If you’re new to gardening and have decided to try growing your own fresh veggies this season, the first step in this process is to plan what you’re going to plant and where you’re going to plant it. Plant veggies you’re familiar with and only plant veggies that you enjoy, in order to prevent waste. Asparagus is a popular, versatile veggie and one that takes several seasons to grow before you can harvest. How to grow asparagus can be done easily, with a little planning and some knowhow in regards to the type of care this delicious veggie needs in order to grow and thrive.
How to Grow Asparagus using Crowns
The asparagus is a perennial veggie that’s rich in vitamins C and B and also features a high iron and calcium content. If you’ve never had fresh asparagus, you’ll also be pleasantly surprised to learn that fresh picked asparagus is very tender and comes packed with more taste than the store bough version. Because there are so many ways you can prepare this veggie, and it’s also the perfect barbeque food, this veggie is definitely worth the wait. So let’s learn how to grow asparagus and find out how to correctly prepare the ground for planting.
This type of veggies will thrive in any area that has dry seasons. The only places that you’ll find it difficult to grow is in the wetter regions such as the Gulf Coast or Florida.
Start by selecting the area in your yard where you want to grow the asparagus and prepare the bed with care. This plant can tolerate some shade, but it grows the best in full sun. In bright sunlight this plant will produce more stalks and it also helps to minimize disease. This plant also does best in light soil that warms up quickly and drains well. Asparagus is very sensitive to standing water which can quickly cause root rot. To prepare the asparagus bed, remove all weeds, careful to pull them by their roots. Plot out an area that’s about four feet wide, and add plenty of compost or aged manure.
The asparagus plant is monoecious. This means that’s each individual plant is male or female. Some types of asparagus will produce all male plants. Male asparagus is considered more productive. A male asparagus plant will yield a higher quantity of harvestable shoots because they don’t have to use some of their energy towards producing seeds. Because of this, when you’re seed shopping, choose an all-male variety, such as Jersey Giant or Jersey Knight.
If you start growing your asparagus using one year old crowns, it will give you a 12 month head start in the harvesting process, compared to using seeds. Avoid choosing two year old crowns because they usually end up dying off or fail to produce a high yield due to shock. You can purchase the one year old crowns from a local nursery. These need to be planted immediately.
How to grow asparagus crowns is pretty simple. You’ll need to dig each trench six inches deep and about one foot wide. If you’re using a sandy soil variety, plant the crowns eight inches deep. Soak the crowns in compost tea for half an hour, immediately before planting. Plant the crowns about two feet apart and top them with three to four inches of soil. In two weeks add two more inches of soil. You’ll need to continue adding two inches of soil each week until it is slightly mounded above the surface level. Water regularly, keeping the soil moist but not drenched.
You’ll be unable to harvest any of the spears during the first two years that the asparagus is in the permanent bed. The asparagus will need to use all of their energy to establish deep roots. You can pick the spears during the third season, over a one month period. During the fourth season you can pick the spears for a period of two months. Once they’re ready, begin harvesting the spears in the early Spring. Once it gets hot out you may need to pick the asparagus twice a day in order to keep up with production. Use a sharp knife to snap off the spears or you can use your fingers and pick the spears off right below ground level.
What is Compost tea?
Compost tea is a liquid that’s well-balanced and nutrient rich and it’s made by steeping aged compost in water. The best thing about it is it can be made at home and it acts like a mild organic fertilizer that can be added to fruits, veggies and flowers. You can also use compost tea to fertilize your houseplants. The tea will work to increase asparagus yield and it can even increase the size of the shoots. It also works to help suppress diseases, and can be used in place of toxic garden chemicals.
How to make your own Compost Tea for Asparagus Fertilizer
To make compost tea you’ll need to have a compost pile somewhere in your yard. After the compost has aged a few weeks, begin making your tea by filling a bucket half full with compost. Add water, filling it to the top of the container. Let this mixture sit for four days, stirring one to two times a day. Strain the mixture once it’s ready, using burlap or cheesecloth. You can reuse the solids by tossing them back on the compost heap. Dilute the liquid so that it’s half compost liquid, half water. The tea needs to be used immediately.