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How To Grow Asparagus

How To Grow Asparagus

Asparagus, a member of the lily family, and it is not an easy vegetable to grow. Patience is a virtue with asparagus. It is just about impossible to grow from seed so I would advise you purchase 1-year-old asparagus crowns, which are the roots of the plant. These are planted in a trench with the roots spread out over mounded soil. The trench is gradually filled in as the plants grow.

Water regularly, especially while young. It takes about four years for plants to mature enough for harvesting - if you start from seed. Prior to that plants should be allowed to grow and feed themselves.

Light: Full Sun
Soil: Well-drained, deep sandy loam
Fertility: Medium-rich
pH: 6.0-6.7
Soil Temperature (F): 60-65
Moisture: Average; a flush of spears often follows a good rainfall

Planting: Sow indoors 8 weeks before last frost, " deep at 25C (77F). Germination will occur in 10-14 days. Sow outdoors, 3 weeks before last frost, -" deep and 1" apart. Thin or space plants to 18" apart in trenches 8-12" deep. As the seedlings grow, fill the trench back in.

Growing: Choose a sunny location with a fertile, deep, well drained soil. Soil pH should be between 6.5-6.7. Asparagus is a heavy feeder and needs regular fertilizing with well rotted manure, compost or a well balanced synthetic fertilizer worked in the top surface of the soil. Use straw mulch to control weeds and hold moisture.

Harvesting: Plants from seeds will take 4 years before you can harvest spring spears. In early spring, cut or snap spears when they are 6-8" high, before the heads separate.

Pests & Diseases: Rust is a common disease in Asparagus. Use a sulfur spray at the first sign of infection. Growing strong healthy plants or resistant cultivars helps prevent the onset of this disease.

Companions: Basil, calendula, parsley, tomato.

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How To Grow Asparagus
By USA Gardener
USA Gardener