The Q&A Archives: Asparagus In Northern Florida

Question: Can I grow asparagus in northern Florida? If so, how should I prepare the growing area? I know it takes several years to cut, but I'm a gardener, so I try to be patient!

Answer: Good asparagus spear production is dependent upon a dormant period. Since Florida has neither, growth is more or less continuous, resulting in weak spindly spears. According to the Florida Extension Service, asparagus beds in north and central Florida often yield good quality spears for 4-5 years before regressing.

Gardeners trying asparagus should set out 1 or 2-year old crowns or plant seeds in the spring. Sow seeds 1/2 to 1 inch deep, and about 4 inches apart in 6-inch-deep furrows spaced 5 feet apart. Fill the furrow as you cultivate, until a level bed is obtained. Seeds take about 2-6 weeks to germinate. If crowns are used, set them 6-8 inches deep and 12 inches apart. Fertilize at planting, using manure if available.

Many Florida gardeners dig pits and fill with an abundant amount of organic compost on which to grow the asparagus. Established asparagus generally tolerates salty soils better than most other vegetables.

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