How to Grow Asparagus: The Ultimate Guide


Growing asparagus is a rewarding experience for any gardener. This perennial crop requires patience, but the payoff is a delicious harvest for years to come. Whether you are an experienced gardener or just starting out, this guide will give you all the information you need to successfully grow asparagus.

Before we dive into the details of growing asparagus, let’s start with some basic information. Asparagus is a member of the lily family and can grow up to 6 feet tall. The edible part of the plant is the young shoot, also known as a spear or stalk. Asparagus is a cool-season crop and can be grown in most regions of the United States.

Now, let’s get started with the step-by-step process of growing asparagus!

Site Selection

Choosing the right site for your asparagus bed is crucial for a successful harvest. Asparagus prefers well-drained soil and full sun. It is also important to select a location that will not be disturbed for many years, as asparagus can last up to 20 years in the same spot.

When selecting your site, make sure to avoid areas with heavy shade, poor drainage, or competition from other plants. Asparagus is a heavy feeder, so it is important to choose a location that has fertile soil.

One way to ensure that your soil is fertile enough for asparagus is to conduct a soil test. A soil test will tell you the pH level of your soil and whether or not you need to add any amendments.

Preparing the Soil

Once you have selected your site, the next step is to prepare the soil for planting. Asparagus prefers a soil pH of 6.0 to 7.0, so if your soil is too acidic, you will need to add lime to raise the pH level.

It is also important to add organic matter to your soil to improve its fertility. Some good organic matter sources include compost, well-rotted manure, or leaf mold.

Before planting, make sure to remove any weeds or grass from the area. You can do this by either hand-pulling or using a hoe. It is also a good idea to till the soil to a depth of at least 8 inches.

Planting Asparagus Crowns

The best time to plant asparagus crowns is in the spring, as soon as the soil can be worked. Asparagus crowns are the rootstock of the plant and can be purchased from nurseries or online.

When planting the crowns, dig a trench that is 6 to 8 inches deep and 12 to 18 inches wide. Spread a layer of compost or well-rotted manure on the bottom of the trench and then create a ridge of soil in the center of the trench.

Place the crowns on top of the ridge, spacing them 12 to 18 inches apart. Cover the crowns with 2 to 3 inches of soil and then water thoroughly.

Caring for Asparagus

After planting, it is important to care for your asparagus plants to ensure a successful harvest. The first step is to keep the bed weed-free. Asparagus does not compete well with weeds, so it is important to keep them under control.

It is also important to water your asparagus bed regularly, especially during dry spells. Asparagus requires about 1 inch of water per week.

Another important step in caring for asparagus is to fertilize it regularly. Asparagus is a heavy feeder, so it is important to provide it with plenty of nutrients. Apply a complete fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 or 16-16-8, in the spring and then again in the fall.

Harvesting Asparagus

The wait for your first asparagus harvest can be long, but the reward is worth it. Asparagus takes about 2 to 3 years to become established, so you will need to be patient.

The first year after planting, do not harvest any asparagus. Instead, let the plants grow and develop their root system.

In the second year, you can harvest asparagus for about 2 weeks. Harvest only the spears that are thicker than a pencil and cut them at ground level with a sharp knife or scissors.

In the third year and beyond, you can harvest asparagus for about 6 to 8 weeks. Harvest the spears when they are 6 to 8 inches tall and cut them at ground level.

Asparagus Pests and Diseases

Like all plants, asparagus can be susceptible to pests and diseases. Some common pests include asparagus beetles, slugs, and cutworms. To control these pests, you can use insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Asparagus can also be affected by diseases such as fusarium root rot and asparagus rust. To prevent these diseases, make sure to provide good drainage and proper air circulation around the plants.

Table: How to Grow Asparagus

Step Description
1 Select a site with full sun and well-drained soil.
2 Prepare the soil by adding organic matter and adjusting the pH.
3 Plant the asparagus crowns in the spring.
4 Care for the asparagus by keeping it weed-free, watering regularly, and fertilizing.
5 Harvest the asparagus when it is ready.
6 Control pests and diseases as necessary.


1. Can I grow asparagus in containers?

Yes, asparagus can be grown in containers, but it is not recommended. Asparagus has a deep root system, and containers may not provide enough space for it to grow properly.

2. How long does it take for asparagus to grow?

Asparagus takes about 2 to 3 years to become established and produce a harvest.

3. Can I plant asparagus near other vegetables?

Yes, asparagus can be planted near other vegetables, but it is important to give it enough space and not plant it too close to other plants.

4. How do I know when to harvest asparagus?

Harvest asparagus when the spears are 6 to 8 inches tall and cut them at ground level.

5. Can I cut asparagus spears below ground level?

No, it is important to cut asparagus spears at ground level to avoid damaging the crown of the plant.

6. How often should I fertilize asparagus?

Asparagus should be fertilized twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.

7. Can I grow asparagus from seeds?

Yes, asparagus can be grown from seeds, but it takes longer to establish and produce a harvest than planting crowns.

8. How do I control asparagus beetles?

Asparagus beetles can be controlled using insecticidal soap or neem oil.

9. How deep should I plant asparagus crowns?

Asparagus crowns should be planted 6 to 8 inches deep.

10. How often should I water asparagus?

Asparagus should be watered about 1 inch per week.

11. How long does asparagus last in the garden?

Asparagus can last up to 20 years in the same spot.

12. Can I grow asparagus in a raised bed?

Yes, asparagus can be grown in a raised bed, but it should be at least 18 inches deep to accommodate the deep roots.

13. How much asparagus should I plant?

Plan on planting 10 to 12 crowns per person for a year’s supply of asparagus.


Growing asparagus requires patience, but the reward is a delicious harvest for years to come. From site selection to harvesting, this guide has provided you with all the information you need to successfully grow asparagus. So, get started today and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Remember, asparagus is a long-term investment, so take care of your plants and they will take care of you in return.

Happy gardening!


While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this guide, the author and publisher assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. The advice and information in this guide are for informational purposes only and should not be used in place of professional advice. Always consult a gardening expert before planting and caring for any plants.

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