Plant seeds, plants or roots.† 1 year roots are better than 2 year
roots, 3 year roots and older are not recommended.† Plant
seeds in summer through fall as seeds become available, or the following
spring.† You can plant seeds directly into their permanent bed,
or in a temporary spot for transplanting in spring (so you can choose
the healthiest plants), or in pots 10 to 12 weeks before the frost-free
date.† In spring, when soil temps reach about 50˚, place plants,
seeds or roots 4Ē deep in trenches for larger spears, shallower for
higher production.† Plants need to be between 12Ē to 24" apart
in rows 36Ē or more apart.† Apply about 1 lb. of 0-46-0 (triple superphosphate)
or 2 lbs. of 0-20-0 (superphosphate) or 4 lbs. of steamed bone meal
(about 1 cup per plant) per 50 feet of row directly under plants.
Water the first year; water and fertilizer are not necessary after
that.† Keep well mulched.† Donít till; youíll get less asparagus.†
Asparagus likes a less acid soil than other vegetables, so liming is
recommended.† Mow or cut fronds after they die in fall, remove and replace
mulch with fresh to keep asparagus beetle populations low.
First harvest begins the third year after field planting. General recommendations
dictate harvest for 2 weeks the first year of harvest, 4 weeks the second
year, and 6 weeks the third and following years. Better advice is to
harvest until the spears thin to about the thickness of a pencil.†Harvest
frequently; if you harvest a spear after it gets too tall it will reduce
your harvest.† Remember, thicker stalks are sweeter and more
tender than thin spears.† Allow a few fronds to grow to feed
the roots to extend the harvest, or donít harvest some plants at the
beginning of the season.† When you cut back the fronds later, new sprouts
After the harvest season, let the fronds grow, they are feeding the
roots for next yearís crop.
Cut or snap spears at ground level.† Cut asparagus can be kept fresh
longer if you wrap a moist paper towel around the stem ends, or stand
upright in two inches of cold water. Cover with a plastic bag and refrigerate
for 2 to 3 days or until ready to use.