How to Plant Asparagus

  • Asparagus must have fertile soil so make a heavy application of compost and fertilizer before planting. Moist sandy soil is ideal. Young asparagus plants will benefit from an application of phosphorus at planting. Add lime if deemed necessary from a soil test. Asparagus prefer a neutral pH.
  • Break up the soil and plant asparagus in rows that are 4 -5 feet apart.
  • Dig the trench or furrow 10-12 inches deep and 24 inches wide.
  • Put 2 inches of compost material in the bottom of the trench 10 lbs. of 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 fertilizer for each 100 ft. Mix the soil thoroughly and cover with 1-2 inches of topsoil.
  • Set the asparagus crowns 8-10 inches apart, carefully spreading the roots in their natural position. Cut off any broken or injured roots.
  • Cover the crowns with 3 inches of topsoil.
  • After growth begins, add enough topsoil to cover the new growth. Continue to add topsoil as asparagus grows until the trench is filled and level with the ground.
  • Fertilize twice per year. Make one application before growth starts in the spring and a second application as soon as harvest is finished. Don’t skimp on water when the top growth is developing.
  • Weeding is essential to keeping an asparagus bed productive.
  • Do not harvest the first year after planting. The second year harvest for only two weeks. The third year you will be able to harvest the usual 5-8 weeks. Harvest when spears are ½ inch in diameter and 6-10 inches long.

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