Many gardening writers will tell you that the best time to plant asparagus is in the spring. Most of them live in the Midwest or the North. Asparagus planted in the spring in a Southern garden will generally not survive the hot summer. Autumn is the only time of year to plant asparagus in the South.
Clean up the planting site. Remove all weeds, rocks, old roots and other debris.
Add a 3-inch layer of compost to the planting bed and, using the gardening fork, mix it in to a depth of 12 inches.
Add two pounds of 10-20-10 fertilizer and mix it in with the amended soil. According to Master Gardeners at Iowa State University's Extension office, you will need 2 pounds for every 20-foot row of asparagus.
Dig a trench that is 4 inches wide and 12 inches deep. Place the asparagus crowns in the trench, spacing them 2 feet apart. Cover with 2 inches of soil.
Add another 2 inches of soil as soon as the asparagus plant sprouts to the surface. Repeat this every time the asparagus appears above the soil until the trench is filled in.
Water the asparagus plan when the top inch of soil is dry, allowing the water to drip slowly and deeply into the soil. Depending upon the weather, you may need to water twice a week.
Allow the asparagus plant to go to fern the first year. It's tempting to pick the spears at this stage, but it's best to harvest after the second year. Do not cut the tops of the ferns back in the winter.