Asparagus Care: How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Asparagus?

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Asparagus, aka sparrow grass, and garden asparagus, is a perennial flowering plant. Scientifically, it is known as Asparagus Officinalis, which belongs to the Asparagus genus. And what we consume is the young shoots of the plant.

It is a wonderful springtime vegetable with important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In addition to being a delicious vegetable, it is also high in fiber, which supports the health of our digestive systems. But you might need to exercise patience when it comes to cultivating them.

We say this because an asparagus bed won’t reach its full potential for several years, even with the utmost care. But when it does, you won’t ever run out of asparagus again—at least not for ten years. So first, of course, you would need to follow the proper growing and caring requirements.

Asparagus Care
Source: Pinterest

So, if you are already intrigued about growing flowering cum vegetable plants, we are here to help you.

What is Asparagus?

What is Asparagus
Source: kitchentricks

There is a long tradition of using asparagus in savory dishes. Its beginnings can be traced to 3000 B.C. Additionally, we can see its use in medicine by Hippocrates and Dioscorides.

Despite being a perennial flowering plant, asparagus has developed a reputation as a tasty vegetable plant that is increasingly valued for its flavor and nutritional value. It is a fantastic spring veggie that pairs well with several foods.

Asparagus can be either white or green and is typically considered a native of Europe and western temperate Asia. What makes a difference, then? Taste is where there is a difference. The white variety has a milder flavor with a bitter aftertaste, whereas the green version has a strong and nutty flavor.

So, here is a table summarizing the fundamentals of asparagus in case you consider growing this vegetable in your kitchen garden. As a result, you would better understand the vegetable and the conditions required for growth.

Common NameAsparagus, garden asparagus, sparrow grass
Botanical/ Scientific NameAsparagus Officinalis
TypePerennial flowering/ vegetable plant
Native ToEurope and western temperate Asia
Plant SizeTall- 5 feet
Wide- 3 feet
Hardiness ZonesUSDA 4-9
Sun ExposureFull sun
SoilSandy, loamy
pH- slightly acidic- 6.5 to 7.0
WaterRegular- especially when young
Bloom TimeSummer and fall
Flower ColorPale yellow to greenish
ToxicityFruits- toxic to humans
Nutritional ValueHigh


Types of asparagus
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If you’re considering including asparagus in your garden, it’s important to understand the different varieties. But, having said that, you can grow about 15 varieties of asparagus in your backyard or kitchen garden.

So, here is a list of the different varieties of this fantastic plant:-

  • Green Asparagus
  • White Asparagus
  • Purple Asparagus
  • Apollo Asparagus
  • Wild Asparagus
  • Atlas Asparagus 
  • Jersey Asparagus
    • Jersey Knight
    • Jersey Giant
    • Jersey Supreme
  • Precoce D’Argenteuil Asparagus 
  • Purple Passion Asparagus 
  • Mary Washington Asparagus 
  • Viking KB3 Asparagus    
  • African Asparagus Fern 
  • UC 157 Asparagus 
  • Brock Imperial
  • Princeville

How Long Does Asparagus Take to Grow?

How Long Does Asparagus Take to Grow
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Before you proceed to grow this amazing plant, here is a disclaimer:

Asparagus takes time to grow!

To be precise, it takes asparagus plants two to three years after planting to really get going and start producing a sizable harvest. So hold your patience!  However, once they get established, you will get a bountiful harvest every spring, at least for a decade.

Additionally, once rooted, asparagus grows quickly, which is good news. Moreover, throughout the spring and summer, the plant yields half a pound of stalks for every foot of row.

Planting Asparagus

Despite being categorized as a flowering plant, asparagus is a special type of plant that we may consume. The plant’s stems, which are its edible components, are known as spears. Since asparagus is a perennial plant that returns year after year in the same spot, there are a few things to take into account while planting it.


One of the primary considerations when growing asparagus is choosing the right size or location. This is important because this plant will re-grow every year in the same location. Hence, choosing a site that receives 6-8 hours of bright sunlight will be helpful.

The Planting Bed

In well-drained soil, asparagus thrives. As a result, it would be strongly recommended to prepare a bed with sandy and loamy soil. You can also consider adding compost to the soil. Additionally, create the planting bed far from the areas that need to be planted and replanted.

Removing weeds and grasses from the planting area is the next thing to consider. Remember that with asparagus, weed growth cannot be risked. It will not work, and your plant might potentially suffocate to death.

Soil Preparation

Soil Preparation
Source: allaboutgardening

So how can you get the best soil ready for asparagus?

Work with compost and organic materials; it’s that easy. Ensure the soil has good drainage and pH is between 6.5 and 7. The roots of asparagus do not like to become very soaked.

If you don’t have access to a spot with good drainage, you can grow asparagus in raised beds.

Once the crowns start to grow, you can fertilize the soil with a nitrogen-based product.

Additionally, it is advised to monitor the soil’s nutrient level every two to three years because asparagus will re-grow every spring once its roots become established. Therefore, you can add fertilizer, manure, or compost every year in the early spring or after harvest in late June or early July.

Another consideration is maintaining 12 to 15 inches of loose soil to aid in the proper germination of the plant’s crowns.


When to grow asparagus? The answer is early-spring if you live in a colder region and fall and winter if you stay in a less-cold region.


Both seeds and crowns can be used to cultivate asparagus. If you choose the first alternative, i.e., intend to grow asparagus from seeds, you should be aware that seedling development requires at least two years. But if you want to cut the time in half, consider cultivating sound 1- or 2-year-old crowns.

They are easily available for purchase at a neighboring nursery or garden center. Additionally, you can purchase transplants from nurseries that have been begun from seeds and plant them right into the ready-made soil.

Note: Choose the all-male variety if you want a higher yield.

How to Plant Asparagus?

How to Plant Asparagus
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Now that you learned about the preparations you need to make to cultivate asparagus. So, here are the steps that you can follow to cultivate your asparagus or sparrow grass.

  • Prepare the soil with manure or compost.
  • Dig a 12-18” wide trench and up to 8” wide.
  • Keep a space of 3 feet between each trench if digging multiple trenches.
  • Soak the crown in lukewarm water for a few hours before planting them.
  • Plant each spear about (at least) 12” apart.

Once you are ready with the trenches and crowns, you can follow either option below.

Little-by-Little Method

Little-by-Little Method

This is called the little-by-little method because you need to take one step at a time to fill up the trench where you are growing your asparagus plants.

  • Cover the crowns with soil.
  • Bury the crowns 2 inches deep.
  • Water sufficiently to keep the soil moist but not overly wet.
  • As the spears grow 1-2 inches, add 1 layer of soil to the trench. You can add up to 2 inches of soil but be cautious not to bury the newly grown spears.
  • Repeat the process until you cover the trench with soil from the ground level. For this, you may need to add soil 1-2 times throughout the growing season, depending on the depth of the trench.
  • After the trench is leveled, you can mound soil around the plant’s root area to prevent water from pooling around

Once-in-All Method

This is much opposition to the method we mentioned above. In this method, you can fill them with soil and compost trench all at once. Your young asparagus stalks would grow successfully if the soil is kept loose. In light of this, irrigate your crowns frequently to maintain moisture but avoid making the soil soggy.


If you must move your asparagus plants, do so in the first few weeks of spring while they are still latent. They can also be moved before the first fall frost in the late fall. Here are a few stages to guide you through the project.

  • Loosen the soil around the plant using a garden fork.
  • Crowns should be dug up.
  • Don’t disturb the roots at any cost.
  • The cluster should be split into two or more pieces.
  • In the new spot, plant the crowns.
  • Give them plenty of water.


Source: Pinterest

It’s now time to harvest what you have sowed- delicious asparagus. 

But wait at least the first and second years after planting before harvesting your crop. However, it would be ideal if you could also wait until the third year and exercise a bit more restraint.

Reduce watering in the fall and let the stems become dormant. Then, when your plants are at least 8 to 10 inches tall, and 14 inches in diameter and are in their fourth year, you can harvest them. Keep a watchful check on the spears’ development because they grow incredibly quickly and soon turn woody.

Asparagus can be harvested quite simply. Above the soil level, the spears can be snapped off or cut with a sharp knife. Select spears with lengthy tips that are tight and stiff. Every 2 to 3 days, asparagus should be harvested.


Source: Pinterest

The best asparagus is always just harvested. You may, however, choose to save them for a later time. Follow the procedures listed below for the right way to store gathered asparagus.

  • To maintain the sugar content of newly cut asparagus stalks, submerge them in cold water.
  • The spears should be bundled.
  • Wrap a damp cloth around the stem ends.
  • The package should be put in a plastic bag.
  • The bag should be kept in the fridge.

Note: Asparagus is a very delicate vegetable, so it should be consumed within two or three days from harvest.

Pests and Diseases

You won’t have to worry much about weeds or pest problems growing asparagus. Nevertheless, weeds are a problem for this vegetable. Therefore, hand pulling must be regularly done in the spring and the beginning of the summer. Keeping weeds at bay throughout the summer can be accomplished by mulching your plants.

Beetles are a pest that afflicts asparagus, according to pest issues. So as the spears emerge in the spring, keep an eye out for them. If you see any, hand-pick them and place them in a pail of soapy water. Diluted neem oil can also be sprayed to get rid of beetles.

Some other pests and diseases that are likely to affect asparagus plants are listed below.

Asparagus rust Fungus• Green spots on spears
• Yellow/orange concentric rings on spears
• Brown ferns
• Rust-colored spores
Asparagus beetlesPest/ insect• Brown spears
• Defoliation
Fusarium crown rotFungus• Reddish-brown spots
• Stunted ferns
• Rotting spears
CutwormsPest/ insect• Wilted spears
Slugs/snailsMollusk• Holes on spears
• Slimes on spears or soil


So, this was all about planting, growing, and harvesting asparagus. It is not at all tough to cultivate this vegetable. However, it will help if you have some patience to let the vegetable get established and grow before you can harvest it.

That said, keep in mind that asparagus is not really bothered much by pests and diseases. So, just keep the basic care needs intact, and your plant will be good to grow and flourish.

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