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Planting and Growing Asparagus

January 19, 2012 - GrowOrganic
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Want to grow vegetables and  take it easy? Perennial vegetables are the way to go. Supreme among the perennial vegetables is asparagus—plant it and then reap the benefits for up to 20 years. An asparagus bed (raised or not) will produce over and over again, and you’ll be dining on delicately flavored, homegrown spears you can pick just before a meal—which might be each meal during asparagus season. Did you ever hear anyone say, No thanks, I’ve eaten enough asparagus this…
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Growing Guide
Asparagus Planting & Growing Guide (pdf)
Video Transcript
Hi I'm Tricia, an organic gardener in USDA zone eight. When I was a kid in New Jersey I used to help my mom harvest the wild asparagus. If I want to eat it that fresh here I have to grow my own and so can you let me show you how.

Asparagus is hardy down to zone four but it needs full sun, good drainage and loose soil. Asparagus beds can be productive for fifteen years so the better you prepare the beds the better your long-term yields will be. I'm planting the asparagus in these raised beds, the soil in the beds is very loose and full of organic matter if you aren't planting in a raised bed doubled dig the soil by removing the top layer of soil and then loosening the subsoil to a depth of about twelve inches then just put the topsoil back on, a broad fork works really well for this project before amending the soil its always a good idea to do a pH soil test because asparagus prefers a neutral ph of about seven. Before planting the asparagus amend the soil with large quantities of good organic compost and a little bit of a slow release phosphorus potassium fertilizer like this foothill fertilizer mix. Depending on your climate asparagus can be planted anywhere from January to April as soon as the soil temperature reaches about fifty degrees fahrenheit. You can plant asparagus from seed but if you plant from these crowns you'll get asparagus about a year sooner. Dig an eight inch trench and then add some composted manure like this chicken manure, just add back a little bit of the soil on top of the manure about an inch or two and then your going to space the crowns about eighteen inches apart when planting the crowns. spread the roots out like a little squid and then put about two inches of soil over the plants. As your asparagus grows your going to want to cover it about two inches at a time with additional soil until the soil becomes the same level as the surrounding soil.

Don't harvest your asparagus the first spring after planting and then the second year you only want to do a light harvest, third-year you'll get a full eight to twelve week harvest. Put the effort in in preparing your beds and planting the asparagus appropriately and you'll be able to eat fresh asparagus for about fifteen to twenty years and of course grow organic for life.

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Categories: Vegetable Crowns, Asparagus Crowns, DIY Garden Books, Vegetables & Mushrooms

phillip smolinsky Says:
Jan 20th, 2012 at 3:06 am

I really like your idea of asparagus in the raised bed. Your bed in the video looks like it is constructed using treated lumber. Is that true?  I was told never to use treated lumber around vegetables that i intend to eat.  What is the solution to have a raised bed that will hold up for many years for my asparagus.  Thanks for the fine video

Stephanie Brown Says:
Jan 20th, 2012 at 9:30 am

Thank you for your kind words about our video! Redwood and cedar are often favored for making raised beds because of there high weather resistance. There are natural oils that can be applied as well to improve their weather resistance.

Toril Fisher Says:
Jan 20th, 2012 at 5:42 pm

I just ordered my asparagus crowns and the came today.  I live in Wisconsin and have a long while before my soil outdoors will become 50 degrees.  What should I do with the box of crowns.  How should I store them?  Should I even open the box?  HELP!!  I hope my investment isn’t wasted.  Love all of your videos.  What a great learning tool.  Thank you!

Stephanie Brown Says:
Jan 24th, 2012 at 9:45 am

I’m glad your asparagus made it to you! By all means open the box and you will find instructions packed with the crowns that tell you how to heel the plants in until you are ready to plant them outside. Basically put them in a bucket of sand or compost or loose soil in the garage or root cellar until it is the right time to plant outside.

Alice Mark Says:
Apr 7th, 2012 at 12:33 am

I’m a new fan club member, and I’m enjoying your excellent videos.  They’re so well done! 

Stephanie responded to an inquiry, regarding the use of redwood and cedar for raised beds.  She noted natural oils can be used to improve their weather resistance.  What natural oils do you recommend?  How should the oil best be applied and how often?  Thanks in advance for your reply.

Theresa Says:
Mar 9th, 2013 at 9:32 am

I’m also interested in the construction of the beds behind the woman doing this video, as well as the bed she was working. Were the pipes laying on the dirt for irrigation of the beds? Were they metal (they didn’t seem like flexible drip tubing)? What was the spacing between raised beds? Some of the beds had “french door” type cross bracing—was this for plants which climb, like beans, or for plants which need support, like tomatoes?

Thank you for the video. I’m very interested in growing asparagus.

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