Asparagus is a perennial bulb that greets us on a lot of menus. This stem vegetable takes a long time to grow, but once it grows, it remains productive for the next two or three decades. It really is worth the effort and wait. Learn from the following guide to grow your own asparagus in your garden.
- Get Your Crown
The crown refers to the dormant root. Instead of starting with seeds that are finicky, people like to start planting with its crown. These crowns are available in early spring for a short while and you can order from any nurseries at the far north if you are late getting them.
Female asparagus produces pretty red berries in fall but fewer spears comparing to the male. There are many recommended varieties you can choose from Purple Passion, UC 157, to Jersey Giant and Martha Washington. Pick your crowns.
- Prepare the Soil
After removing all vegetation in the soil, loosen six to eight inches depth of the soil with digging fork. Add two to three inches of compost layer and mix it with the soil. Your soil pH needs to be 7, so you need to add lime to improve its acidic properties. A 4×8 inches bed should be enough for ten crowns so prepare the space accordingly. Eight feet space between rows will be needed too. Add organic vegetable fertilizer to your soil mixture for extra boost.
- Start Planting
After spreading the wheelbarrows content along the length of the trench, make a six inches tall soil mixture conical mounds in every 18 inches along the trench. Then, plant each crown on the mound top and make sure its roots are splayed out into every direction. Cover each crown and space between mounds with two inches of soil and water deeply.
- Watering and Filling
Keep filling the trenches with the remaining excavated soil as your asparagus grows. The bed needs to be kept moist, not soggy, especially during the first growing season. To reduce weed germination and conserve the moisture, spread mulch layer over the bed.
Wait for at least a year before harvesting for the first time. It needs to develop root system. You can harvest spears that are larger than pencil every week. Third year harvesting is great every two weeks, and six weeks period is recommended for the fourth and subsequent years. You should have your asparagus for the rest of the years then.