Answer: Asparagus should be planted in full sun in an area where it may remain for a long time; asparagus can produce for twelve to fifteen years or even longer. It needs a rich soil that is evenly moist yet well drained. It should be an organic soil, prepared very deep (at least two feet down or more) because the roots are extensive. The bare root crowns are set into a trench about three feet apart in rows about five feet apart and covered with a few inches of rich soil. They are then gradually covered over with more soil as they grow. When the soil is level with the surrounding area, apply several inches of mulch to help keep down weeds and feed the soil as it decomposes over time. Apply a generous layer of composted manure each fall after frost and apply compost and/or a complete fertilizer (such as a granular 10-10-10 all purpose) each spring according to the label instructions. Maintain a generous layer of organic mulch year round. Harvest spears over only a short period beginning the second year after planting, then harvest normally over about two months the third year on out. Pick only spears with a diameter larger than a pencil.
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