Asparagus – Vegetable garden
Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin A and contains significant levels of calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin, thiamine and Vitamin C. Asparagus prefers a sunny location and fertile, well drained soils. Incorporate plenty of organic matter and phosphorus fertilizer into the area before planting. Plant asparagus crowns 12 inches apart in 8 inch deep furrows in early spring. Cover the crowns with 2 inches of soil and slowly fill the furrows over the rest of the summer. Fertilize the plants with nitrogen after the fern is established and water regularly throughout the summer. Control all pests during the establishment years. Harvest all emerging asparagus spears for 4 weeks beginning 2 years after planting. Harvest can be 6-8 weeks in following years. After harvest, fertilize and water the plants to encourage good fern growth and control pests. When fern die in the fall, mow and mulch them on the beds.
How to grow and maintain Asparagus :
Asparagus prefers organic, rich, well-drained, sandy soils for best growth. Most soils will do provided they are well-drained. Before planting, control all perennial weeds. Incorporate 2-4 inches of well-composted organic matter. Apply 1/2 pounds of high phosphate (11-52-0) fertilizer per 100 square feet of the planted area. Work compost and fertilizer into the soil to a depth of 6 inches.
Purchase quality 1-year-old crowns from local garden centers or seed catalogs. Crowns should have 8-10 large roots and a healthy bud cluster. You may also establish asparagus from transplants grown from seed. Plant seed in January for transplanting in April.
Asparagus crowns should be planted in 8 inch deep furrows in April. Space plants 12 inches apart in the row, with rows 3-4 feet apart. Cover crowns with 2 inches of soil. Add additional soil to the furrow by cultivation during the year but do not bury those ferns already established.
During the first 2 years after planting water frequently by supplying 1 to 2 inches per week in one application. Use drip irrigation if possible. Mulch around the plant with compost or grass clippings to conserve soil moisture and reduce weed growth. Irrigation can be reduced to every 2-3 weeks after year Irrigate so that moisture goes down to 4 feet in the soil.
After harvest, fertilize with a complete fertilizer (16-16-8) using about 3/4 lb. per 100 square feet.
Asparagus harvest begins 2 years after planting. Plants may be harvested for up to 4 weeks the first year. Cut 9 inch tall spears at ground level. Remove all emerging spears during harvest since tall growing spears suppress further spear growth. Harvest for 6-8 weeks from year Stop harvesting when the majority of spears are smaller than a pencil in diameter.
Last updated on March 9th, 2021