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Growing Guides - Growing ASPARAGUS

A Guide to Growing ASPARAGUS


In order to keep producing over many years, asparagus must be grown in areas where winter temperatures are below freezing so it will go through a dormant period. The best soils for asparagus are those that are very rich in organic matter and drain well. Preferred pH is 5.7-6.5, though asparagus tolerates alkaline soil. Make sure drainage is good, or improve it by raising the bed or adding sharp sand. Amend soil generously with compost or other organic material. Add phosphates if a soil test indicates they are necessary. Plant in full sun.

Planting:

Planting can be done soon after the last spring frost. Dig a trench 12 inches deep and wide. Roots can grow down 4 feet so don’t skimp on the depth of the trench. Space multiple trenches 4-5 feet apart. Loosen soil in the bottom of the trench and spread 2 inches of compost, some complete fertilizer (5-10-10) and 1 inch of good garden soil in the trench. Mix well and shape into a long ridge. Plant crowns every 18 inches, spreading the roots over the ridge and covering them to a depth of 2 inches, using the reserved soil. As the spears grow, fill in around them with remaining soil until the trench is full. Fertilizer: Each fall, after cutting back old stems, add 2 inches of well-rotted compost. A thicker compost layer may delay sprouting in early spring. Mulch helps control weeds.

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