Growing Asparagus - Everything you need to know

Asparagus is a perenial vegetable that once established will provide you with a delicious treat every spring.

To be successful growing asparagus you will need an area of well drained soil in good sunlight and expect to be gardening your plot of land for a good few years to come.

Asparagus is a perenial vegetable that once established will provide you with a delicious treat every spring.

To be successful growing asparagus you will need an area of well drained soil in good sunlight and expect to be gardening your plot of land for a good few years to come.

My first experience of growing asparagus was as a child when the caretaker at the school just behind our house had a big bed of Asparagus. Each year we would consider it a real treat when we were given a bunch (or maybe more) of his prized crop. I’m not sure if I can really remember it properly or whether it’s just my parent’s stories that I put memories to but I definitely remember enjoying eating the produce.This was long before imported asparagus made it into the supermarkets.

Now we live in the heart of asparagus growing country so have no excuse for not passing on the secrets to success. Eating your own home grown vegetables is always so much more satisfying than buying them from the shops so you will eagerly await those first asparagus tips peeking above the ground. When asparagus season finally comes around in April – June each year you will be so glad you put the time and effort into growing asparagus yourself.

Growing Asparagus Sucessfully

Growing asparagus is not hugely labour intensive provided you get the planting right and have some patience for the first couple of years.

Follow these links for detailed advice. However if you are very new to asparagus growing the broad introduction below may be a good place to start.

The Basics

Asparagus Bed

The location and preparation of your asparagus bed will determine how well your plants grow and crop. Because the plants have to mature over a number of years it will be the place they stay for a long time. You need to do some preparation before planting your asparagus to make sure the bed is in the right place and will sustain a good crop for many years.

Broadly it needs to be on well drained soil, reasonably sheltered with plenty of sunlight and free from weeds.

What will I be Planting?

Planting asparagus crowns (as the root system is commonly know) is the usual way of establishing an asparagus bed. The terms asparagus plant and crown are widely used and sometimes these are referred to as asparagus roots. Don't be confused all of these terms are used interchangeably.

Asparagus Seeds – although you mostly hear about asparagus crowns and plants you can grow asparagus from seed as well. In fact this is how the growers grow the crowns most people buy to plant!

For the average gardener though platning crowns is the way forward.

What do I get to Eat and When?

The part of the asparagus plant that is eaten is the young shoots as they come up in the spring. These are called asparagus tips. They grow very fast so in full season can be cut daily.

You will have to be patient as you can't cut and eat the tips until the plants are well established which is a 2 to 3 year process. However, once established your bed should be producing for 15 to 20 years.

What is Asparaagus Fern and How do I Care for my Asparagus Bed?

The asparagus tips can only be harvested for about 6 weeks a year without weakening the plant, when the tips are left to grow on they become asparagus fern. Look after your asparagus fern well and you can be sure of another good crop the following year.

Things to look out for are various diseases, Asparagus Beetle – pretty much what its name implies an insect that you won’t want to find near your asparagus crop and the usual gardeners problems of slugs and snails.

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All you need is a microwave a plastic Fish / Veg. Steamer and and our instructions.

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