Planting & Care:
Asparagus takes several years to mature into the edible spears we’re familiar with, but once it matures, it will produce for years to come. We recommend planting 1-year crowns rather than seeds, which gives you a year’s head start on your crop. 10 plants should produce enough for one to two people each season.
Asparagus produce best in full sun, and will have fewer disease problems. They prefer light soils with good drainage that warm up early in the spring, which makes a raised bed a good choice for asparagus.
Dig trenches 12” wide and 8-10” deep. Spread compost or manure over the bottom of the trench and cover with soil. Set the crowns 18” apart and spread the roots out flat. Cover with 2” of soil. As new shoots appear, gradually fill in the trench. By midsummer the trench should be filled to the soil level. Mulch to control weeds and conserve moisture. Water and weed regularly for the first year or two. Old brown top growth can be cut to the ground in early spring.
Watch for asparagus beetles, spray with insecticidal soap if needed.
Harvesting
Do not harvest during the first two years while the plants are establishing their roots. During the third season, pick the spears over a four-week period beginning in early spring. The next year, extend the season to eight weeks. Cut spears with a sharp knife at or just below the soil level.