Fresh, crisp asparagus is a spring delight. While it can take a while for asparagus to grow, it is considered a perennial plant, so it will grow back every year. Learn more about growing asparagus at home.
How to grow asparagus at home? Start with asparagus crowns and place these in your garden. The crowns will spread out and produce spears that you can harvest. It will take at least two to three years before the asparagus is ready for harvest but once it is established, it will keep growing each year.
What is the best way to grow asparagus?
The best way to grow asparagus is by planting crowns, which are one-year-old plants. These plants are in a dormant stage but will start to grow after planting.
While you should keep the area free from weeds, you don’t want to disturb the asparagus roots when they are young. Gently pull weeds in the area and then add a layer of mulch to keep them from coming back.
Can we grow asparagus at home?
Yes, asparagus is an excellent crop to grow from home. One of its main benefits is that it is a perennial plant. This means you only need to plant it once and it will keep coming back each year.
Asparagus does take a few years to establish itself but after it does, you will have access to dozens of asparagus spears for your tasty consumption.
Planting Asparagus at Home
Growing in Pots
While asparagus grows much better in your garden, in a pinch, you can try to grow it in a container. However, you will need a very deep pot.
Use a container that is at least 40 liters in size. Asparagus roots, or crowns, like to spread out, so don’t plant too many in one container.
Growing in landscapes
Full sun is key for asparagus. They like bright, sunny areas.
You should also ensure that the soil can drain well. Otherwise, asparagus roots will become soggy and ruin the whole plant.
Finally, in terms of location, make sure the soil is nice and loose. Spend some time digging up the first foot of soil in the area so that the asparagus roots can spread out and produce more spears.
Seeds vs crowns
You have two choices when it comes to planting your asparagus. You can start with seeds, which will take longer to grow, or you can start with crowns, which speed up the process.
Crowns are simply one-year-old asparagus plants that look pretty shriveled up. To plant them, spread the tendrils out, facing upward, as these will become the asparagus tips that you harvest.
You can plant asparagus in early spring. However, the first pieces of asparagus that break through the soil will be too thin to harvest. Give your asparagus a few years to establish itself before you start to harvest.
It’s best if you start with an area that is clear of weeds. Asparagus roots do not like to be disturbed, so the clearer the area, the better.
Each spring, you can add a layer of compost to the area to help restore nutrients. You can also add a layer of mulch to help keep weeds at bay and to increase the moisture in the soil.
Quick tips on growing asparagus at home
Asparagus will take at least three years before you can start to enjoy it. For the first two years of growth, leave the asparagus ferns as they will transfer nutrients back into the root system for later growth.
In the third year, you may be able to harvest some asparagus spears but if they still look too thin, it’s best to leave them for another year.
Finally, after the third or fourth year of growth, your asparagus should spread out over the area and you can start to harvest. Asparagus plants can last up to 20 years, so you will get plenty of enjoyment.
You don’t want to lose your asparagus plants after all the patience it takes to grow them. So, if you need to, you can transplant them.
To do so, start in early spring or late fall as you want the asparagus crowns to be dormant when you move them. Gently dig around the crowns to loosen the soil and make sure the roots aren’t disturbed.
At this point, you can divide the root system if you would like to expand your asparagus garden. Plant where you want them to be and water the area really well.
Even though your asparagus crowns should survive the move, it’s best not to harvest in that year. Instead, allow the plant to reestablish itself.
Most asparagus is green in color but there are a few color options. However, not all can be grown at home.
White asparagus is gorgeous to look at but is actually grown in special greenhouses that don’t have light. This way, chlorophyll is prevented from developing. Unless you have a dark setup in your home, it may be tricky to grow white asparagus.
Purple asparagus, on the other hand, can be grown at home. Interestingly, though, it starts out purple but once you cook it, it turns green.
Fresh asparagus is much tastier than woody asparagus. Spears grow very quickly, so you want to harvest them as soon as they are ready.
During asparagus season, which is around May, look at your garden daily. Once a spear is ready, you can harvest it. If the spear grows foliage, it is too late and will be too tough to enjoy.
Ideally, you want your asparagus spears to be about 8 inches in height and at least ½ an inch thick. However, if you prefer a crisper, tender asparagus, you may want to harvest earlier than this.
To harvest your asparagus, just cut the spears above the ground with a clean pair of scissors or a knife.
Asparagus is a rewarding vegetable to plant. Each year you get the thrill of fresh produce without having to constantly plant new seeds.