How to Grow Asparagus Update: It is now 6 years later and our asparagus bed is going strong. While it does require prep work to grow, asparagus is well worth the effort.
Learning how to grow asparagus involves 2 steps. The first is preparing the asparagus bed. The second step in the series of how to grow asparagus can be found in Planting Asparagus Crowns.
One of the things I really enjoyed during our years in Switzerland was asparagus. Now, you may be thinking that of all the things to enjoy, why asparagus?
In Switzerland, “Spargel Zeit” (literally “asparagus time” in German) was a festive season. It signaled the beginning of Spring, the time when flowers were beginning to grow and bloom after a long cold winter. This always brought a renewed sense of hope and life.
I had never eaten asparagus until we moved to Switzerland and after moving back to Alabama, I wanted my own asparagus bed. For one reason or another, it just never happened. Now, however, since we are a “farming” family, it seems like perfect timing. So…
How to Grow Asparagus – Preparing the Bed
1. Digging Rows
The first step is digging the rows for asparagus. They should be 2 1/2 ft deep and about 36 inches apart.
You can certainly dig with a shovel but we used a backhoe. We had rented a backhoe for the vineyard expansion so,we also dug out for our asparagus bed. Our bed consists of three forty foot rows.
It is important to place manure for fertilizer in the bottom of the trench. Make sure it is well seasoned manure that has been sitting for awhile otherwise, it will be too “hot” for the asparagus crowns.
Having manure to spread in the vineyard, we used some for the asparagus. I let the men handle this part and just tried to stay upwind!
Put 8 – 10 inches of manure in the bottom of each row.
Once the manure was in place, the next row was dug. Before filling in each row, a stake was placed at either end at ground level (so we know exactly where the center of each row is).
3. Plant the Asparagus Crowns
Now, you are ready to plant the asparagus crowns. We choose to wait about planting because we wanted to put in drip irrigation in the asparagus bed as we do it for the new vines. So, after the rows were completed, the beds were smoothed.
On the advise of a trusted resource, I have ordered asparagus crowns from Pendleton’s Country Market. I ordered both UC157 and Purple Passion. They were willing to delay shipment until April 16, 2012 so their arrival should be timed perfectly with planting the new vines and installing the drip tape.
I am looking forward to having fresh asparagus but it may be difficult to wait a whole year! The asparagus is not suppose to be harvested the first year. The second year, harvest is for 2 weeks and the third year, harvest is for 6 weeks.
Oven Roasted Parmesan Asparagus is one of my favorite recipes – be sure to give it a try!
Need convincing about just how good asparagus is for you? See 10 Health Benefits of Asparagus
Do you grow asparagus? Please leave a comment and let me know about your experience!