I have a great trivia question for you, name a vegetable that comes up year after year that produces a crop for 15 to 20 years? If you guessed asparagus, you are a winner. If you’re thinking about planting an asparagus bed this year, now is the time (early spring). Pick a location that is in the western or northern part of your garden so the asparagus ferns don’t shade other plants in late summer.
To plant asparagus, dig a trench about 6 to 8 inches deep, add a layer of compost (about one inch) and place asparagus crowns and roots
approximately 12 to 18 inches apart in trench.
Cover crowns and roots with 2 inches of soil and continue filling the trench with soil as stems grow.
When the trench is completely filled, add a layer of mulch and water regularly.
My first attempt at growing asparagus was nothing short of a disaster. I buried the asparagus crowns and roots so deep in the soil there was no way they were ever going to see the sun (oh the lessons I have learned).
You can begin harvesting fresh asparagus after two years of plant growth. This can be a test of patience. You see this beautiful spear of asparagus growing in your garden and you can’t harvest it for “TWO” years. Remember though, your patience will pay off when you have a beautiful high yielding asparagus bed that will last for years.
An asparagus harvest lasts approximately 4 to 8 weeks. After harvest allow the spears to grow into ferns through the remaining summer months to replenish the nutrients for next year’s spear production. Check out “How does your garden grow” on page 39 in our book Eating Pure in a Processed Foods World ® for photos of the 3 stages of asparagus: Roots, Spears and Ferns.
To prepare an asparagus bed for the winter, cut back the ferns in mid-fall. Cover with 1 inch of compost and top with 6 inches of mulch.