Asparagus is a flowering plant that is high in folic acid and potassium, and eaten as a vegetable. An asparagus plant produces its edible spears for 15 to 20 years when cared for properly. Asparagus prefers well-drained soil in full sunlight. Growing asparagus requires patience because a full harvest will not occur until the third year. Harvest young, tender shoots in the spring when they reach a height of 4 to 10 inches.
Planting Asparagus Crowns
Prepare the soil bed in late fall by applying 3 inches of organic matter over the bed. Good choices for organic matter are compost or dried manure. Till the matter 10 to 12 inches into the soil bed.
Test the soil with a pH test kit prior to planting to verify the pH number. Asparagus grows best in acidic soil near 6.0. To lower the pH number, add ground rock sulfur based on the area needing coverage. Add lime to increase the pH number. Wait two weeks after application to plant asparagus.
Till 2 to 3 lbs. of 10-20-10 fertilizer into the soil bed for every 20 feet of row in a new bed. Established gardening beds need 1 to 2 lbs. for every 20 feet of row. Water the fertilizer into the soil.
Dig a trench that is 10 inches deep and wide. Leave 2 to 3 feet between each asparagus row. Spread a mixture of compost with 1 tsp. phosphate fertilizer in each row. Top the mixture with 1 inch of soil. Mound the soil in the center of the trench so the crown will be above the roots.
Place 1- to 2-year-old asparagus crowns with the roots spread outward over the trench mound. Space each crown 15 to 18 inches apart in the trench. Cover the crowns with 2 to 3 inches of soil immediately, and water well to prevent drying.
Place 2 inches of soil in the asparagus trench every two weeks until the trench is level. Continue to water if the ground is dry due to low rainfall. The crowns will start sprouting 2 to 3 weeks after planting.