Planting Asparagus - Knowledgebase Question

East Orange, Ne
Avatar for hidekomoore
Question by hidekomoore
April 19, 2009
I would like to plant asparagus in my yard.Is it too late? If not how should I prepare my soil. Mine is kind of clay soil. Thank you.

Answer from NGA
April 19, 2009
It is not too late to plant asparagus. The site should be sunny; Asparagus will benefit from a luxurious growing area. Dig a great deal of organic material into the planting area, a 6" layer of well rotted manure or compost spread over the top of the bed and dug in will be perfect. It would also be good to work in some bone meal and wood ash at planting time (for phosphorous and potassium). Asparagus prefers a sandy loam soil for best growth. Plant asparagus in rows, 4' between them. Dig trenches about 15 inches deep and 4 or 5 feet apart. Add a layer of well-rotted manure or compost (as mentioned above) in the bottom of the ditch. Add back some of the soil you removed, mixing it in with the bone meal. Form a little mound along the length of the trench. Set out the crowns on the top of this mound, spreading the roots carefully and spacing about 2 feet apart. Bury the roots with about 6 inches of soil, packing it gently around the crowns. Gently water the newly-planted crowns. As the shoots emerge, keep adding more soil around them, until the trenches are filled to ground level. Ten plants per person should give you plenty of asparagus. The first year after planting you will see a few pathetic looking spears come up...don't pick them! The plant matures by letting these spears turn into "ferny" foliage and this takes a few seasons. Don't cut the foliage down until late winter when it browns completely. The second year there will be more spears...sorry, don't pick them either. (You can pick a few that are about the diameter of your finger only. Wait until the third year to begin harvesting.

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