Asparagus

  • Sun: Full sun
  • Harvest Size: 7- to 9-inch long spears
  • Days to Harvest: depends, read below
  • Plant Size: 4 to 5 feet

Dedicate a permanent space in the garden for this long-lived perennial. Once established, asparagus yields spears for 15 springs or longer if you take care of it. Plant in early spring.

Plant spacing: 12-18 inches apart. Plants per person: 12 to 15

Secrets to Success »

Good soil prep is key. Loosen and amend the soil deeply. Blanket the bed with a 3-inch layer of weed-free mulch (pine needles or clean compost). Avoid straw mulch because it may contain wheat or rye seeds—asparagus hates any weedy competitor. Cut plants to the ground at the end of the season and mulch well. Mulch, water, and weed the bed during the growing season to ensure good crop each year.

Harvest and Use »

Asparagus needs the first year to build strength; don't harvest the first season. Let the spears get tall and fernlike. Each spring thereafter, cut the spears for about a six-week period when they poke through the ground 6 to 8 inches. Choose spears with tight buds; let loose buds and the skinniest spears grow into ferns (to strengthen roots).

More Photos »

Asparagus

The first year and after harvest each following year, let spears get tall to give plants strength.

Asparagus

Asparagus spears poke up through the ground each spring.

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