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Simple Tips to Grow Asparagus

by Shirley Cox (shirleycox)

Asparagus.large
Asparagus

Asparagus can be grown from seed, or by planting crowns that have been purchased or that have been separated from your own existing plants.

Asparagus is a member of the lily family. If you properly plan the asparagus section of your garden, you can have decades of asparagus year after year. Asparagus likes full sun and needs porous, well-aerated soil for its dense and extensive root network. Proper preparation for growing anything always involves soil testing.

Asparagus can be grown from seed, or by planting crowns that have been purchased or that have been separated from your own existing plants. Plant seeds 1/2 inch deep and 2 inches apart in the row. The female plants bear seeds, which takes away from the yield of female asparagus shoots.

A type of asparagus that produces only male plants has created hybrid varieties such as Jersey Giant, Jersey Knight, Jersey Prince and Viking KBC, which produce larger yields than plants previously known. If you are establishing a garden by planting crowns, plant them 4-6 weeks before the expected last frost of the season.

Plant asparagus seeds 10-20 inches apart in trenches, 12-18 inches wide and 7 inches deep (for Jersey series cultivars, plant five inches deep). You can cover the roots with more soil as the plants grow, because asparagus has a tendency to rise as the plants mature; crowns gradually grow closer to the soil surface. As noted, asparagus plants are dioeciously (solely male or solely female). The female plants develop more spears or stems than the male plants, and are often seeded, but the stems are smaller in diameter. With normal open-pollinated varieties, gardeners plant both male and female plants in a ratio of 1:1. Because asparagus is a low-growing plant, it is plagued by weeds, and the tactic of mulching, along with careful and constant removal of weeds, is necessary to keep the asparagus from being overgrown.

Problems of spotted and solid-colored asparagus beetles, Fusarium wilt and crown rot are the common plagues that harm asparagus. Asparagus can be harvested the third year after planting crowns, but for no more than one month the first season. The plant is still expanding its root storage system and excessive removal of spears weakens the plants. Asparagus deteriorates rapidly after harvest. If you must store any variety of asparagus, treat it as you would treat a cut flower. The flavor of asparagus is distinctive.

Want to know how asparagus grown indoors? Advanced Nutrients articles gives you the tips and guidance for growing asparagus indoors.

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marcydiané commented on 06/01/12
I&#x27;ve always wanted to plant asparagus but have been kind of intimidated! Maybe I&#x27;ll try it this Spring...! Thanks so much for posting.
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chief cultivator commented on 10/18/11

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