WHEN TO PLANT: Plant in spring after your soil has warmed up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit; usually 4-6 weeks prior to your last frost date. Properly planted asparagus that is well tended can last 10 to 12 years.
WHERE TO PLANT: Asparagus requires well draining soil with a pH of 7 to 7.2. A soil test is recommended to show any fertilizer needs. Plant in full sun to part shade. Jersey Knight also performs well in heavy clay-like soils. Once established asparagus tolerates drought, and grows best in USDA zones 3 to 8.
HOW TO PLANT: Dig a trench 5-6" deep and spread out the roots in the bottom; 12-14" apart covering with 2" of soil. The roots will grow no matter how they are placed in the trench. Over a period of several weeks continue to add soil as the plants begin to grow until the trench is full. Water well after planting and during dry periods.
TIME TO HARVEST: Do not harvest the first year and only a light harvest may be taken the second season. By the third season; harvest spears with tight tips by snapping the 7 to 9" stalks off at the ground. Limit harvest to a period of 6 to 8 weeks in late spring to early summer or until spears are pencil thin.
USAGE: Wonderful fresh in salads, or a a cooked vegetable. Freezes well for use throughout the winter.
HELPFUL TIPS: Great plant for edible landscaping producing tall fern like fronds after harvest period until frost.
AFTER CARE: Keep plants well cultivated and mulched to prevent weeds. Regular applications of compost or well-rotted manure provide a steady source of nutrients. Do not cut down ferns at the end of the growing season as they protect the crowns in winter. Remove old ferns in spring prior to new shoots emerging. Divide plants in early spring if desired.
PLANTING TIPS: Asparagus is a long-lived perennial vegetable crop that is enjoyed by many gardeners. It can be productive for 15 or more years if given proper care. Plant in furrow (5-6" deep), 12 to 16" apart.