Growing asparagus requires patients because it can’t be harvested until the third season.
Asparagus is a perennial crop that is native to Africa, Europe, and Western Asia. Because they are a perennial crop they can be harvested every 6 to 8 weeks for up to 15 years.
In the first two seasons, they can’t be harvested because they will die but starting the third season harvesting can start.
HOW TO PLANT ASPARAGUS
Growing asparagus is best grown in well-drained soil with full sun and a soil pH range of 6.5 through 7.0.
They can be sown straight into the soil after the last frost or as I prefer they can be started 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost indoors using a cardboard seed starting tray.
They are best planted 2 to 3 inches 12 to 18 inches apart and about one inch deep.
For best results, it is recommended before planting or sowing them to till compost into the soil which is known as amending the soil.
This will provide nutrients to the soil, helps with water retention, and will help to keep the soil loose which will make it easier for the roots to grow.
If you are short on space then they can be grown in potting containers that can be placed anywhere.
FERTILIZING AND WATERING
To avoid any possible issues of over-fertilizing your asparagus, you should test your soil before adding any fertilizers.
They are best fertilized with a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 before the spears break through the soil in early spring or a homemade liquid fertilizer.
They will require about 1 inch of water per week and may need more during times of hot dry weather.
Asparagus is not harvested in the first season and in the second season and for the next 20 years or more.
They are harvested over about a 3 to 4-week period in early to mid-June and will be ready for harvesting when they are between 8 to 10 inches tall and between half an inch to three-quarters of an inch wide.
Asparagus can be divided into several pieces depending on the size of the root ball. To divide them carefully dig the plant up with a spade or small shovel and gently separate the root ball into several pieces.
Romaine lettuce is an annual plant, therefore propagating them through seed is the only way and some plants should be allowed to go to seed for the following season.
Seeds need to mature properly, the seed coating needs to dry and cure, and they need a rest period prior to planting. Waiting until the seeds have fully cured is the best method of vegetable seed growing.
It is best to add between 4 to 6 inches of mulch to help protect the crowns of the plants.
The foliage of the plant will die off and it should be left alone because if it snows then the dead foliage will collect the snow and form a protective cover for the crowns.
Because the thick layer of mulch will slow the new sprouts in the spring, it is recommended to carefully remove a good bit of the top layer after the last frost.
They don’t have many pests that feed on them, but there are some to keep an eye out for.
Dealing with any pest issue before the infestation reduces the amount of vegetation or kills the plant is a must.
Asparagus that is planted close together can develop mold and mildew issues, especially during times of high humidity.
If this is the case then preventive measures may need to be taken.
To prevent this from happening make sure to plant them far enough apart to allow for proper airflow.
- Root rot
- Spear rot
- Phytophthora crown
- White mold
- Gray mold
- Fusarium wilt
- crown rot
- Root rot
- Asparagus rust
- Cercospora needle blight
- Purple spot
Plant viruses are caused by pests causing damage to a plant, therefore good pest management is a must.
- Asparagus virus 1
- Asparagus virus 2
There are several varieties with the majority available in green, a couple of purple varieties, and a white variety.
Green asparagus is the most common variety consumed in the world.
MARY WASHINGTON ASPARAGUS
Mary Washington is an heirloom variety that is one of the most types of asparagus that is consumed in the United States.
Atlas asparagus is resistant to most plant diseases, drought tolerant, does well in temperatures up to about 85 degrees, and is tolerant to hard frost.
PRECOCE D’ARGENTEUIL ASPARAGUS
Precoce D’Agenteuil is an heirloom variety with a sweet taste and comes from Europe.
Purple asparagus gets its color from antioxidants in the plant.
PURPLE PASSION ASPARAGUS
Purple passion asparagus has a higher amount of antioxidants in the plant.