Everyone loves the versatility and fresh, crisp flavor of Asparagus. It’s perfect for summer grilling, steaming, stir fries and can even be canned or frozen for winter storage. Going to the grocery store and buying Asparagus can become costly (especially if you love it as much as I do). Why not grow your own and enjoy fresh Asparagus every summer? Our “Jersey Knight” variety is an extremely vigorous, all-male variety that will produce tasty Asparagus in your garden for up to 15 years if cared for properly. Planting and growing Asparagus is easy – Just follow these simple steps! 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. Where to Plant: Asparagus grows best in USDA zones 3 to 8. It requires well draining soil with a pH of 7 to 7.2. A soil test is recommended to show any fertilizer needs. (Get a soil tester here). Plant bare roots in full sun to part shade. Once established, Asparagus will tolerate moderate drought. 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. Make sure to 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. Helpful Tips: Asparagus is a 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. Have any of you grown your own Asparagus? Feel free to leave helpful tips below! Happy Gardening!
March 1, 2012.