Frequently Asked Questions for Asparagus
If I can’t plant my asparagus right away, how do I store them?
Place your plants in your refrigerator. Do not allow the roots to dry out. Plant them as soon as possible.
Should I put fertilizer (granular or otherwise) in the hole at planting time?
All fertilizer should be mixed thoroughly into the soil prior to digging the hole and planting. Fertilizer can burn tender roots if they touch directly.
How close should I plant these crowns?
Allow 12” to 14” between crowns and four feet between rows. Resist the temptation to place the crowns too closely. Good light and air circulation from wide spacing promotes growth.
Does it matter what kind of mulch I use at the base of the plant?
Yes. Mulch should be loose enough for water percolation. Straw, pine needles, pine shavings or bark mulch work well as mulch choices. Avoid using dyed mulches (black or red). Avoid using synthetic mulches like black plastic or landscape fabric.
How thick should I spread the mulch?
Spread the mulch 4 inches thick around the newly emerged spears.
May I just let grass grow around the base of the plant as a living mulch?
No, grass will compete for nutrients and moisture. Asparagus perform best with clean cultivated bare soil.
How often should I water my new plants?
Provide 1 inch of water per week.
What pests might be attracted to my asparagus?
You may find asparagus beetles, Japanese beetles and cut worms. Don’t panic, plants can endure some insect feeding without seeing any harm to next year’s crop.
When can I plan to harvest my first asparagus from this planting?
Spears can be harvested next year as a very light harvest (one meal). Waiting two years would be better. By not harvesting in a heavy way, you are allowing the crowns to be more productive over the life of the planting.
Are the asparagus plants that I received from this project guaranteed?
No, these plants are not guaranteed. However, we believe we have provided all the information you will need for successful growth.
How long do asparagus typically live?
With proper care and in the right environment, asparagus live 7 years or more.
What care do I provide for my asparagus in preparation for winter?
After the fronds turn brown, remove them by cutting them off at the base. You then have the choice of leaving the bed bare for the winter and hoping for good snow cover to protect the crowns, or mulching the bed with 4″ – 6″ of straw, shavings, or sawdust. A covering will protect the crowns from heaving and cracking if we get an early spring thaw followed by more freezing temperatures.
The disadvantage of having a mulch on the bed is that it will slow down the emergence of the spears next spring. They will grow right through the mulch, and the mulch will help keep weed growth down. Once all danger of frost is past in the spring, you could rake the mulch off to the side, which will allow the soil to warm up faster and the spears to emerge sooner.