The Q&A Archives: Unproductive Asparagus

Question: About 5 years ago I purchased a dozen 2 year old asparagus roots. To this day I don't get enough for one meal. I planted following instructions and the last few years I purchased special fertilizer with no results. Is there something more I can do?

Answer: Asparagus takes two or three years to become productive, and should provide edible spears for 10-15 years. If you amended the bed prior to planting, set out roots so that the tops were 6-8 inches below the surface, watered generously during the summer, and the plants receive full sunlight, you should be harvesting by now! Male plants are the ones that are productive. Female plants send out ferns and berries. Make sure your asparagus are named varieties like "Jersey Giant" or "Martha Washington". In the fall, cut all of the foliage down and cover the plants with mulch to protect them during the winter. You might want to renovate your asparagus bed, add some aged manure, and replant the crowns this year to see if that doesn't improve things for you.

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