How to Grow Asparagus in Your Garden



Imagine planting a vegetable in your garden that could provide a bountiful harvest year after year for up to 15 years. Asparagus, a perennial favorite among gardeners, offers just that. With its feathery foliage and succulent spears, asparagus isn’t just a tasty addition to your dinner plate; it’s a long-term investment in your garden’s productivity.

However, growing asparagus requires foresight and careful planning. This hardy plant demands a permanent residence in your garden, where it can bask in full sunlight and stretch its roots in well-drained soil. As you contemplate the perfect spot to nurture these green spears, consider the commitment you’re about to make.

Your chosen location will become the asparagus’s home for a decade and a half, so it’s essential to get it right from the get-go. With proper care, your asparagus bed will become a source of pride and joy, as well as a testament to the rewards of thoughtful gardening. So, let’s embark on this journey together, learning how to cultivate a thriving asparagus patch that will grace your table for years to come.

Choosing the Right Asparagus Variety

When it comes to choosing the right asparagus variety for your garden, think of it like finding the right key for a lock. The right match ensures your asparagus grows well, producing a large harvest suited to your climate. Male asparagus plants have become popular among gardeners for their strong productivity and long lifespan, surpassing their female counterparts.

They are the hard workers of the asparagus world, focusing on spear production rather than seeds, which means more asparagus for you and less concern about unwanted sprouting. In recent years, horticulturists have developed new asparagus varieties that are not only easier to plant due to shallower planting requirements, but also excel in yield and disease resistance.

These modern cultivars are designed to simplify your gardening efforts, providing peace of mind with their resilience and the promise of a plentiful harvest. Whether you are dealing with cold northern climates or the heat of the south, there is an asparagus variety bred to thrive in your specific conditions. By choosing wisely, you are setting the stage for a successful garden story that will continue for years, even decades, with each spring bringing a new chapter of growth and abundance.

Preparing the Soil for Asparagus

Roll up yourhow-do-i-grow-asparagus-in-my-garden-2 sleeves and grab your gardening gloves, because it’s time to get down and dirty with soil preparation for your asparagus. The secret to a successful asparagus bed lies beneath the surface, in the rich, well-balanced soil that will nurture your plants for years to come. Asparagus prefers a neutral pH, so aim for a sweet spot between 6.

5 to 7.0 when testing your soil. If the pH is off-kilter, don’t fret. This can be adjusted with lime or sulfur depending on whether you need to raise or lower the pH. To ensure the soil is chock-full of the nutrients asparagus craves, incorporate a generous helping of well-rotted manure or compost into the soil before planting.

This will not only provide a feast of nutrients but also improve soil structure and drainage, which is critical for preventing waterlogged roots. Remember, asparagus is a long-term relationship, not a fling; it’s worth investing the time to create the ideal growing environment from the start. So, test your soil, balance the pH, enrich with organic matter, and watch as your asparagus bed transforms into a perennial powerhouse of production.

Planting Asparagus Crowns and Seeds

When you’re ready to plant asparagus in your garden, you have two primary options: starting from seeds or planting crowns. Crowns are one-year-old asparagus plants that offer a bit of a head start. If you choose crowns, you’ll be able to harvest your first spears in just two to three years.

On the other hand, starting asparagus from seeds is a more patient gardener’s game, requiring about four years until you can fully enjoy the fruits of your labor. While the wait may be longer, seeds can be a more economical choice and offer a wider variety of options. The planting process demands attention to detail.

Asparagus thrives when planted in trenches about a foot wide and six to eight inches deep, spaced far enough apart to give each plant room to flourish. Carefully place crowns at the bottom of the trench, spreading the roots out evenly, and then cover them with soil. If you’re planting seeds, sow them directly into the trench and wait for them to germinate. As your asparagus plants grow, gradually fill in the trench with soil. This method encourages strong root systems and helps ensure a bountiful harvest in the years to come. Remember, patience and precision in planting are key to unlocking the full potential of your asparagus garden.

Caring for Your Asparagus Bed

Once your asparagus bed is established, it’s all about maintenance. Your asparagus plants are like any other member of your garden family – they need consistent care and attention. Water is essential, especially during the first two years as the plants establish themselves. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged to encourage deep root growth.

As for fertilizing, a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer applied in the early spring can give your asparagus the boost it needs to produce those coveted spears. But be mindful not to overdo it, as too much fertilizer can harm the plants. Weeding is another critical task. Asparagus doesn’t handle competition well, so keeping the bed free from weeds and grass is vital for its survival.

Hand-pulling or shallow hoeing is best to avoid damaging the asparagus roots. Pest management is also key. Watch out for common culprits like the asparagus beetle, and use organic or chemical controls as necessary. Remember, a little effort goes a long way in ensuring your asparagus bed remains productive and healthy for many years.

Harvesting Asparagus

When the time comes to reap the rewards of your labor, harvesting asparagus is a delicate dance of timing and technique. Spring warms the soil, watch for the first spears to push through the ground. This is your cue to begin. Using a sharp knife or your fingers, cut or snap the spears at ground level when they reach about six to eight inches tall.

The prime time for harvesting is before the tips begin to open and the spears start to fern out. Keep in mind that in the first few years, you’ll want to harvest sparingly to allow the plants to establish a robust root system. As the bed matures, you can harvest more liberally until the spears become thinner, indicating it’s time to stop.

Stick to the guideline of wrapping up your harvest by June 30th. After this point, it’s crucial to let the plants grow into tall, feathery ferns. This growth phase is not just for show; it allows the asparagus to photosynthesize and store energy in the roots for next year’s crop. By following these harvesting principles, you ensure that your asparagus bed continues to yield tender, flavorful spears each season, making every spring a time of anticipation and delight in your garden.


As we’ve journeyed through the ins and outs of cultivating asparagus, it’s clear that patience and care are the gardener’s true companions. An asparagus bed, with its years to maturity, is a testament to the dedication required to coax these tender spears from the soil. But the promise of 20 to 30 years of harvests is a reward that far outweighs the wait.

The joy of snapping fresh asparagus straight from the earth, with no need for cooking to savor its natural flavor, is a simple pleasure that every gardener should experience. Whether you start from seeds or crowns, the path to a lush asparagus bed is paved with the satisfaction of nurturing growth season after season.

As you reflect on the steps to create this perennial bounty – selecting the right variety, preparing the soil, planting with precision, and caring for your bed – remember that each action is a stitch in the tapestry of your garden’s legacy. So, take the plunge and start your asparagus adventure today. Your future self, and your dinner table, will thank you for the harvests that await.