Planting Asparagus questions are often asked but questions about transplanting asparagus (which is not recommended as its often not very successful) are even more common. We hope you will find answers here even if they are not the ones you were hoping for.
As in our page of general Asparagus Growing Questions we have our expert Jamie Petchell on hand to try to solve any particuluarly tricky problems.
1. Hi, just wondered if I’m too late to plant some crowns this year.
The time to plant asparagus is either spring or autumn. In spring March / April is the time when the soil is just starting to warm up and is no longer waterlogged. It will vary according to where you live and according to each season's weather. Asparagus plants plant the best when they are dormant or just starting to think about shooting. Some suppliers sell crowns for autumn planting. These can be planted In late October / November before the ground goes frosty.
2. I recently read a blog by a US gardener who planted strawberries between his asparagus plants. It sounds like a great idea to me, but you may know better. I plan to plant my first asparagus bed in spring in Exeter, Devon.
Companion planting (the art of combining plants that works well together , as compared to those that don’t) is quite popular and you will find some information on what works well with Asparagus here. Strawberries are not on the list of good companions which is topped by tomatoes but they are not on the list of those that do work well together. You need to be careful not to break the ferns whilst harvesting your strawberries though.
Read more about companion planting.
3. Hi. My question is, Which end of the plant is the crown, or what part of the plant goes in the ground? Also can I move the plant to another location, if it has only been in the ground one season? Thanks
The crown is the dense part of the plant that the roots dangle off of. The roots need to be spread out with the crown planted 5cm below the soil on top of a ridge of soil about 10cm high. The asparagus shoots will come out of the crown. You may be able to see the buds of these shoots which should be placed facing upwards. Transplanting asparagus is not recommended but is more likely to be successful with younger plants and if done whilst the crowns are dormant in the winter.
4. Hi I recently purchased some crowns but they arrived when I was on holiday despite careful planning. The crowns have started shooting but need to be planted. Can I still go ahead and plant them? If I can do I need to cut back the new spears or leave them to turn to brown foliage? Please advise. Many thanks
Jamie Answers: Yes cut and plant, water well immediately. Soak crowns in water for 30 mins before plating too to rehydrate them.
Read more about How to Plant Asparagus
5. Must move asparagus in June due to house trailer taking spot of land. Should I Cut the stalk back, and if so how much or should I move the full bush? Need HELP FAST! Any other info would be wonderful regarding this move!!!
Jamie Answers: Very difficult to successfully move established asparagus. Been there, tried that and failed! June is almost certainly not going to work as the plants will be actively growing. BEST advice is to buy new crowns. If not, they are best moved when dormant, most likely February. If they insist they can try in June, but roots on fully established plants will be down to 1m+ and it is dangerous. If they try, then important to cut spears back to crown level, dig and transplant within 24 hours and water hard to keep hydrating. However I do not recommend it.
6. Hi, Excellent site! I found you by looking for advice on transplanting asparagus, but having seen how you advise against it I’m wondering whether I can try a different approach. This might be a bit of a daft question, but... I grow my asparagus in a raised bed. I only have a small patch, about 10 plants, and they’ve been in place for 4 years. This year I’ve decided to build up my raised beds to be higher - getting older, y’see - so I need to lift my asparagus. Seeing that you’re not keen on transplanting, I’m tempted to just leave them be and add extra topsoil on top. They were originally planted at the recommended depth, but this approach will leave them a further 8 inches below the surface. Do you think I have any chance of success, or would I be better to risk transplanting? Thanks,
This should work, we checked this question out with Jamie in answer to another query and he agreed with us that so long as you raise it slowly over the course of a few years it should work fine.
7. hi my plants are inside a polytunnel and have already started to shoot, we are moving and want to take them with me as i grew them from seed, am i still ok to dig them up even thou they are sprouting and i have taken some crop already to eat yummy too!
All we hear is that transplanting asparagus is not easy and is even less likely to be successful whilst they are growing. This is confirmed by Jamie. See the answer to question 5. You don’t say how old your plants are.
8. Imagine those huge metal drinking troughs from which cows and drink. You know the size... when the cowboy punches the other cowboy and he lands in the horse's drinking trough... that size... huge sort of bathtub size. If I place about 20 crowns, (1yr old crowns) in a metal tub that size... and three years from now, (when I might be moving) just take the whole tub with me and then cut the bottom and sit it upon new prepared ground... wouldn’t that work? I wouldn’t be exactly removing the plant out of the tub, I would just be cutting the bottom of the tub... allowing the plants to settle in there for a year, and then cut away the rest of the tub. Least disturbance to the crowns.. yes? sound effective or ridiculous. Please let me know via email... I read your site and concentrated on the transplanting information... I’m just scared of transplanting... figured that was the least disturbing method to the roots.
Jamie Answers: Sounds absolutely fine! Asparagus needs a big volume to root into and these containers have that!
We answer: How are you going to move these big tubs full of soil?! Hope you are feeling strong.
9. I want to transplant part of an established bed(30 years old) from Maine to a summer place in Canada. I want to dig the crowns in April, but not put them in until June. How best to inhibit the crowns from sprouting during that month or so? I have an old fridge in the barn?I tried digging and replanting end of May last year,and they sprouted in their new home, but quickly died.
Jamie Answers: Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen :-) See answer to Q5 .... But yes you can try and keep them in a fridge to prevent too much growth. Best option is to start afresh with good quality crowns in my opinion.
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