Asparagus is a delicious vegetable that takes quite a long time to grow but that many people consider to be worth the wait when enjoyed fresh from their own garden. Even when you give your asparagus plants the highest level of patient care, beds of asparagus still often won’t flourish for a few years; however, it is worth the wait, because once the bed has come to fruition, it will bear abundant levels of asparagus for many years to come, usually lasting anywhere between two and three decades. If you are an asparagus lover and want to grow your own, this guide will help you do so effectively.
Preparing the Asparagus Bed
Back in the day, gardeners were told that they needed to get the asparagus bed ready by digging a trench measuring 18 inches deep. After that was completed, backfilling it with a blend of soil and compost was the next step. Because of the various plant breeders at the Rutgers University New Jersey Institute and other locations, the improved varieties of the crop take much less work to plant and can begin with a trench between only 6 and 12 inches deep.
Because of the hybrids that are now created, the crop will yield higher production amounts, and this is because no energy is wasted in doing so when producing seeds. This is also true because the baby asparagus plants are not produced with this variety, which eliminates the competition of space among the larger plants, and therefore, won’t take up any space and won’t sap all of the nutrients in the soil. Many of these new varieties of asparagus plants are also resistant to two of the most common diseases that plague asparagus, including asparagus rust and fusarium rot.
Before you begin to plant your new asparagus bed, you will need to get rid of all of the grasses and the weeds from the area in which you will plant—even if that means preparing this bed a full year before planting. Asparagus beds can’t tolerate any sort of grass or weeds that it has to compete with.
Dig a trench measuring a foot deep and a foot wide with the crowns planted in 18-inch intervals in the bed. Rock phosphate will help the growth of the plants as will phosphorous that encourages strong root growth and won’t move easily through the soil. Once this is done, mix the fertilizer and compost with some garden soil and then create a mound. Put the asparagus crown on the top at least 6 inches above the soil and get the roots down near the sides. When the shoots start to appear, keep adding soil until the trench is filled back up and is level with the surface of the rest of the soil.
To maintain your asparagus crop, be sure that the plants get plenty of water because they originally grew in wet places like swamps. If you do, you can enjoy delicious asparagus for decades to come.