs full sun to grow, so you are going to have to dedicate a good garden bed to their dormancy. If garden space is limited, just dedicate the minimum amount of space you need to hold the number of crowns that you want to harvest next spring. The garden bed needs to be nutrient rich, so pack it with as much composted material as it can hold because you will not have another chance to add food to the bed once it has been planted.
Choosing Seed or Crown for growing Asparagus
Most first time gardeners choose to plant asparagus crowns over seed, but with seed you are able to find a wider variety of vegetable to choose from. If you have had a specific variety in the past and it comes in crowns, opt for those. Crowns are easier to plant, grow and will come in slightly faster than seed. If however, you want to try growing something very unique or like the taste of a specific type of asparagus, it may only be available to you in seed. Seed takes slightly longer and germination depends on the quality of the bed that you plant it in, so its a little more risky but well worth trying.
Prepping Your Asparagus Crowns and Seed for growing
To help with the success of the crowns and seeds that you have purchased you can prep them for the garden bed and growing season. Place crowns in a bucket of water to soak the night before they are to be planted. Seeds can be jumpstarted by placing them in between sheets of papers towels that have been soaked and kept moist for several days. You will need to place the paper towels and seeds in a dark spot so that they begin to germinate. Once you have noticed sprouting in the seeds they need to be planted in the garden.
Planting Your Asparagus
After prepping the crowns and seeds, plant your asparagus in the prepared bed and cover. Seedlings should be planted at least an inch deep with the tops of the seedling coming level with the soil. Crowns should be planted and entirely covered with soil. Water well and let them grow.
A Summer’s Growth
So, the hard part is letting your asparagus grow for a full season and not being able to enjoy anything that grows. Asparagus will begin to appear in the form of narrow spears just a few weeks after you have planted the crowns and seeds. These should be left alone in the garden and not picked. The spears need to pull in enough energy for next spring when they will come in with a fury. After the spears appear, the featherlike leaves that is so unique to asparagus will appear as well, these should be left to grow and die back in the fall too.
Harvesting Your Asparagus
In the spring, asparagus will return to the same garden bed, fast and in abundance. All you really have to do is wait around for the first spears to begin pushing through the ground. Once they have reach six to eight inches in length you can begin to harvest them, only cutting about six inches down from the tips. Leave the rest of the plant in the ground to continue growing and after the spears have grown, the leaves will appear once again to begin storing food energy for next years harvest.