The Q&A Archives: Growing Asparagus

Question: Hi! We are new transplants to GA (2 years) from FL. I planted some crowns 4/6/09. When should they sprout? How do I care for them? Thanks!

Answer: Asparagus is considered a cool-season plant but grows in many environments. Average day-night temperatures of 70-50 are ideal, but it's climatically well suited to most of Georgia.

Any soil type will work for asparagus. But it won't tolerate wet soil. In general, you plant by preparing a trench 12 inches deep and 12 to 18 inches wide. Fill the bottom 4 inches with organic material and cover with a layer of soil.

Space crowns 10 to 12 inches apart, in rows 4 to 5 feet apart. Lay crowns on their side at the bottom of the furrow 6 to 8 inches deep and cover with 1 to 3 inches of soil. Gradually fill in the trench with soil as the ferns grow, but don't cover the growing tip.

Water deeply once or twice a week and top dress the bed with a 5-10-5 fertilizer as soon as the sprouts start to grow (they will, as soon as the roots hydrate and the weather is just right).

Harvest only two or three times in the spring one year after planting. You should be able to harvest for about two months in succeeding years.

Cut spears about an inch below the soil surface when they're 6 to 8 inches long and the heads are tight. After you stop cutting, allow the tops to develop and produce ferns.

Other than the above, asparagus is easy to grow. Enjoy!

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