Asparagus Growing Guide

Asparagus is one of the few perennial vegetable crops. The shoots are picked as young spears in the spring. Later in the season the foliage matures into an airy, fern-like cloud which changes to a golden color in the fall. Because asparagus takes up a permanent place in the garden, but can be an attractive plant, many people with space imitations use asparagus as a border or hedge plant.

Learning Download: How to Grow Asparagus

Before Planting: Plants can be started from seed about 4 weeks before the last expected frost. More commonly they are grown from crowns, which are the one year old base and roots of the plants. These are planted in a trench with the roots spread out over mounded soil. The trench is gradually filled in as the plants grow.

Planting: Dig a trench 8 inches deep and wide enough to accommodate the outspread roots (about 10 inches), then space the asparagus 18 inches apart. Leave four feet between rows. Cover the roots with two inches of soil, and continue to fill in the trench as shoots grow. Be sure never to bury the green shoots completely. The trench can usually be filled by the end of the first growing season, but if not, simply continue to work on it the second year.

Watering: Water regularly, especially while young.

Fertilizer: Top dress annually with compost or mulch. Keep the patch free of competing weeds.

Days to Maturity: It takes about three years for plants to mature enough for harvesting. Prior to that plants should be allowed to grow and feed themselves.

Harvesting: In the third year, begin harvesting spears that are finger-sized and about 8″ long. You can either snap off the spears are cut them with a knife. Harvest for about 4 weeks the first year. In subsequent years you can harvest until the weather warms and the spears look spindly. Then allow the foliage to grow and feed the plants.

Tips: Asparagus is a spring crop, preferring cooler temperatures and full sun.

 
Location: Planting Depth: Soil Type:
Full Sun Seeds 1-2″, Roots 8-12″ Well drained, fertile soil
 
 
  Seed Spacing Row Spacing Seeds per 100′ Yield per 100′ Seeds per Acre
Asparagus
12-18″ 2′ 100 25-30 lbs. 43,500

 

 
Asparagus Seed Count 
1 Ounce: 950 Seeds
1/8 Pound: 1,900 Seeds
1/4 Pound: 3,800 Seeds
1/2 Pound: 7,600 Seeds
1 Pound: 15,200 Seeds
 
 

 
* These are average asparagus seed counts.  Varieties can vary.
 
1 Acre = 43,560 square feet, or 435’x100′

 

 
Weight Conversion:
1 Pound = 16 Ounces