Asparagus is a slow growing veggie, but totally worth it! I have a few tips below how to grow asparagus, but mostly it takes patience! Our little asparagus patch finally produced enough spears for a family meal at the four year mar, but there’s nothing like it as the first vegetable of the spring! It’s not super hard, you just have to be patient. I put in more crowns (roots) last year, and I am putting in more crowns this year in hopes that over the next few years that we’ll get enough for several meals. We really love oven roasted asparagus!
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Buy disease free certified crowns. Our local gardening store has them, but you can also find them from Gurnee’s or even Home Depot. In fact, there are different varieties. I prefer the Martha Washington. Plant your bare root crowns about 8 inches deep and cover with soil.
Some places say to harvest after the second year, some after the third. The best rule I’ve heard is don’t harvest anything smaller than your pinkie finger the first two years. Let that go to a fern to let the plant grow and gather energy.
Anything smaller leave to mature for the following year. By the fourth year for my first patch I had almost 6 weeks of picking and about 3 good sized bunches. Growing Asparagus definitely is an exercise patience. For best practice, snap off at ground level. If you use a knife be careful to cut straight across the soil level so you don’t cut any of the crown by accident. This is important to follow when learning how to grow asparagus.
If you let a spear go, it becomes a large feathery plant as a male or berries as a female. After it feathers and berries, it becomes inedible, mildly toxic and can even be a skin irritant; but it protects the underlying shoots for the following year.
In the early, early spring, cut back all of the dry foliage to the ground and get rid of it and any leaf litter in case it has any beetle eggs. That’s one of the few pest that bother them. I’ve been companion planting with parsley, it’s supposed to help reduce the amount of beetles. As for beetle control, I just hand-pick and put them into soapy water to keep everything organic.
If you have any patience, it’s well worth it. Fresh asparagus from your yard is nothing like what comes from in the store.
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