Establish An Asparagus Community
The nice thing about growing asparagus is that once it’s planted, it will produce abundant crops for up to twenty years. It’s advisable to plant asparagus in long, deep beds for best results. Asparagus has a slightly different growing pattern than other greens. It takes longer to reach full maturity than most other plants. Also, asparagus seeds need to age before they can be planted. Asparagus also takes a longer amount of time to create roots for transplanting. This is one reason it’s found in produce stores in early spring. Today, hot house asparagus is propagated so that there’s ample supply of this tasty, nutritious vegetable. Asparagus stalks are grown in green or white specimens. White asparagus is a delicacy that’s created by reducing sunlight. There’s also a little more labor and care involved in growing asparagus. This is one reason it costs slightly more to purchase at produce markets. For home gardeners, it’s well worth the extra labor to have twenty years of an asparagus crop.
How to Grow Asparagus
Fortunately, asparagus isn’t as picky about the type of soil it prefers for long-term growth. It’s been grown in alkaline, salty and poor soils. However, the soil should be well-drained. It can also withstand sub-zero weather if the seeds are properly aged and roots have a good start. Asparagus may also be sold in crowns which hastens the propagation slightly. Most asparagus is disease-resistant. Asparagus plants are usually male species. If female species are left on the plant, they are discarded. Plant seeds and crowns in a garden area that will be wholly dedicated to asparagus. Certain types of asparagus are cross-bred. These species are hybrid versions of original asparagus plants.
Plant asparagus in long, trench-like rows about six inches to one foot deep. Prepare the soil before planting by composting with blood and/or bone meal and manure. Use mineral phosphate to encourage strong roots. Turn the soil over thoroughly. Make sure all roots and weeds have been removed before inserting crowns into the soil. After planting crowns, cover crowns and roots with at least two inches of soil atop a small mound of soil, allowing roots to overlap. More soil should be added around each plant as it begins to grow until the trench-like row is completely level. Asparagus also benefits from a little mulch added around the base of the plant.
More Tips On Growing Asparagus
Start asparagus from seeds indoors or purchase crowns from a garden shop. Prior to planting, soak asparagus crowns in water enriched with fertilizer or a growth enhancer. Harvests of asparagus occur in about two years under normal conditions and with proper care. Water frequently throughout the first two growing seasons. This plant may experience infestations of asparagus beetles. To control this, manually remove beetle eggs that appear on soft asparagus fronds. Upon harvest, pick asparagus spears every two or three days. After the first harvest, give roots time to stabilize before the next harvest occurs.