Asparagus is a long-term crop. Expect 15-year+ harvests from a well-prepared asparagus bed. Nothing tastes like homegrown asparagus and a productive bed is a real investment. Work on 7-10 plants per asparagus eater in your home.
Well-fed plants will produce the best; use a top dressing of compost every autumn and only cut top growth once the winter frosts have killed them off.
Starting from seed:
Start by planting your seed in seedling trays in spring/summer. Transplant into nursery beds for the first winter or two. They can be grown in situ for the first 2-3 years, but must be transplanted before the start of year 4. Once your plants are ready for transplant, dig a trench to at least spade depth, and fill with well-matured compost. Spread a spadeful of calcitic lime per running metre and fill to ground level.
Lift the asparagus crowns in June/July and separate them into individual plants. Using a spade, wedge open the bed and insert the crown with the roots in a fan shape. Space plants 30cm apart in full sun. Water well and fertilise with an organic fertiliser every Aug/Sept.
In the first year of transplant, do not harvest any spears.
Planting 3-year-old crowns:
Asparagus crowns are the best way to cut 3 years of effort in the garden. We grow them on Livingseeds Farm and then lift them while they are dormant in mid-winter. They are supplied bare-rooted and need to be planted in well-prepared soil without delay.
To prepare your soil, dig a trench to a spade's depth and lay some lime calcitic/dolomitic in the bottom, 100 g / running meter of Talborne Organics Bone Phos, some well-rotted compost as a food source, and 100 g / running meter of Talborne Organics Vita Grow. This will provide a great base for years of fantastic harvests.
- 1 & 2 years old – do not harvest
- 3 years old – 2 weeks
- 4 years old – 4 weeks
- 5 years old – 6 weeks
- >5 years old – up to 8 weeks, but monitor vigour.
Over-harvesting will reduce your plants' lifespan.