6 Expert Tips to Growing the Best Asparagus at Home

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othing is more valuable than getting a little hands on experience when it comes to planting, growing and harvesting asparagus. However, basic knowledge coming from garden experts is a great help and in fact, a prerequisite, starting off with — how to grow the best asparagus at home.

Let them grow first!

Growing asparagus.

Based on various studies, the hardest aspect of asparagus gardening is letting it grow. Once you see those delicious shoots emerging from the ground, you might like to pull them up and become part of your meal. But please, control your urge.

Let the shoots grow and become perfect for harvest first.

How do you know that it is the right time to harvest the shoots or the spears?

It’s when you see grasshoppers or crickets roaming around the garden, jumping on the shoots. The asparagus shoots are perfect for cooking at this stage.

Avoid the temptation to harvest from a new bed too soon. Leave one year old roots until their 3rd year in the ground. Start harvesting off of 2 year old roots in their 2nd year in the ground. In both cases you should only harvest sparingly the first year (only for 2 weeks). The longer you wait, the stronger the plants will get.

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Choose the right variety

Jersey Supreme Asparagus

Sometimes, the most important aspect is choosing the right variety of asparagus.

When you make the right selection, you’ll be able harvest almost every year.

Some types of asparagus can survive the harshest conditions.

Jersey Knight and Jersey King – Widely adapted, do well in warm climates. Jersey Giant – Good for colder regions. The Jersey series from Rutgers University in New Jersey features hybrids with all-male plants and good resistance to rust and fusarium crown- and root-rots. Yields two to three times more than open-pollinated varieties. 

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Prepare the soil bedding well

Asparagus field.

Growing asparagus is like building a house.

A good foundation is pretty much vital to the overall health of the vegetables.

Still, you’ll need to wait several springs, before you get those really good juicy asparagus.

Preparing a bed of rich, light, well-drained soil is the foundation for this garden treasure.

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Asparagus will thrive in most well-drained soils, but they will need to get full sun for at least six hours per day and a certain amount of protection from strong winds. In exposed area you will need to put in some type of support to avoid damage to the stems

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All Asparagus varieties will grow well in your garden no matter what zone you are in. The “key” to growing a successful easy care-free asparagus garden is the “soil”.

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Stick with the Jersey variety

Growing asparagus.

It is best to stick with certain varieties of asparagus, since they’re easier to grow and more tolerant to colder weather.

With this combination, you’ll be able to ignore the crops a little, while ensuring their growth.

Until about 20 years ago, all asparagus varieties were a mixture of male and female plants. But Rutgers University researchers developed a method for propagating only the male plants. These “all-male” asparagus varieties – including Jersey Giant, Jersey Supreme and Jersey Knight produce up to three times more than older, open-pollinated male/female varieties.

motherearthnews.com

Jersey Knight is an all-male variety of asparagus that offers cold hardiness and resistance to diseases such as root rot, rust and fusarium. Like other varieties of asparagus, Jersey Knight is high in fiber, potassium and folic acid, as well as vitamins A, B6 and C. Jersey Knight is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 3 through 10.

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Avoid harvest the first year

Harvesting asparagus.

Overall, asparagus growing is a long-time commitment. It is imperative to make sure that you’re willing to stick with it for a few harvests, because the crops will not be desirable, after a single year of growth. Instead, you’ll need to wait a few years.

The first years growth will be VERY thin spears about the size of stereo wires, thin, tough and chewy. Put your crowns in containers where you can take them with you or plant them.

Treat these asparagus normally with no harvesting and plan to either leave the bed if you move or dig up the crowns.

Prevent competitive growth

Some crops are capable of being planted alongside other plants and asparagus is one of them. However, it is pertinent to ensure that adequate space is provided for each stalk.

See to it that their leaves can spread freely and that new growth can easily develop.

Also, proper spacing is necessary so you won’t have difficulties when harvesting.

That’s it!

Are you now ready to plant and grow asparagus and other cost-effective effective vegetables in your home garden?

Remember that sufficient knowledge is required. So don’t just stop here, learn more by following the top gardening blogs in 2015.