Sunday, 25 June 2017

Growing Asparagus

Asparagus is easily one of my favourite vegetables, and the best thing is that it is also one of the easiest veggies to grow and will supply you with delicious spears for twenty years or more if properly cared for.  

Bare rooted asparagus crowns can be bought from most garden centres or nurseries, as well as online and are usually planted out during winter through to early spring. Choose a sunny position with well draining soil that  has been enriched with plenty of organic matter, well rotted horse manure would be a good choice if you can get hold of some, plant crowns at least 10cm deep and between 35 - 40cm apart.  

During the first year of growth it is very important that the spears are not harvested as this will weaken the plant, a light harvest can be made in the second year, and in the years to follow the spears can be harvested every two to three days (they grow very quickly) over a six week period. Any spears that appear after that time should be left to grow into fronds. Pick only those spears that are at least as thick as a finger, and 15 - 20cm tall, any spears smaller than that should be left to grow. Keep your asparagus well watered during spring and summer and fertilise with pelletised chicken manure once harvesting has been completed.

Asparagus can also be grown from seed, but it will be three years before any spears will be able to be harvested.  

Asparagus fronds will start to turn yellow during the winter and this is when they will need to be cut down to ground level and the asparagus bed covered in a good thick layer of compost or manure, followed by a layer of straw, this will give them a good start when they start to grow again in spring.
Asparagus fronds ready to be cut down.
See, easy, the hardest part is waiting until you can harvest, but it is definitely worth the wait.