How to Plant Asparagus Crowns in Ohio

Overview

If you have the space and want to grow a perennial vegetable, opt for asparagus. The long-living plants produce spears for 15 years or more, according to the Ohio State University Extension. Among the first garden crops ready for harvest in the spring, asparagus contains numerous vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, iron and calcium. People have cultivated the plants for over 2,000 years in many parts of the world. With few special care requirements, asparagus makes an ideal choice for an Ohio home garden.

Step 1

Select a planting location that receives full sun. The site needs well-drained soil and a pH around 6.5. Test the soil with a kit. If the pH level needs to be adjusted, add fertilizer. Dig or till a 10-20-10 fertilizer into the soil to a depth of 6 inches.

Step 2

Dig a 6-inch-deep, 12-inch-wide trench with a shovel once the soil temperatures reach 50 degrees F, usually in early May. If you plant more than one row, space the rows 5 feet apart. This allows room for the plants to spread and prevents disease.

Step 3

Place the asparagus crowns in the bed. Space them 18 inches apart, measuring as you go. While you don't have to spread the roots, make sure the crown faces up.

Step 4

Cover the asparagus with the removed dirt. While some resources recommend doing this gradually, the Ohio State University Extension classifies the extra step as unnecessary. Don't pack the soil when replacing it.

Step 5

Water the newly planted crowns thoroughly. The water should soak into the top 6 inches of soil. If less than an inch of rain falls in a week, provide supplemental watering in one session. Watering frequently to a shallow depth doesn't promote healthy root growth.

Step 6

Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch. Straw and grass clippings work well. The mulch will help prevent weeds and preserve soil moisture.

Tips and Warnings

  • Watch for diseases and insects. Asparagus has susceptibility to beetles, rust and root rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Soil test kit
  • 10-20-10 fertilizer
  • Tape measure

References

  • "Rodale's Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening"; Fern Marshall Bradley, Barbara W. Ellis, Ellen Phillips; 2009
  • Ohio State University Extension: Growing Asparagus in the Home Garden
  • Texas A & M Plant Answers: Green Gifts from the Mediterranean

Who Can Help

  • Ohioline: Yard and Garden:Vegetables
Keywords: asparagus crowns Ohio, grow asparagus spears, plant asparagus Ohio

About this Author

Kitten Arbuckle is a freelance writer living in Indiana. Arbuckle has been writing for websites such as Garden Guides since early 2009. Her education includes training in landscaping, certification in herbal medicine from a botanical sanctuary and a variety of college courses.