May 14

Asparagus Update.

In a previous article I shared details on how to properly prepare the soil for an asparagus bed. healthy asparagus 3 weeks after planting crowns.

The first picture is from last year. It was taken 3 weeks after I had panted the new crowns. Jersey Knight at 4 monthsThis second shot also from last year when the fronds had grown to about 4 feet tall by 4 months after planting the crowns.


Today, I had an opportunity to snap some pics of both asparagus beds. This is a little more than 1 year since the beds were prepared and the both crowns and seed crop were planted. The picture below shows the healthy spears shooting straight up through the rich soil.

A long view of the bed where, last year I planted 23 crowns.

A long view of the bed where, last year I planted 23 crowns.

These Jersey Knight crowns look very healthy 1 year after planting them.A closer look at the Jersey Knight crowns at 1 year.

The spears break the surface white. Then, they turn to purple and finally to green. As much as these spears look tempting to eat, I will be patient and wait to cut the first harvest next spring. Waiting for a two full years for these plants to mature will pay benefits in the future. By not harvesting I am permitting the root system to dig down deep. Remember that asparagus roots can go down 12 – 15 feet deep. Waiting to harvest the first crop until next year will show benefits over the long term.


While the crowns look robust, the heirloom variety from Europe is still a little frail by comparison. They could easily be mistaken for grass or a weed. Speaking of weeds, asparagus does best in a bed free of weeds and well watered. I transplanted these small plants from a temporary location over the winter. They now reside in their permanent bed.

Precoce d'Argenteuil  Heirloom variety at 1 year.

Precoce d’Argenteuil
Heirloom variety at 1 year.

I have read that starting from seed asparagus will take nearly 7 years to get a robust crop.

I have read that starting from seed asparagus will take nearly 7 years to get a robust crop.

I will wait to for two or three years before harvesting from these plants. However, because this is an interesting heirloom variety I have the option to trade it with another gardener. If I find an interested party, I can just thin rootstock from the healthy 2 year old plants.





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    • Lara He on May 29, 2014 at 11:30 am
    • Reply

    You have so much patience when you are a teacher or gardaner……..I seldom eat asparagus and it always been cooked as an expensive dish in some good restaurant. It’s known as very heathly vegitable but I don’t know why I don’t like the taste. This is the first time I know that there is a kind of vegitable need such a long time to grow up. Good luck to your asparagus and they will get stronger with your patient caring and waiting.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Lara.
      It is funny that you mention patience in relation to growing asparagus. This is the third time I have planted asparagus in 3 different gardens and it will be the first time I actually get to stay around long enough to enjoy the bounty.
      Also interesting to read your comment about not liking the taste of asparagus. Some people really don’t like it and some people love it.
      Than there is this link you can read about one of the effects of eating asparagus.

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