In classical Greek and Roman cuisine, it was considered a delicacy. The most affluent people only ate it because it was quite expensive. According to Roman authors, wild asparagus is found in rare parts. The Romans thought that asparagus had medicinal properties and was also known to improve sexual performance. In this article, we will explain how to grow aspagragus in details.
Asparagus is the common name for a perennial plant of the genus Asparagus in the lily family (Liliaceae). It is native to most of Europe, with local cultivation in south-central Chile and western Canada. Asparagus Officinalis is cultivated as a vegetable crop for its fleshy shoots, known as spears.
In fact, Asparagus is native to most Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia. Asparagus is also cultivated in other temperate regions, including Australia, New Zealand, the United States, southern Canada, north-eastern and Midwestern United States, and South America. (1)
It is easy to grow this plant and enjoy the fragrance, taste, and historic essence. Let’s check out how to grow asparagus!
How to grow asparagus from cuttings?
Once you learn how to plant asparagus cuttings, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh asparagus for years to come. Trying to grow asparagus from seed or purchasing a crown of asparagus roots isn’t necessary. You can easily take asparagus cuttings to start new plants for your garden. You can also buy asparagus plants, but it’s best to start with a cutting from an existing plant because they have already developed their root system.
1. Take cuttings
Asparagus cuttings are just shoots that have been cut from the parent plant. These delicate shoots can be grown in moist, loamy soil, but they also must be kept consistently moist to survive. Asparagus cuttings should be taken in the spring before new growth begins because this is when the plants are most tender and grow the fastest.
To make the cutting, break off some stems with roots attached during the spring or early summer when shoots are at least 10 inches tall. You can propagate it with either crown or its roots. So, take cuttings considering this also.
2. Planting them
Once you’ve acquired your asparagus plants either by seed or cutting, it’s time to decide where you’re going to plant them. If possible, try and find a location that has been planted with asparagus before so that you know it’ll be fertile soil. Dig a hole that’s about 18 inches deep and 12 inches wide. Fill the bottom of this hole with some compost along with a phosphorus amendment (i.e., bone meal).
Next, plant your asparagus by spreading the roots out on top of the compost and filling in around them with more compost before covering everything up with soil. Ideally, you want to plant it about eight inches.
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How to grow asparagus from seed?
After knowing the plantation of asparagus from cuttings, you might wonder how to grow asparagus from its seeds or how to plant asparagus in the form of seeds? In this section, we are dealing with this.
To grow your asparagus, first, you should know that the plants don’t like their roots to be disturbed once they’re in the ground. This means that if you want to plant them from seed, you’ll have to grow them in a pot and transplant them into the ground once they’re large enough.
Growing asparagus from seed is much easier than growing it from a crown. The only way to grow true asparagus is from seed. Growing a crown takes more than a year, and some varieties take longer to produce a usable spear than others.
1. Sow seeds
Sow the seeds indoors eight to 12 weeks before transplanting outside after the risk of frost has passed. Plant the seeds 1/4 to 1/2-inch-deep in a sterile seed mix or potting soil. Place the tray or pots in a sunlight-gaining, warm place and keep the soil damp.
It will germinate or start in 14 to 21 days or longer. After that, you can transplant your seedlings into the garden, spacing them 18 to 36 inches apart along rows spaced 24 to 36 inches apart.
3. Care for them
Treat your young plants with care: don’t let them dry out, but don’t water excessively either. If your water heavily, makes sure they drain well before watering again. Avoid getting your plants’ leaves wet; they’ll rot quickly if they’re not sturdy enough at this point and could fall prey to fungal diseases.
Asparagus roots are shallow, so add several inches of compost or manure to your planting area before planting your spears for best results.
How to grow asparagus at home?
You might have questions in your mind like how to grow asparagus at the comfort of your home and if you can know how to plant asparagus in a container, both questions are pretty much the same. That’s why I include it in this section.
To grow asparagus in a container, choose a pot that is at least 8 inches (20 cm.) across and has at least 2-3 inches (5-7 cm.) between the top of the soil and the top of the container. As your asparagus plants grow, you will need to add more soil to the container so that the top of the soil stays at least 2 inches (5 cm.) below the rim of the pot.
As you plant your asparagus crowns, make sure they are pointing up and out of the pot. The crown should be planted just beneath the soil’s surface with only about 2 inches (5 cm.) showing above ground. Spread a 1-inch-thick layer of gravel or broken pots on the bottom of your pot for drainage. Then fill the rest of the place with compost.
Water it according to the humidity and temperature level, and it’s a requirement, and that’s it you are done.
How long does asparagus take to grow?
Asparagus is a perennial plant; it will produce more shoots year after year. For this reason, you’ll need to dig up old plants every three or four years and replant them in another location of your garden (or compost them). This is known as “farming” the asparagus bed. Growing asparagus can be a daunting task for the novice gardener, but with patience and proper care, you’ll soon be enjoying home-grown spears in no time.
For learning how to grow asparagus, start by selecting the right location for your asparagus bed. Asparagus will grow in any soil that’s not too dry or wet or has poor drainage. However, the plant’s roots will thrive in a fertile, loamy soil. You can improve your soil’s quality by adding compost or manure to it before planting.
Asparagus plants are perennials, so it’s best to find a permanent location for them. A sunny place that has at least six hours of sunlight is ideal but will also grow in partially shaded areas. Space beds about 8 feet apart, and make sure there are at least 2 to 3 feet between each plant. (2)
When preparing the bed for planting, remove all weeds and make sure the ground is free of rocks. Loose the soil with a rake and add some well-rotted manure or compost to it.
Asparagus grows best when planted in early spring. If you’re starting from seedlings, place them about 2 inches apart in rows spaced 8 feet apart.
How to Harvest Asparagus
It can be harvested each spring. The three types are pencil, thick-stalked and American hybrids. The American hybrids are grown for their large spears, while the pencil and thick-stalked varieties are grown for their tenderness and flavor.
Asparagus should be harvested when it reaches one inch or less diameter. If your asparagus plant produces more than you can use in the kitchen, try freezing it to preserve the fresh taste.
Asparagus plants may be started by seed in the garden or by transplanting. Transplants should be set out in rows 12 to 18 inches apart, with 24 to 36 inches between plants within a row depending on variety and soil fertility. When harvesting asparagus, keep in mind that all spears will not develop at once but extend from the crown over an extended period.
Asparagus is a perennial crop that is easy to grow and maintain. It takes four years to produce a harvestable crop, but once established, perennials need little attention except for occasional fertilization.
Asparagus is harvested for about five weeks in the spring. It is best to harvest asparagus early in the morning when it is still cool. You don’t want to cut asparagus from the garden when it is hot outside because it may cause the stalks to turn brown or yellow. There are two methods to harvest asparagus: topping and cutting. Topping is preferred because it leads to larger, higher-quality spears than if you cut them off at ground level.
How tall does asparagus grow
Once planted, asparagus can be harvested year after year, and although the yield will drop off in quality and quantity, the plant will produce for up to 15 years. The spear of an asparagus plant is harvested when it reaches 6 to 10 inches (15.2 to 25.4 centimeters) in height; at this point, it has reached full size but has not yet flowered or developed fern-like foliage, which occurs once the plants are harvested.
Asparagus plants are often planted in combination with onions, garlic, or leeks because they share a common family in the lily family. Asparagus is grown commercially in temperate climates, like other vegetables and fruits. The United States leads the world in asparagus production, with New Jersey producing about 25 percent of U.S.-grown spears.
How to Mulch and Water Your Asparagus Plant
Plant asparagus in full sun in a well-drained, slightly acidic (pH 6.0 to 7.0) soil amended with biological matter such as compost or well-rotted manure. Select a site that is convenient to water and has good air circulation around the plants. The ideal soil temperature for asparagus is between 60 degrees F and 70 degrees F.
Asparagus roots grow deep into the ground and will not survive if planted too shallowly. Water your asparagus every three days when you first plant it and then once a week after that for the first month. After that, water whenever the soil feels dry about 3 inches down from the surface.
How to Solve Pest Problems and Defects
There are many ways of controlling pests, diseases, and weeds. The two most popular ways are biological and chemical control. Biological control involves encouraging natural predators or parasites to attack the pest, whereas chemical control involves spraying a chemical pesticide.
Pests and defects can occur at any stage of asparagus growth. Examine the asparagus regularly for signs of pests or defects. Early identification will allow you to treat the pest problems or defects more effectively and avert them from laying out to other areas of the crop.
Pest problems are usually caused by poor conditions such as bad watering practices, over-fertilization, or excessive weed competition. Defects are often due to incorrect planting techniques but can also be caused by plant pathogens (diseases).
Treating your asparagus bed is an important part of making sure that you enjoy the crop for as long as possible, free from fungal and insect problems. The most important thing is to get your timing right, so it’s best to follow the advice given by your supplier or a qualified grower.
How to keep asparagus healthy and productive?
Treat asparagus as an annual plant. Most gardeners treat it like a perennial, but it’s not. Harvesting the spears each year will result in a larger harvest and help keep the plant healthy. Three years is the maximum time for a single planting in most areas.
Rotate your asparagus with other crops so that you can get a long harvest from each planting. If you don’t rotate your asparagus, it will deplete the soil of nutrients that other plants need.
Don’t over-fertilize your asparagus patch. Fertilizers with high nitrogen content encourage leaf growth at the expense of flowering and fruiting. The best fertilizer for asparagus is compost, high in organic matter and nitrogen while also adding nutrients necessary to support root growth.
Keep your soil evenly moist but not too wet or dry.
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How to Store Asparagus
Asparagus is a vegetable that can be stored for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Though it is best to consume this vegetable as soon as possible, it can be held longer in the refrigerator. You can buy it in bulk and protect money on your grocery bill by learning how to store asparagus.
- For long-term storage of asparagus, wrap the stems with a damp paper towel and place them inside a sealed plastic bag. Keep the bag in the crisper drawer in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- Before placing your asparagus into storage, make sure it is dry and free from any dirt or debris that might cause it to spoil prematurely. The moisture from the towels will help retain the moisture content inside the stems themselves, preventing them from drying out over time.
- During short-term storage, place your asparagus stems upright in a glass or bowl of water with a plastic bag positioned loosely over the top. This will allow excess moisture to escape so that they do not rot when stored in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
If you love to eat asparagus, it is probably because of its distinct flavor and texture. Growing your asparagus organically is an easy task. All it requires is a patch of dirt and some seeds or cuttings!
Asparagus is a perennial herbaceous plant. This means that it will grow for many years to come. The only thing that needs to be done once you have planted it is to ensure the soil does not dry out and water it after the first year. It is essential to know that there are two types of asparagus, green and purple asparagus. Green asparagus doesn’t produce any berries, while purple does produce berries that turn red when ripe and ready to be picked, which should not be consumed.