With its unique flavor, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the asparagus is a favorite veggie of lots of people. Unfortunately, they can be very expensive. A pound will set you back several bucks and you’ll still need to remove the hard, inedible parts before you get to the good stuff. This is why some people prefer to just learn how to grow asparagus in a container instead.
As it comes with a stiff price tag, a lot of people just opt to miss out on the tasty goodness of the asparagus. However, with just a little effort, especially if you love gardening anyway, you can just grow your own supply in your home.
Doing so will guarantee you a significant amount of savings while getting to enjoy fresh and clean veggies whenever you feel like having them.
However, you can’t just plant asparagus seeds on a pot of soil and expect it to grow nicely. You’ll need the right techniques to cultivate a tasty yield. And for this, you need to know the right techniques on how to grow asparagus in containers.
To help you ensure that you’ll be able to grow an asparagus plant that can supply you with your favorite vegetable, we’ve created a quick guide that can teach you the basics of growing asparagus in containers. Check it out below.
Can You Grow Asparagus in a Pot?: A Few Things about Container Gardening
Traditionally, asparagus is planted on the ground, typically on a raised bed. Being a hardy perennial flowering plant, putting it on your garden makes sense since it can grow for up to 20 years. Doing so will allow it to really grow and take root without any limitations. This makes it worth the effort since you’ll have to wait two years before this plant becomes established and start growing edible shoots.
They can also grow so big after a while that some homeowners get to use them as seasonal privacy fences. They can reach about 4 to 6 feet, so they’re not recommended to be planted in areas where they can create blind spots.
However, it’s also entirely possible to grow asparagus in containers. A lot of folks have been doing this already with great results.
Some do it because they have limited yard space but still want their own yield of asparagus every year. It can also be a good solution if you don’t live in an asparagus growing zone. Growing asparagus in Florida and other warm climates can be very tricky because it prefers cold weather. Placing this plant in a container can help you easily control the conditions suited for it.
Others do it because they can’t commit a specific patch of land for such a long-lasting crop. There are also some who prefer to plant these plants in pots so they won’t invade other plant beds in the garden.
You can even grow asparagus indoors as long as you provide the proper conditions for their growth. Experts say that as long as it’s placed in a window that gets full sun, you’re good to go.
However, if you intend to grow asparagus in pots, there are a few points that you should know. These will help you think through whether you should really grow these plants in containers or allocate a garden plot for them:
The size of your pot can affect plant growth, so if you’re dreaming of having thick foliage from your asparagus, make sure to plant it on a large container. A 16-gallon pot is recommended by some experts so the plant will have ample room for growth. You can also go for pots that measure about 18 to 20-inch deep and 1’ wide.
Plastic containers are preferred by a lot of experienced gardeners for growing asparagus in a pot because they don’t absorb moisture like clay pots. They will help keep the plant’s roots dry which is what the plant prefers.
Container-grown asparagus doesn’t usually last longer than a couple of years. So if you plan on growing asparagus in pots, don’t expect it to last for decades.
Not all asparagus varieties will offer you a big harvest. This is why some experts recommend opting for the kind that provides the biggest yield like the Jersey Knight. Male varieties are also better options if you want a high yield.
Growing asparagus from seedlings or crowns is recommended for container gardeners because they offer a faster start. Growing from seeds might be trickier for this method but it’s also possible to do so.
Asparagus is fern-like in appearance, so they will look fuller as they grow. Make sure to look up images of asparagus plants so you know what to expect.
You should only harvest asparagus spears at least 3 years after planting the crown or well after the plant has established itself into maturity.
If the width of the spears becomes more narrow than a pencil, you should leave them be and wait for the next harvesting season.
Do not expect a large harvest from a single plant of asparagus. These plants don’t just produce shoots like other vegetable plants. They also only grow edible parts every spring, you can’t expect to feed a family of four all year round with just a single asparagus pot.
You can transplant established asparagus plants. It’s best to do this during its dormancy period which is around the fall months. This will give it time to heal and re-establish itself before springtime rolls around.
These tips might not seem like much but they can help you make your asparagus pot grow healthily. They can also help you weigh your options and decide whether you really want to plant in a container or allocate a portion of your garden for these flavorful veggies.
How to Grow Asparagus in a Container: Steps and Tips to Keep in Mind
Made up your mind that you need an asparagus plant at home even if they’re just in a container? We’ve rounded up a few different methods on how to grow asparagus in a container below. Check them out and you might just find a technique that will work best for you:
How to Grow Asparagus from Cuttings
With their price tag, a lot of people ask, can you regrow asparagus? The answer here is quite tricky because its cuttings aren’t necessarily the same as other veggies’. While you can regrow this plant from cuttings, you need to plant asparagus crowns to do so. You can’t just place a spear in water and wait for it to take root.
Asparagus crowns, however, are still considered as cuttings because they technically are. They’re cuttings of the plant’s grown roots. You can harvest them from 1-year-old or older plants or purchase them from nurseries or garden centers.
Some experts recommend getting crowns from 2 or 3-year-old plants as they promise faster growth. So if you want to cut down the waiting time, look for more mature crowns.
Here’s how you should plant crowns:
1. Ready your container. Make drainage holes under the pot if you think there are not enough available. Place 2 inches of gravel at the bottom of the pot as this will aid in drainage.
2. Partially fill the pot with gardening soil until it’s just about 7 inches away from the brim.
3. Create about an 8-inch deep hole that is thrice the width of the crown you’re planting. Place some fertilizer or aged compost in it if you’re planting during the spring months.
4. Spread out the roots of the crown then place the middle of the root ball inside the hole. Spread the roots around it again then cover it with about 2” of soil.
5. Water the pot thoroughly.
6. Place the pot in an area where it gets sun about 8 hours a day.
7. Keep the soil evenly moist by regular watering.
8. Monitor the pot and add soil when shoots come out. Leave only ½” of the shoots uncovered.
9. Fertilize the container once a month.
10. Cut the plant to soil height before winter rolls in. This will allow your plant to overwinter and will prevent the development of rust disease.
How to Grow Asparagus from Seeds
While some do not recommend growing asparagus in containers from seeds, it’s not impossible to do. Seeds are relatively easier to find, cheaper, and easy to grow, so they can still be great options if you really want an asparagus plant of your own. It might take longer, however, so be prepared for that.
To grow asparagus from seeds, here are the steps you should follow:
1. Ready your container. Even if you’re planting seeds, it should still offer a lot of room for the plant to grow in. Add holes in the bottom of the pot and add a layer of gravel to ensure proper drainage.
2. Fill your pot with soil it’s about 5 inches away from the brim.
3. Place 2 seeds into the soil at about ¼” deep. Add more soil and then lightly pat it down.
4. Water the soil lightly.
From this point on, you’ll then need to monitor the plant to encourage germination and growth. Regularly water your pot and then wait for the shoots to come out. Make sure it won’t freeze, however, as this is fatal to your young plant.
While this perennial is deemed hardy and can ideally survive up to -40 degrees, its foliage is still susceptible to freezing. Its roots will do well in freezing conditions, but everything above ground won’t. Ensure that it’s kept in a warmer location during the winter months while it’s still growing out.
How to Grow Asparagus Indoors
Some folks who wish to grow asparagus in containers only have indoor space, so they’re sometimes grown as indoor plants. This shouldn’t be a problem as these plants look like ferns, so they’re quite ornamental. If you have quite a lot of room at home, its size also shouldn’t be a problem.
If you want to grow one inside your home, you can follow either method mentioned above. Add these to the steps of the method you’ve chosen to make it work for indoor conditions:
1. Place the asparagus pot somewhere it can get sunlight for eight hours a day.
2. Ensure proper drainage from the pot.
3. Fertilize once a month.
More Tips on Growing Asparagus in Containers
1. Plant asparagus in the fall or in the early spring. The plant takes nicely to cold weather, so it’s recommended that you plant it from October through March.
2. Maintain soil temperatures at 65 to 85 degrees. Going beyond or under these temperatures can inhibit the growth of your plant and affect its quality and flavor.
3. Do not harvest spears if the plant hasn’t reached its two-year establishment yet. This can affect its growth.
4. Ensure proper pot drainage as asparagus doesn’t like its roots to stay wet. Fungi can also grow in such conditions and that can lead to poor growth.
5. Pickoff red berries should any of them appear. Female asparagus plants release red berries which can cause weeds to grow and affect the health and growth of your plant.
6. Make sure to water your asparagus pots thoroughly. The best rain barrel will help with getting pure rainwater for asparagus containers.
7. Always try to cleanly cut off the shoots from the plant. Use a sharp knife or snap it off right on or a bit below the ground level if you’re only going to do it manually. This will ensure proper regrowth.
Enjoying Your Harvest
Now that you know how to grow asparagus in pots, you can already wait for harvest season to come. Having lots of these veggies is great for a healthy diet, especially if you’re trying to manage your weight. It doesn’t have a lot of calories but is rich in vitamins and minerals, so it can definitely help you eat better.
Its rich flavor is also very enjoyable. You can cook it in many different ways and a lot of its preparation methods are very easy and simple. These make it an even more enjoyable type of produce to have on hand.