Asparagus can be purchased and grown from seed; however, it is often difficult to get asparagus to grow successfully, and plants that do thrive will not even produce spears the first year. Most gardeners therefore purchase asparagus roots, also called asparagus crowns, which contain buds in the center of the crown with roots that hang down the sides and center. Buy your asparagus roots in the early spring and plan on planting them once the soil temperature reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which can occur anytime from late March until late May, depending on your climate.
Choose an all-male hybrid variety that produces spears, such as the Jersey Prince, if desired. Female plants use up a lot of energy making seeds and therefore produce smaller spears. The seeds also spread and you'll have to contend with seedlings as they grow, which should be pulled as if they were weeds since they use up valuable space, water and nutrients.
Select one-year-old asparagus roots, which will produce spears the first year. They should look healthy and not look like they're shriveling or rotting.
Decide how much asparagus you wish to grow. Each asparagus root can produce a 1/2 lb. of spears. Buy a few extra to make up for a smaller harvest on some plants, especially if this is your first year growing asparagus.
Purchase your asparagus roots from a reputable local, online or catalog nursery. Check out the warranty prior to purchasing, especially if you are ordering online or through a catalog.