How to Grow Asparagus
Rare and demanding both in growing and cooking, asparagus is planted since ancient times. Read on to know how to grow asparagus step by step.
The plant has no special requirements to the climate, resisting the cold winters. Often is grown without irrigation. Instead it requires a sandy soil, well drained, with a slightly acidic pH of 6.5, rich in peat and organic debris. This is the first thing you should know before practicing how to grow asparagus.
To obtain seedlings you need a fat soil, which you must dig deep since autumn. In spring the soil is raked and leveled, and you can incorporate into the soil a nitrogen fertilizer. Seeding is done in late April, in rows 30cm (1ft) apart. The seeds are planted 3cm (1.20 in) deep. The distance between plants must be about 5cm (2in). After sowing the soil is watered. Water every three days, but do not saturate.
Until autumn you should remove weeds from where you plan to grow asparagus. In ideal conditions, in October you should already have plants whose stems reach 20cm (8 in). These stems must be mowed, burned and left on the soil, then added a layer of soil to protect roots from frost. In the second year you must repeat the same things and only in the third year the first shoots may be harvested. Thus, knowing all these, your work of learning how to grow asparagus, will start to make sense.
In the third year, in early spring the plants will need supports to a 25-30cm (10 in) height and the soil must be well grinded. Harvesting will be done before shoots reach the surface. Harvesting is demanding and has implications in further development of the plant: if you harvest many shoots, the plant will be weak, will grow more slowly and will be less resistant to weather conditions, disease and pests.
Harvesting is done one month per year every 3 days, from mid May to mid June, because asparagus grows very quickly. Immediately after harvest and until the end of June you must remove supports and let the plants grow freely. In autumn you must perform the same regular work of mowing and burning of stems, if you want that your work, done so far, to learn how to grow asparagus not to end next year.
To eat asparagus, it must be very fresh. Immediately after harvest, you must keep it in boxes covered in a wet towel, away from sunlight. You can keep it so within 3 days. If you’re interested in learning how to grow vegetables indoors, know that asparagus can be grown too; in fact, it is easier to grow it from seed indoors, because you may regulate temperature and humidity better/
Finally, now that you know how to grow asparagus, let me give you a tip: in the first and second year grow vegetables such as onions, lettuce, garlic and beans between the asparagus rows, which you can harvest in the same year.