How to Plant Asparagus. Now’s the Time!

Put your cruddy old jeans on because you’re going to be getting down in the dirt this weekend. It’s asparagus planting time! THIS is the year you’re actually going to do it.

Every year you say you wish you grew asparagus and every year you continue to buy bundles wrapped in rubber bands from the store.  Of all the things that I grow, the one thing that tastes infinitely better than what I could buy at the store – is asparagus.

Fresh cut, homegrown asparagus can be eaten raw right out of the ground. It tastes very similar to peas when you eat it like this, which I often do as I survey my asparagus plants.  BUT it wasn’t always this way because I, like you, kept putting off planting asparagus.

Asparagus is one of those things that everyone (me) seems to put off planting because they (me) hate the fact that they have to wait 15 (actually 2) years to harvest it.

I’m going to convince you by the end of this post to plant some this weekend, because now is the time and the window for this year is closing.

To reiterate, THIS IS THE YEAR YOU’RE GOING TO FINALLY PLANT ASPARAGUS!  GOOYA! (The phrase is similar to Booya, but more like what a baby would say if they scored a touchdown)  

asparagus-crowns

Asparagus is a bigger miracle than a toothless baby quarterbacking in the NFL let me assure you.  It’s a perennial vegetable that will stay strong and grow bigger and bigger for decades, feeding your family for generations.

Unless you come from a family of asparagus haters in which case it’ll be more of a decorative statement.

Asparagus you see, turns into 4-6′ tall ferny plants once it’s done producing asparagus in the spring. So you get to eat it all spring and then you just let it do its thing and it’ll become a bushy, ferny bed that looks nice and can act like a privacy screen.

asparagus-crowns-2

 

Basically asparagus is fantastic all around.  But you can’t harvest it for the first 2 years.  Which is where asparagus loses a lot of people.

The actual job of planting asparagus is easy. It’s the waiting that’s hard.

You buy the asparagus crowns (they look like big spiders) either at a local nursery or through mail order and then you put them in the ground.  Easy.

You just have to get over the idea that you won’t be able to eat any of it until you’re frail and elderly.  It’s 2 years.  You will not be frail and elderly.  You probably won’t even have cleaned behind your couch by then.  You will have asparagus before your next behind-the-couch cleaning.  That’s not too long to wait is it?  No it is not. 2 years isn’t a big deal.

Now.  Don’t you wish when you first thought of planting asparagus that you’d actually done it because you could be picking and eating that asparagus this spring?

Yes. Of course you do, because you’re not an idiot.  You’re just weird about planting asparagus.

asparagus-on-crown

Great crowns like this will cost you anywhere from $0.75 – $1.50 per crown.   I ordered my crowns from a wholesaler that grows the asparagus crowns themselves and got 50 of them for $37.50.  Which is cheap. If you’re buying them from someone other than a wholesaler expect to pay twice as much.

Most garden centres have asparagus crowns for sale in the spring so grab yourself some of those and start planting.

How to Grow Asparagus

The first thing you should do is figure out how much you need to buy.

HOW MANY ASPARAGUS CROWNS DO YOU NEED?

Expect to plant around 10 crowns per family member that loves asparagus.

50 plants for a family of 4.

Plant MORE if you want to blanch and freeze asparagus for the winter.

Of course you don’t have to plant this much, it’s just a guideline.

asparagus-bed

 

What Kind of Asparagus Should You Plant?

Asparagus is a dioecious plant. That means there’s boy asparagus and girl asparagus plants. 

A girl asparagus plant will produce thinner spears because she’s concentrating on reproducing, which in this case means seed pods and therefore lots of asparagus babies. The only thing cuter than an asparagus baby is a cabbage baby.

Male asparagus plants on the other hand don’t care one whit  about making babies they just want to grow up big and strong themselves.  So they only concentrate on making big, thick spears.  Male plants don’t have to produce seeds so none of their energy goes towards producing them. It only goes towards making spears.

Up until 20 or so years ago all asparagus varieties produced both male and the less desirable female plants. Then agricultural scientists made a break though and created a hybrid asparagus plant that was ONLY male.

For generations the most popular variety of asparagus was Martha Washington but the all male varieties have now taken over in popularity.

Guelph Millennium” one of the most popular and productive all male varieties is what I grow.  Other male varieties are the Jersey collection: Jersey Supreme, Jersey Giant or Jersey Knight.

Millennium was developed over the course of 12 years at the University of Guelph in Canada. The other thing about all male hybrid asparagus plants is they don’t self seed which in the case of a hybrid is good. When a hybrid plant self seeds you don’t get an exact reproduction of the original plant, you get a version of the original plant which is always a weaker, worse version.

 With female plants you constantly have self seeding happening which is why your asparagus bed will spread so quickly, but it’s spreading with an inferior product.

White, Purple or Green Asparagus?

WHITE asparagus is the same thing as green asparagus. It’s just been grown in darkness which means it doesn’t develop the green colour because it doesn’t develop chlorophyll.  If you want white asparagus just mound soil over it as it grows so the spears never see the light of day.

PURPLE asparagus is a variety of asparagus that grows purple all on its own without doing anything special to it. The same way some tomato varieties are different colours this asparagus variety is a different colour.

GREEN asparagus is regular old asparagus.

 

When to Plant Asparagus

You want to plant asparagus crowns while they’re still dormant and not showing any signs of growth.

They can be put in the ground as soon as you can get out into the garden and work the soil in the early spring. As long as your beds aren’t goopy with mud or frozen sold you’ll be fine.

How to Plant Asparagus

  1. Dig a 10″ deep trench.
  2. Add 2″ of compost to the trench.
  3. Make a little mound of soil for each asparagus crown to sit on.
  4. Spread the roots out.
  5. Fill the trench in making sure the crowns are covered by 2″ of soil.
  6. Once the asparagus starts to emerge in the spring, add another 2″ of soil or compost.

** Unlike strawberries, you want the crown of the asparagus to be under the soil by about 2″ **

What is the crown?  The crown is the top knobby part of the asparagus where the shoots will come out of.

planting-asparagus

 

 

ASPARAGUS GROWING TIPS

  • Asparagus grows best in zones 4-9
  • Plant 10 crowns per family member.
  • Dig a 10″ deep trench.
  • Add 2″ compost to your trench before planting.
  • Plant crowns 15″ – 18″ apart on mounds of soil with the roots spread out.
  • Cover crowns with 2″ of soil.
  • Add another 2″ of soil when shoots first emerge.
  • Let your asparagus patch grow for 2 years before harvesting.
  • On mature plants only pick shoots that are bigger in diameter than a pencil. 
  • Don’t cut the fronds at the end of the season until they have all died back.
  • Replenish the soil of your patch every year with a 2″ thick layer of compost to the top.

 

How to Plant Asparagus.

How to Plant Asparagus.

Materials

  • 10 asparagus crowns per person in the family
  • Compost

Tools

  • Trowel or shovel

Instructions

  1. Dig a trench that's 10" deep and amend it with 2" of compost.
  2. Create small soil mounds for every crown to sit on all the way down the trench. 1 mound per crown you're planting.
  3. Spread the long roots out down the mound and into the surrounding trench.
  4. Fill the trench making sure to cover the crowns with 2" of soil.
  5. In the spring when the asparagus starts to emerge add another 2" of soil or compost.
  6. Wait 2 years before harvesting.

Notes

Plant asparagus while the crowns are still dormant as soon as you can work the soil whether it's late winter or early spring.

Add 2" of compost to the bed every year to replenish the soil.

Only harvest asparagus that's larger than a pencil in diameter.

I eat from my asparagus patch in the spring until the sight of asparagus triggers my gag reflex. At that point I blanch and freeze it to use in the winter for making soup, quiche or even roasted.

 

Get the roasted asparagus recipe here.

Do those things and you’ll be eating asparagus in no time.

Well … in 2 years actually.  Which will seem like 15.

Gooya.

How to Plant Asparagus. Now\'s the Time!

82 Comments

  1. Lynn Y says:

    I planted big crowns last year and they did great. They popped up in a week! but of course I let them go all ferny. I already have some fatter-than-a-pencil spears this year… can I harvest just a few please? Also, can I topdress with compost in spring after the spears start to burst forth?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lynn. If you aren’t eating them you can carefully top dress with compost (but be careful not to break any spears). Nope. No harvesting. A young plant might only produce, let’s say 10 spears. If you pick even one of them you’re taking 10% of the plants energy away. Well, I mean you can, but picking now means weak, smaller plants next year so an even longer wait for big healthy asparagus plants. So it’s up to you! ~ karen

  2. Heather says:

    Those are good looking crowns! The ones I got at a big box store were McKenzie seeds and they were little scraggly things. I planted them last year, and three quarters of them grew but I didn’t plant them deep like you did. I wonder if they’ll come back this year. Fingers crossed! I’m still awaiting more crowns from Veseys; I hope they’re beauties like yours. Will follow your advice. Thanks!

  3. Andrew DK says:

    I’ve got dozens of asparagus seedlings in my grow cabinet right now wondering if it’s ok to transplant now as well or do I need to wait until after last frost (Z5)?

    I grew from seeds which were pretty cheap! 😇

  4. Kerstin Staudal says:

    Hi Karen, good job. I ONLY grow white asparagus which is the ultimate aspargus for aspargus affeicendos(spelling?). I also have purple ones. I beg to differ: white asparagus is NOT the green one burried under soil! It is a different variaty with a different much better taste. The spears are also much thicker. No male an d female crowns either. White asparagus is not green but white and when it touches the sun the tip turns purple NOT green. I haved been growing white and purple asparagus for years now. I got my whites from German seeds because you cannot import live plants and the one farm I know does not sell crowns from white asp.. It takes a long time to grow the crowns. All crowns need to be left alone for the first 3 years. In the first year you don’t harvest any, in the second year you can harvest about 10%. If you are impatient and harvest more one distroys the crown. Crowns need three years to develop strength and grow into healthy plants. White and purple asparagus grow in sand. So every year I mount sand on top of the rows. The crown is in the dirt but the spears grow in the sand. When harvesting you need to dig down to cut the spear. Sand provides heat for the asparagus to grow. In Europe it is already full Asparagus season. You can harvest until about June 20 and then stop to give the plants a rest and the can re-energize for the following year. Growing white apsaragus is labour intense and you need patience. But the reward is just devine! In Germany it is called the vegetable of the Kings and Queens. I added 3 tons of sand this year to my rows. I would love to upload pics but I don’t know how here.

  5. Kasia says:

    I so wish your post had come earlier. Every single place I’ve looked online is Sold Out right now. I’m not good at remembering to buy early.

    After you posted this a couple years ago, I finally planted some, but never got to eat any of it as I had to move before I could harvest after two years. :( Seems like I have to wait another year. Can you write about asparagus earlier next year so I remember to buy some? :)

    And, as always, thanks for brightening my day. I must say, your blog is so refreshing, funny and well-written! I’ve been reading you for many years and have yet to find another blog with a writing style that comes even close to you!

  6. Anne Hogan says:

    My mother planted her asparagus patch in 1945 at her friend’s farm (which is all now condos in Toronto). I remember driving all the way out to the farm each spring and harvesting the patch then going for a ride on the horses. We ate asparagus until the corn came in. That is until she discovered ‘Fiddleheads’ which supplemented the asparagus crop.

    Thanks Karen!

  7. Nicole says:

    GOOYA
    Thanks for the kick start Karen. Ordered. Meant to do this again years ago.

  8. Lynn says:

    I planted big crowns last year and they did great. They popped up in a week! but of course I let them go all frondy. If I get some fatter-than-a-pencil spears this year, can I harvest just a few please? Also, can I topdress with compost in early spring but after the spears start to burst forth?

  9. Warren in Mtl says:

    this sounds SOOO interesting !! I love to pee outdoors ! sometimes I even wait till dark …
    … and of course I really like asparagus too!

    Q: once a crown has done its stint establishing itself … out of one crown, approximately how many spears will you get ? … and will they all be ready to harvest at once (Boo-hoo), or does it keep coming for a period of time …. (Goo-ya !!) – like days or weeks
    I am hoping stalks will keep presenting for a while!

    growing weather region= Montreal, Qc

  10. John says:

    As much as I love home grown Asparagus, for a garden with limited space it wasn’t worth the investment in space with such a short growing season. I have 4 4×16 raised beds and several smaller 4×8 beds. I planted 1 of the larger beds with 24 crowns and after 5 years decided to dig them up. Not a fan of freezing or canning Asparagus which we did after the third year. It works out better for us to buy from the farmers market and the taste is only slightly less than what we produced at home. Too much space for a two week crop in my opinion.

    • Shirley Mancino says:

      I am in southeast Ontario. I have asparagus from the first of May until the end of June when I stop harvesting. I agree with you that it does take up a lot of space.

  11. Lynn says:

    I planted big crowns last year and they did great. They popped up in a week !! but of course I let them go all frondy. If I get some fatter-than-a-pencil spears this year, can I harvest just a few please? Also, can I topdress with compost in early spring but after the spears start to burst forth?

  12. Betty parsons says:

    Can you buy older plants so it won’t take so long to harvest.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Betty. Generally the oldest plants you can buy are 2 years old. Asparagus crowns get quite huge even in a 3 year old plant. The only thing you could do is find someone who has older plants that they’re willing to dig up and give (or sell) to you. It would have to be done when the plants are dormant in the winter. Even then you’d have to skip harvesting for the first year while the plant reestablishes itself in its new home. ~ karen!

  13. Shannon Daniels says:

    You are hilarious and I’ll now frequent your site! I have good intentions to start a garden this year but it’s January in Montana so by the time planting season comes this phase may be over. That being said I will from now on say “GOOYA” loudly and aggressively then giggle when I’m the only one who gets the joke. Thanks. 😂

  14. Tom says:

    What about light? Do they have to be full sun, or is partial shade okay?

    • Karen says:

      Like most vegetables, asparagus needs a minimum of 8 hours of sunlight a day. The more sun the bigger it will grow. ~ karen!

    • Cindy says:

      Last year my asparagus ( 5 year old bed ) I had asparagus beetles!
      Drove me nuts as I went out at least once a day to hand pick them off .
      I DIDN’T compost the cuttings at end of year but am worried about having them this year. Here in zone 5 they are just popping up. Any help? I try to be totally organic .

  15. Lisa F Sykes says:

    Hi,
    so this is the first year after planting and I have crowns coming up. Do I cut them off or just let them alone. Do I add more soil over the top of them? 2nd year is kind of fuzzy to me.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lisa. Just leave everything alone. The crowns will turn into fronds which will then feed the plant for next year making it stronger. I leave my fronds on all fall and winter long then cut the dried fronds back to 2″ in the spring. No need to add anymore soil. Hope that helps. ~ karen!

  16. Julia says:

    Hi Karen, I live in zone 3 (Warroad, MN- 7 miles from Canada!) and I just bought a house and really want to grow asparagus. I moved from zone 8 and know nothing about growing in such a cold climate. Should I plant my crowns now? Or wait until spring? Same goes with garlic, I’m thinking late September for it.

    Thanks!
    Julia

    • Karen says:

      Hi Julia! I’m in a zone 6b so I’m not really sure about the ins and out of Zone 3. I’d suspect late September would be a little late for planting garlic in that zone but that’s just a guess. Asparagus crowns get planted in the spring normally as soon as the ground can be worked. But best way to tell when’s the best time for planting in your area is to see when things are for sale. So if your local seed stores or garden centres are selling asparagus crowns in the spring, you know that’s the time to plant them. ~ karen!

  17. Marchelle Miller says:

    I pick asparagus for about 6 weeks. Or – when it starts to fern out( I call it going to seed). Then I quit picking it. The ferns grow till it freezes then I trim them down to a few inches off ground. And then they pop up in the spring. LOVE IT!

  18. Beth says:

    I planted my asparagus a month ago. I just realized i didn’t spread the roots apart. Should i dig up and redo?

    • Karen says:

      Well, just see how they grow Beth. You must have spread them apart a little bit because that’s how they grow. It’s actually difficult to push them downwards. They naturally want to grow horizontally so chances are they’ll find their way.~ karen!

  19. Patty says:

    We bought a home with an established asparagus bed and we love it! This is very informative!

    I was wondering what kind of mulch I should use and when is the best time to mulch. Can I use the same mulch that I put around my shrubs and flower gardens?

    In one of the comments, I saw that the plants can also be split – when is the best time to split them? I have several that are in tight clumps.

    Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Patty. The best time to split the plants is when they’re dormant so it depends on where you live. I moved my entire asparagus bed this February when they were dormant and from the look of it all of the plants survived the move. That’s also a good time to split them. The best time to mulch with compost is actually in the fall after the plants have died back. You want to get it on there so the nutrients are available when the asparagus starts producing. You can also add some mid summer. ~ karen!

  20. Patty says:

    We bought a home with an established bed. What kind of mulch should I put on an established bed? Can I use the same mulch I put around my shrubs and flowers?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Patty. An established bed still needs you to add nutrients every year. I’d add 2-3 inches of compost on top of the bed and call it a day. But if you like you can add straw over the whole bed. Wood chips are fine too. They’re mainly to keep moisture in and weeds down. They add a bit of nutrients to the soil as they decompose as well. ~ karen!

  21. Leslie says:

    Oh that sounds good. Ok I will do that then maybe beside the house where I can keep a close eye on them in a fresh bed of new triple mix and composted rabbit poop. Thanks Karen.

  22. Leslie says:

    Karen I looked high and low and couldn’t find asparagus roots but I did find seeds. I am going to try to plant them and see what happens. I could try online but thought I would try the seeds first. I will let you know what happens.

    • Karen says:

      They’ll be fine Leslie, they just take longer to get asparagus from. I know many people who started their asparagus from seed. Plant them in a “nursery bed”. A bed free of weeds and other plants. Then in the fall transplant them into their final resting place. ;) ~ karen!

      • Josh Nieten says:

        Great info and article! Thank you!

        I too have asparagus seeds and planned on starting with those as opposed to crowns. When you say it takes longer to get to the point of being able to harvest asparagus when you plan from seeds… how much longer does it take? Like a another year? Thanks in advance for any insight you can share!

        • Karen says:

          Hi Josh. I’d count on another year until you can pick … possibly two depending on how the first year’s growth goes. And really you can pick a few spears if your plants are doing well just to have one serving of it in the 3rd year or so. Just not so much that you decrease the energy of the plant. ~ karen!

  23. Jay says:

    Building the asparagus bed was the first thing we did when we moved here 14 years ago.
    Best. Decision. Ever.

    The asparagus are getting a little thinner and less productive now, but after 12 years of good meals we can’t complain. We’ve started a new asparagus patch to take over from the exhausted one.

    I think the trouble with planting asparagus is one of mindset. Don’t think of it as planting vegetables – we’re used to picking things within a few weeks of sowing seed with veg.
    Think of it like a fruit tree. You’d expect to wait for the fruit tree to mature a bit before it produced fruit, and after that it needs no help from you but a good mulch every year. Asparagus is the same.

  24. Jessica O'Connor says:

    I planted my asparagus at least 2 years ago, but I didn’t get the thick stalks you were talking about. Should I be doing anything with the plant when it first pokes through in the spring? Or am I just not being patient enough for the thick stuff?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jessica. Your asparagus just isn’t old enough to have nice big spears yet. The older the plant gets the bigger the spears. The same way a young tree has slim tree branches and an older one has big ones. It also depends on the variety of your asparagus. Some are naturally thicker than others. ~ karen!

  25. Stephbo says:

    My husband loves asparagus. Mind you, it’s not about the actual asparagus, but rather it’s about the fact that it makes your pee smell funny. He’d be more than happy to “water” compost as long as he eats asparagus first.

    Who am I kidding? He’d be happy to”water” the compost regardless!

    • Penny says:

      You’re right, it does make your pee smell weird, but that’s incredibly useful if you go fishing from a boat … asparagus pee attracts fish!
      I’m not sure if hubby would be interested in that fact. If he would, maybe you shouldn’t tell him; it sounds like he might be the type to take up fishing just so he had an excuse to pee overboard.

  26. My asparagus are now 4 years old, and this was the first year I got a decent harvest. The fronds, however, are about 8′ tall. Crazy insane mass of green. Forget juniper hedges, just plant asparagus!

  27. If you order the plants in November, when do you plant them? Right away? Because here in Ottawa, that’s frost time and it’s gets pretty cold PDQ.

    Madeleine

    • brenda says:

      I think we order them then to make sure they aren’t sold out come April when they mail them to us … (it’s April now and I just googled and everyone is sold out in Ontario. One site said to order in November 2021 for Spring 2022. I am waiting for strawberry roots from a nursery that I ordered back in December 2020 and expect them to be mailed sometime this month.

  28. Kim says:

    Ok, everything was nice and clear to me and while I’m not crazy about asparagus I think I may like to have those big ferny fronds in my garden……..one question though…….why in Gods name should I pee on my compost?

  29. Jani says:

    karen! Thanks for the detailed instructions. I remember my sister in law bringing bags full to my Mom because my brother would get out his mower and run over them!! Idiot!

  30. Jody says:

    How do you grow white asparagus? And a silly comment–while slowly scrolling down reading your blog for the briefest of moments I thought the photo of you crouched over the bed with your hood up was actually you with crazy blond hair coming out of your hood. Silly, I know.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jody! To grow asparagus that’s white you just mound it up so it doesn’t get any light. :) ~ karen!

  31. I have planted asparagus the last two years -they never seem to grow for me. I went to the trouble of soaking them first last year, because I read on-line it would help. Still no asparagus, and I’m surely due. So where did you get yours? Mine was from the nursery, but it didn’t have those little asparagus baby buds like yours did in the picture. Mine looked like dried up giant spiders. Is it hard to grow?…or just me. I want some asparagus.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dannyelle! I had a lot of trouble when I first tried to grow asparagus which was about 10 years ago. I did the same as you and bought some crowns from my local garden centre. There were many reasons they didn’t grow including putting them where there wasn’t enough sun and then trying to move them from here to there. These last crowns were from laurealt.com a wholesaling company out of Quebec that grows all their own plants. Having them form tiny asparagus was just a fluke and in fact it’s better to get crowns where that hasn’t happened yet because it proves they’re still dormant. Mine were shipped a bit late for some reason, hence they had just started to break dormancy. ~ karen!

  32. Michele S says:

    I just planted my asparagus patch this year! Already I have a few little spears poking up. I know I can’t eat them – but am I supposed to do anything to them at all? Just let them sit there, waving in the breeze?

    So excited for 2018 when I can actually eat them!

    • Karen says:

      Let ’em wave Michele, lol. You can add the straw mulch on top to keep weeds down and a good moisture level, but if you’ve planted them your job is done for the year. :) It’s all up to them now. ~ karen!

  33. Meredith says:

    I weeded my asparagus bed last night. Stupid thistles. I always planted in rows, like every guidebook said. But! The best asparagus bed I ever saw was a raised bed in someone’s yard that was about 8 feet long by 6 feet wide and it was SOLID asparagus. No orderly rows, just coming up everywhere…..no empty spaces. I have to think that was a better way to go about it because there simply wasn’t room for weeds to come in.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Meredith! It could have been that the bed was just old and the asparagus had all filled in. That’s the reason you leave so much space in between the asparagus plants when you first plant them. Because over time to get so big they’ll fill that space in. :) ~ karen!

  34. Mary W says:

    I don’t understand the stop picking from mature plants when the tips are pencil sized. I would think that is when I should start picking. I know the larger stalks taste better so are you saying naughty girl – stop picking the pencil ones until they grow larger? or are you saying I should not pick anymore until I divide the plant. I’m not growing any in Florida but inquiring minds, you know.

    • Karen says:

      Hey Mary! Sorry, I should have been clearer. As the plant grows throughout the spring the asparagus spears get weaker and smaller. After around 4 weeks of producing asparagus or so. Once they start to diminish to the size of a pencil, stop picking them for the season. :) ~ karen!

    • Katie Schneider says:

      We’re talking diameter, not length. Early on, they’re thick and get thinner as the season goes. (So dirty!)

  35. Karol says:

    All I have to say is God Bless Farmers! You know how you look at some people and their jobs and say, “I would never do that!” That’s what I think about farming. My father’s family is FULL of farmers, and it’s a tough row to hoe, ironically speaking. But God Bless ’em, and anyone else who dedicates their lives to growing food for the rest of us. And wow! Two years for asparagus! Who knew.

  36. Gail Blain Peterson says:

    Our asparagus bed is 3 years old — so worth the wait!!

  37. Judith says:

    Gooya! I am actually, at the time of this writing, awaiting a shipment of asparagus crowns to plant in my newly dug bed. The talk I had with myself was pretty much the talk you just had with us – if I’d just gone ahead and done this a couple years ago when it first occurred to me we’d be eating asparagus right now! Great minds think alike!

    p.s. A motion to start peeing on the compost has been submitted at the last two family garden discussions. Oddly, the family member possessing the appendage that would make this the easiest is not at all enthusiastic.

  38. Ann says:

    A couple of quick things to add. It is better to grow an all male variety of asparagus. The females put a lot of their precious plant energy into blooming and setting seed. The all male variety does not. I have asparagus all over my property now because I did not get the all male kind. But luckily the volunteer plants are giving me big fat spears every spring and I pick as much of those as I do the original plants .

    ,Another hint is to make sure you won’t end up with a lot of weed competition. They hate fighting for nutrients with other plants. That is where a good mulching program comes into play

  39. Dee says:

    I love asparagus! I’m planning to plant some crowns next year. What variety did you plant? The only thing I dread is the little beetles the ferny foliage attracted when I had them at my last property, but I think you can just blast those buggers off with a garden hose.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dee. This is an all male variety developed at the University of Guelph called Millennium. ~ karen!

  40. Keely says:

    Or to be even cheaper you can easily grow them from seed! You can find the seed anywhere (maybe even behind your couch). I live in zone 2a and they do fine in my garden with no protection, although I do not cut them down.

  41. Liz says:

    Novice Alert! Just planted asparagus for the first time, but after reading your post, I don’t think I planted enough. So, do they multiply like tulips or do I have to plant more next year, and wait three years for a substantial harvest? Oh dear, I’m afraid I’ll have to wait forever!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Liz. The plants don’t necessarily multiply like tulips but they do get bigger and bigger every year. Like a hosta. And you can eventually split asparagus plants the same. So you’ll end up with a good amount of asparagus it’ll just take you longer to get there if you didn’t plant a lot. ~ karen!

  42. Carey says:

    We planted last year. My question is, do you cut down all the ferns in the winter? I’m in So Cal where we have a long growing season. Thanks, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Carey! I’m not sure about California, but I imagine it would be the same. Once the tops die back you can clip them. But there isn’t any real need to and in fact some people like to leave them until the spring so they can see where their asparagus plants will be sprouting from. :) ~ karen!

  43. Marna says:

    I use to grow asparagus years ago, like about 25, but my husband got tired of looking at the plant. I loved it for both the plant and eating. It was so nice to just go out and pick a few or a bunch just before dinner. My husband dug it up, he wanted the garden smaller. It was pretty large, and it became too much for me to do after having my third son plus I worked full time. Looks like you will have a bunch in the future, yum! :)

  44. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    2 years…I did not know this thing….

  45. Paula says:

    Where did you buy it? Everywhere that I have looked has been sold out for this year.

    • Karen says:

      I bought it in November Paula. :/ You do have to order early for any crops like strawberries, asparagus or other perennial types. I got it from http://www.lareault.com. ~ karen!

      • Paula says:

        I got my asparagus to plant this year. I have two questions that are related to our climate because it is difficult to find info specifically for Ontario (sometimes). How much sun do they need? and what are their water requirements?
        Thanks!

        • Karen says:

          Hi Paula. I’m pretty “fend for yourself” when it comes to vegetables. I’ve been known to water in the very, very hot spells of summer, but it isn’t something I do often. And other than lettuces in the heat of summer I plant everything and anything in full sun (8 hours per day min.). Sorry, I’m sure this answer isn’t much help to you! ~ karen

  46. Cred says:

    Yay! Already did it. I planted them in 2014 and thus my first harvest. So excited! And they’re delicious!

  47. Susan Esch says:

    Very nicely done. When I start craving asparagus, I can read and reread your post. Surely it will help time fly! Gooya.

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