Asparagus is one of the first plants that greets us in springtime! It’s a perennial, which means that once it gets established, the tender spears will return year after year. In addition, its ferny foliage makes an excellent ornamental. Here’s how to grow asparagus—from planting through harvest!
Asparagus can be grown in most temperate regions, but grows more robustly in cooler areas with long winters. The edible part of the asparagus plant is the young stem shoot, which emerges as soil temperatures rise above 50°F (10°C) in spring.
The most important thing to know about asparagus is that you really should not harvest it during the first couple of seasons. These plants need to be allowed to get established before you can harvest sustainably. The patience is well worth it, though, as asparagus beds can be productive for 15, 20, sometimes up to 30 years.
Because asparagus stays productive for so long, it’s important to plant the best variety available for your area. (See recommended varieties below.)
If you are starting asparagus for the first time, we would plant 5 to 10 asparagus plants per person (15 to 30 feet of row).
How Long Does It Take to Grow Asparagus?
As said above, newly-planted asparagus plants may take 2 to 3 years to truly get started and produce, so patience is needed! After they’re established, however, asparagus can be productive for decades.
In addition, asparagus plants are fairly fast producers, sending up new spears every few days for a few weeks in the spring. The plant produces ½ pound of spears per foot of row in spring and early summer, so we think it’s definitely worth the wait.