Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis, also known as sparrow grass) is not only delicious, but it also offers attractive ornamental foliage that can be used in floral arrangements. This plant is a hardy perennial that grows from a root system called a crown and it is one of the first vegetables to appear in the garden in spring. Asparagus can produce an abundant harvest for 20 years or more with proper care. It is a low-maintenance crop that is well-suited to home gardens.
Popular Asparagus varieties:
- Green Asparagus
- White Asparagus
- Apollo Asparagus
- Purple Asparagus
- Wild Asparagus
Asparagus can be an excellent vegetable to grow for beginner gardeners, but you need to pay attention to these essential requirements:
- Soil: the soil needs to be rich in organic matter for nutrition, well-draining (never soggy for long periods of time), and the preferred pH level is 6.5 to 7.0.
- Light: Asparagus just loves sunlight, so you should find a spot for it with full sun (just like pumpkins).
- Water: Asparagus plants prefer consistently moist soil, but it is important to not overwater them. A general rule is to water deeply once a week, depending on the weather and soil moisture levels.
- Temperature: This plant thrives in temperatures between 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 to 70 degrees at night. The plant begins to grow shoots in spring when the soil temperature reaches 40 degrees. Temperatures above 85 or below 55 degrees may lead to slow growth or damage from frost.
Asparagus can be propagated by division or by starting from seed.
- To propagate by division, carefully separate the crowns of mature plants and replant each division in a new location.
- To start from seed, plant seeds in the early spring in well-drained soil and provide consistent moisture until seedlings are established.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to grow asparagus?
Asparagus is not a fast-grower plant: it takes about 3 years for one to fully mature from seed.
Does asparagus like sun or shade?
Asparagus prefers full sun, so put it in a shiny place!
Does asparagus multiply on its own?
Yes, asparagus multiplies on its own through the production of underground shoots called “crowns”. Over time, these crowns can spread and create a dense stand of asparagus.
How long do asparagus plants last?
With proper care, Asparagus plants can live for over 7 years. Keep them fed with the right amount of water and nutrients, and protect them from serious frost damage.