Asparagus is one of the first plants that greets us in springtime. It’s a perennial, which means that once it gets established, asparagus will return year after year. Early spring is the time to plant asparagus, so what are you waiting for?
Note: Asparagus plants may take 2 to 3 years to truly get started and produce, so patience is needed! But then again, the plant can be productive for 20 years or more, producing ½ pound of spears per foot of row in spring and early summer, so we think it’s worth the wait.
Asparagus are dioecious, which means that there are male and female plants. The key to the sex of the plant appears in the fall: Red berries form on female ferns. Inside the berries are tiny seeds—about 19,200 to a pound—and, yes, you can plant them—although it will take at least 3 years before you have a harvestable crop. Because male plants do not need to expend energy in producing berries, they have stronger root systems and can be up to three times more productive than female plants.
Regions with cool winters are best for this cool-season crop, which is planted in early spring.