Mar / Apr, May / Jun
Mar / Apr, May / Jun

Why Grow It

When it comes to asparagus, patience really is a virtue. Once sown, asparagus will take at least three years to produce any crop worth eating or talking about. You’re probably reading this now thinking ‘why bother?’ But once you get your asparagus crop going it will produce for twenty years and it is undeniably delicious. So, if you have the space (and the patience) then give it a try.

  • Choose your site carefully – asparagus will need good fertile, alkaline, free draining soil, in full sun, with wind protection. And make sure the plot/bed is free of perennial weeds before you start.
  • You can sow asparagus from seed, but honestly, why would you bother? A plant that will crop for two decades is worth investing some money in. We recommend you buy young asparagus plants which are called ‘crowns’ – these can be found in garden centres or seed nurseries.
  • Make a trench 30cm wide and 20cm deep (if you have more than one row, leave 50cm between rows). Add a thin layer of well-rotted compost or manure and then add a 10cm layer of soil in a ridge in the centre of the trench.
  • Place the crowns 30cm apart on top of the ridge with their roots splayed out. Fill in the trench with soil, covering the crowns, and water – spread a layer of well-rotted compost or manure on top.
  • Keep the bed weed free.
  • Wait – fight the temptation of an early harvest.
  • Add a mulch annually in the autumn.
  • Asparagus produces a mass of fern-like foliage that grows unexpectedly tall, so they might need supporting with canes.
  • Do not harvest for the first two years – you are trying to build up some strength in the plants.
  • In the third year you can harvest some spears, but only a few.
  • Thereafter you can harvest for about eight weeks from April.
  • Cut them when they are 13-15cm long and about the width of your finger.
  • Stop harvesting in June to allow the plants to store enough food for next year’s crop.
  • Connovers Colossal
  • Jersey Knight F1
  • The main problem is slugs. To control these, keep the area clean of weeds and try slug prevention methods.