Grow Some Asparagus in Your Garden!
Asparagus has been a favorite garden vegetable for more than 2,000 years. Originating from eastern Mediterranean countries and Africa, it was eaten both fresh and dried by ancient civilizations. A perennial, asparagus can grow and produce for up to 15 years in the garden. Ten crowns per person should be planted in the family garden. Only male plants such as Jersey Giant should be planted. Female cultivars such as Martha Washington produce few spears and become weedy nuisances in the garden.
Asparagus plants like deep organic soils with good drainage. Most gardeners plant crowns which are just clumps of asparagus roots. Asparagus crowns should be planted in the late fall or early spring. It takes about 3 years to start getting a full harvest. If planting in clay soils, amend with organic matter or plant in raised beds. Harvest tender stems in the early spring when they are the size of a pencil and then allow plants to grow until after frost before cutting the excess foliage away. It is also important to keep weeds under control since this is a perennial crop and will be grown in the same location for many years.
Asparagus crowns are available during our Annual Small Fruit Plant Sale. Jersey Giant asparagus comes in bundles of 10 crowns for $15. For more information on ordering plants, go to our Small Fruit Plant Sale page.