Asparagus is a delicious and nutritious vegetable that can easily grow in your garden. However, to get the most out of your asparagus crop, it’s essential to understand the different stages of asparagus growth and how to care for these plants.
This article will guide you through the 3 stages of growing asparagus, planting, care, and harvesting.
Table of Contents
What Is The Best Time Of Growing Asparagus?
When it comes to growing asparagus, timing is crucial for a successful harvest. The best time to grow asparagus is in the early spring or late fall when the soil temperature is between 50-60°F (10-15°C). This is the perfect time to plant the asparagus crowns, which are the plant’s roots.
Growing asparagus from seed can be a bit more challenging, as it will be longer than starting with crowns. The best time to start asparagus seeds is in the early spring, just after the last frost. This will allow seeds to germinate in cool, moist soil and establish themselves before the hot summer weather arrives.
What Are The Stages Of Growing Asparagus?
There are 3 stages of growing asparagus: planting, care, and harvest. Each step requires a specific time and condition. So, let’s discuss the stages of growing asparagus from crowns and seeds in detail.
Stage 1. Planting Asparagus
Choosing a Site
The first step in planting asparagus is to choose the right site. Asparagus is a perennial plant that can grow for 25 years or more, so it is vital to choose the perfect spot for it to thrive.
Asparagus prefers full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight per day) to partial shade (4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day) and well-draining soil.
So, look for a location with access to enough sunlight and ensure that the soil is not prone to waterlogging. Asparagus cannot tolerate soggy soil.
Pro Tip: Avoid choosing places for asparagus near garlic, onions, scallions, and potatoes. These plants will compete for the same nutrients.
Preparing the Soil
Asparagus requires fertile and well-draining soil to thrive. To prepare the ground for planting, remove any weeds and debris. Add compost, well-rotted animal manure, or other organic matter to the soil.
Planting the Asparagus Crowns
Once your soil is prepared, you can plant the asparagus crowns. Asparagus is usually planted in early spring or fall.
Dig a trench about 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) deep and place the crowns 12-18 inches (30-46 cm) apart. Cover crowns with 4 inches (10 cm) of soil and water thoroughly. Then, keep covering the crowns with soil as they grow.
Pro Tip: Even if the soil is moist after planting asparagus, water it heavily. This will ensure that the soil settles and eliminates air pockets around the roots.
Planting the Asparagus Seeds
If you decide to grow asparagus from seed, here are the steps to follow:
- Start seeds indoors 10-12 weeks before the estimated transplantation date.
- Soak the seeds for 2 hours in water before sowing.
- Take seed trays or pots and fill them with a soil mix.
- Sow seeds 1/2 inches (1.5 cm) deep and 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) apart.
- Place the seed trays in a warm, bright location indoors.
- Asparagus seeds may take 2 to 8 weeks to germinate.
- Harden off 10-12 weeks old seedlings before transplanting.
- Transplant seedlings when the danger of frost has passed. Space 12-18 inches (30-46 cm) apart in a hole that is 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) deep. Then, cover with 4 inches (10 cm) of soil.
- Keep covering the seedlings with soil as they grow until it is even with the surrounding area.
Pro Tip: The spacing between seeds (step 4) is only important if you have a limited amount of seeds. In case you have an abundance, it’s always better to oversee and pick out the week after the germination.
Stage 2. Care and Maintenance
Asparagus needs regular watering to ensure healthy growth. During the growing season, water asparagus plants at least once a week and more regularly during the dry spells.
To ensure proper moisture, water the soil to a depth of approximately 6 inches (15 cm).
Fertilize asparagus plants for a healthy crop. In early spring, apply a balanced organic fertilizer to the soil around the asparagus plants. Repeat the application of fertilizer every two weeks until mid-summer.
Pro Tip: Reduce the amount of fertilizer if your soil is rich in organic matter.
Mulching your asparagus plants will retain soil moisture, suppress weed growth, and act as fertilizer as the mulch breaks down.
Apply a thin layer of organic mulch, such as straw, shredded leaves, or woodchips, around the base of the plants. Increase the amount of mulch further away from the plant.
Do not cover the growing tips!
Asparagus is susceptible to weed competition, which can reduce the yield and quality of this vegetable.
Mulching around the plants will suppress most of the weaker weeds. However, the stronger ones, such as dandelions or trestles, can still penetrate the mulch layer and compete with asparagus for nutrients and water. So, regular weeding is crucial to keep the surroundings free of weeds.
Hand weeding is the safest method, as it will minimize the possible damage to the asparagus plants and their roots.
Stage 3. Harvesting Asparagus
Asparagus plants take about 3 years to establish before it’s ready for harvesting when grown from seeds, while asparagus plants grown from crowns will take 2 years.
The harvesting can start after the asparagus foliage has died back and changed color to brown or yellow.
Cut the emerged spears when they are 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) tall and have a diameter of about 1/2 inch (1.3 cm). Use a sharp knife or shears to cut the spears at ground level.
Pro Tip: Always leave two or three spears on the plant during harvesting to ensure the plant is healthy and productive.
Pests and Diseases
Asparagus beetles, asparagus aphids, asparagus miners, cutworms, snails, and slugs are common pests that can damage asparagus plants. 
To prevent these pests, regularly inspect plants and remove any eggs or larvae you find.
If they persist, fungicide spray will be required to control these diseases.
Growing asparagus is a rewarding and enjoyable experience, but it requires proper care and attention. Following these 3 stages of growing asparagus and our tips for planting, caring for, and harvesting your asparagus plants, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of this delicious and healthy vegetable.
So, here you go! All asparagus growth stages were briefly explained. If you enjoyed reading this article, check out our other similar ones in the Gardening How To section.
Want to share your thoughts, or have you read something you disagree with? Send us an email! We would love to discuss it 🙂