Growing Organic Asparagus From Root Crowns


Hi, I’m Tricia, an organic gardener in USDA zone 8. When I was a kid in New Jersey, I used to help my mom harvest the wild asparagus. If I want to eat it that fresh here, I have to
grow my own and so can you. Let me show you how! Asparagus is hardy down to zone 4, but it needs full sun, good drainage, and loose soil. Asparagus beds can be productive for 15 years, so the better you prepare the beds, the better
your long-term yields will be. I’m planting the asparagus in these
raised beds. The soil in the beds is very loose and
full of organic matter. If you aren’t planting in a raised bed,
double-dig the soil by removing the top layer of soil, and then loosening the
subsoil to a depth of about 12 inches. Then just put the topsoil back on.
A broadfork works really well for this project. Before amending the soil, it’s always a
good idea to do a pH soil test, because asparagus prefers a neutral pH
of about 7. Before planting the asparagus, amend the soil with large quantities of good organic compost, and a little bit of a slow release
phosphorus & potassium fertilizer like this Foothill Fertilizer Mix. Depending on your climate, asparagus
can be planted anywhere from January to April, as soon as the soil temperature reaches about 50 degrees fahrenheit. You can plant asparagus from seed, but if you plant from these crowns,
you’ll get asparagus about a year sooner. Dig an 8 inch trench, and then add some composted manure like this chicken manure. Just add back a little bit of the soil
on top of the manure, about an inch or two, and then you’re going to
space the crowns about 18 inches apart. When planting the crowns,
spread the roots out like a little squid, and then put about two inches of soil
over the plants. As your asparagus grows, you’re going to want to cover it about 2 inches at a time with additional soil, until the soil becomes the same level as the surrounding soil. Don’t harvest your asparagus
the first spring after planting, and then the second year you only want
to do a light harvest. Third-year you’ll get a full 8 to
12 week harvest. Put the effort in preparing your beds
and planting the asparagus appropriately, and you’ll be able to eat fresh
asparagus for about 15 to 20 years! And of course, Grow Organic for Life!

65 thoughts on “Growing Organic Asparagus From Root Crowns

  1. @gardenvespers777 Wonderful! There is nothing like fresh asparagus. How do you like to eat it? My favorite is grilled with salt, pepper, and butter.

  2. I have roasted it in the oven. I also like it steamed with salt and butter. 🙂
    I can't imagine how much better it will be right out of the garden vs. storebought.

    I can eat the whole head of broccoli out of the garden that is sooo good! Much more tender and I don't cook that long at all! I just trimmed off a bowl full of side shoots tonight!

    This year I'm going to also try some cauliflower…since the broccoli is so tasty. lol

  3. Hi
    Love the video
    I make a Raised bed just for my asparagus, so I just add more soil every month till it reaches the best level. I also love to plant various dif varieties at same time.

  4. @Mydtys Wood does eventually rot, nothing lasts forever. Raised beds are typically made of untreated cedar or redwood because they have the best weather resistance.

  5. Very well done video and informative. Thanks for the effort and looking to growing our own Asparagus.

    Regards,
    Glenn
    SC

  6. It depends on whether you start from crowns or seeds, if you start from seeds it will be two years from planting. If you start from crowns you can harvest lightly the next year after planting.

  7. Do you need to add sand to the soil? How loose does it have to be. I plan on planting in raised beds with some good garden soil with lots of organic material.

  8. Asparagus should do wonderfully in the soil you're describing, especially a raised bed. Aspragus' favorite soil is sandy loam which according to the USDA consists of: 60% sand, 10% clay and 30% silt

  9. Yes, just allow them to grow all season. You can cut back the ferns after they are killed by frost in the fall.

  10. Thanks …. But this stuff grows wild all over my yard. Of course I have no complaint, Free asparagus is GREAT.. LOVE IT

  11. From my reading it appears that voles and gophers will eat asparagus but they do not seem to be a favorite food. You probably should plant your crowns in gopher baskets or in a raised bed with gopher wire or hardware cloth since they are a problem.

  12. Could you please tell me in what part's of the world can you grow asparagus?( i.e. Europe) Is there a certain climate required for healthy vegetation?

  13. Asparagus is grown in many places such as Europe, Peru, China, Japan. It is hardy to zone 4 but doesn't like tropical climates. So it can be grown in most temperate zones.

  14. Asparagus is a very deep rooted plant so it's rather drought tolerant. The first year make sure they have enough water to encourage large crowns. Water deeply, the soil should be wet six inches down, and infrequently. If they are kept waterlogged the crowns will rot. After the first year, in many locations, asparagus doesn't need extra irrigation.

  15. The easiest way to control weeds in an asparagus bed is frequent light cultivation in the spring so that the seedlings never gain a foothold. A stirrup hoe, also called a hula hoe, is a great tool for this.

  16. This is like a super plant, it grows really fast, even after cut keeps growing, which sometimes is bad if y

  17. The white stuff is a blend of: soft rock phosphate, gypsum, oystershell lime, blood meal, bone meal, kelp meal and sulfate of potash. All of these inputs are allowed in organic production by the National Organic Program.

  18. How many crowns should I buy to feed a family of six? How much does each crown produce? Do you think I can grow asparagus in a wine barrel? If so, how many crowns per barrel and how much can I look for it to produce? I would like to grow them in a very large container in case we move eventually. Sure would hate leaving all that hard work behind. Thanks for everything!

  19. Thanks for the great information and for making it not seem quite as overwhelming a I had imagined to start my own asparagus. I've embedded your video into a family blog along with a recipe for an asparagus, mozzarella and tomato salad my sister makes that is really delicious. Hopefully others will find it and think about starting a small organic garden of their own. 

  20. This was the second season for our asparagus,  it all grew tall and thick but the stalks were very thin and wispy, certainly nothing we could eat. We did plant it from organic seed. Our soil is half organic compost that we make. Is it just a matter of giving it more time or should we do something different?  Thanks

  21. I love Tricia!! She's the Martha Stewart of gardening! She's my go to garden lady on the internet! I give her (and God) credit for all the successful crops I've had! Thanks a billion, I'm such a fan!

  22. Fantastic simple video! Thank you. I'm in zone 10 with new raised 18" beds and 2 yr crowns. Any suggestions on types of new irrigation to install for a 4' x 4' planter and how much water how often?

  23. I didn't know you could forage for wild asparagus! How very interesting, I guess I'll keep my eyes peeled the next time I go for a hike.

  24. Can I plant 2 kinds of asparagus in one 4'x16' bed or should I separate it.  Also is the 18" spacing from the center of each crown, so if you have big enough crowns the roots come close to touching each other right.

  25. How deep is your raised bed for asparagus.  I have a lot of cinder blocks and was going to make them 16" deep 2 blocks high

  26. 15 years? I know a man that'll be 90 in a few months that planted his 45 years ago and he's still eatting from the same plants.

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