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How To Grow Asparagus
Asparagus are grown in beds which stay down for many years. Asparagus are usually grown from crowns.
A crown is the root system of a one-year-old asparagus plant that is grown from seed. Buy healthy, disease-free crowns from a reputable crown grower.
The Site for Asparagus should be:
- free draining, light soil is ideal
- permanent, as Asparagus plants live for about 15 years; so the site needs to be where it is not in the way.
The soil for Asparagus needs to be:
- well drained – so your light soil is ideal here
- with water holding capacity – add well rotted farm yard manure – this will provide nutrients as well as hold on to the water
- pH of 6.5 to 7.5 – add lime if too acidic
- good depth – used to be grown in mounds (beds), but raised deep beds are ideal
- remove weeds
- dig in plenty of well rotted farm yard manure
- either in the autumn or 3 weeks before planting in the spring
Plant in the spring in a trench
Prepare the trench:
- only a day or two before planting
- dig out the trench with a spade, so it is 20cm deep, & about 30cm wide (wide enough for the roots to be spread out)
- then put a mound of soil all down the centre of the trench, about 10 cm high, for the crowns to sit on
- place some general fertiliser in the trench (it does not matter if the crowns come into contact with it)
Plant the crowns, 30 cm apart, in the trench, on top of the mound, and fan the roots out either side. The pointed part of the asparagus root should be facing upward.
80 – 90 cm between rows
- back fill the trench to the original soil level. Pat the soil down to get rid of the air pockets but do not compact the soil too much.
- Water the newly planted bed.
Do not harvest the asparagus spears in the first year after planting and allow asparagus fern to develop. Cut these down to 5cm above the ground in autumn.
In the second year harvest the asparagus spears when they are 12cm long above ground. Use a sharp knife, and cut the stem 7cms beneath the soil.
Asparagus are easy to cook and have great nutritional value.
White asparagus are grown in a different way, so that the light is excluded.