The Q&A Archives: Planting asparagus

Question: We planted asparagus in April and would like to know when they can be harvested.

Answer: Asparagus crowns should be allowed to grow with harvesting the first year. The second year you can harvest a few spears and by the third year you can harvest even more spears. Asparagus may be harvested as long as it is at least as thick as a pencil. Take only a small percentage of the larger shoots next year, more the following year. This will allow the plants to continue to put energy into becoming established. In early spring you can apply a complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10 according to the label instructions and/or a good rich compost. Keep the plants well mulched all summer to keep down weeds. In the late fall, after frost has killed back the tops, remove the dead tops to help reduce the chance of overwintering pests or diseases. In late fall, cover the asparagus bed with a generous layer of compost and organic mulch. This will rot down and help feed the soil on a regular basis over time. Best wishes with your asparagus.

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