Growing Asparagus

Organic Vegetable Gardening
Fact Sheet

Botanical name:  Asparagus officinalis




Planting time: SP
Seeds per ounce: 875-1200
Ounces per square foot: 0.003
Minimum legal germination rate: 70%
Seed spacing (inches): 12
Germination type: Long Germination


Growing Asparagus is a permanent activity, because it's a perennial vegetable crop. It's very important to choose a growing area very carefully as they will spread.

Steps to Preparing an Asparagus Growing Bed:

  1. Test your soil and ammend with recommended fertilizers and nutrients.
  2. Prepare your 4 foot wide growing bed to a depth of 24 inches as early in the season as possible.  See Preparing Garden Beds
  3. Dig an 8 inch-deep ditch down the middle of the bed that is 12 inches wide.
  4. Set the individual asparagus crowns 12 inches from each other in the ditch.
  5. Place 3 inches of soil over the asparagus crowns, water well, and wait 2 weeks or when start to see the plants popping up. Place another 3 inches of soil over the asparagus each week, watering to keep the soil moist.  Repeat this until the ditch is filled up about 2 inches above ground level.

    Do not let the bed dry out for the first 2 years.
  6. Mulch your bed with compost to help retain moisture and suppress weeds (you will still need to weed!)
  7. Each year fertilize with an organic nitrogen fertilizer and mulch with compost.

Wait two years before harvesting your spears on newly planted roots (three years with seed). This gives your plants a chance to get established and strong.

The young spears are picked in the spring.




In garden spacing (inches): 12  
In flat spacing (inches): Broadcast  
Planting depth: 8"
Maximum number of plants per square foot: 2
Nutrient relationship: Heavy Feeder



Days to maturity: Seeds 4yrs
Roots 1 yr
Harvesting period (days): 56
Minimum yields in pounds /square foot: 8


Diseases: Fusarium Wilt - Protect by buying resistant varieties.
Insect pests:(Insect Pest Finder) Asparagus Beetle


'Mary Washington' - commonly found variety. Bred for rust resistance.
'Jersey Giant' - rust and fusarium wilt resistant and yields early.
'Brock Imperial' - offers high yields.
'Princeville' - does well in warmer climates.
'Purple Passion' - sweet purple variety.


Organic Gardening Seed and Plant Sources:


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