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How to Plant Asparagus Root

asparagus spear image by hazel proudlove from Fotolia.com

Asparagus is a delicate vegetable that offers nutritional substances such as vitamins and minerals. Growing your own asparagus can be challenging but is worth the effort. While it can be grown from seeds, the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service recommends that home gardeners plant roots, as asparagus seed can be difficult to germinate.

Plant the asparagus root where it will get moist, well-drained soil, cool termperatures and seven to eight hours a day of sun per day.

Dig a trench for the asparagus that's 8 inches deep and approximately 10 inches wide. Dig the trench wide enough to accommodate the asparagus roots when they are spread out. Leave 3 feet between rows if you are planting more than one row.

  • Asparagus is a delicate vegetable that offers nutritional substances such as vitamins and minerals.
  • Dig the trench wide enough to accommodate the asparagus roots when they are spread out.

Loosen the soil with a hoe to a depth of at least 3 inches from the bottom of the trench.

Lay the asparagus roots in the bottom of the trench about 18 inches apart. Spread out the roots.

Cover the asparagus roots with 2 inches of packed soil. Pat the soil down around the roots. Leave the remaining soil on the ground near the top of the trench.

Water the trench thoroughly and repeat if any parts of the root are exposed after the water settles the soil. Cover the roots again with soil.

  • Loosen the soil with a hoe to a depth of at least 3 inches from the bottom of the trench.

Watch for the root crowns to grow and break through the soil. Cover again with another 2 inches of soil. Do not cover the fern stalk when it begins to break through the soil. Fill in the trench around the stalk a few inches at a time as the stalk grows and until the trench is filled in.

Place hay or another type of mulch around the bottom of the asparagus stalks when the trench is filled. Cover the entire row, except for the stalks, with the mulch, laying it 3 to 4 inches deep.

Tip

Do not harvest asparagus until two years after you have planted it. The third year that you have spears, harvest them for only two to four weeks of the season.

After your first year of planting, each subsequent spring you should work a garden fertilizer into the soil over the asparagus root. The University of Minnesota Extension recommends a 10-10-10 fertilizer, available at garden centers, in the amount of 1 1/2 pd per 100 square feet of asparagus root.

Mulch helps control weeds that may compete with the asparagus for soil nutrients.

Warning

If the soil around the asparagus root does not drain well, it may retain too much moisture and could cause the roots to rot.

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