You should not begin harvesting your asparagus spears until the third year after they are planted. How to Plant Asparagus in the Fall. The newer cultivars are bred to be all male, which means they will put all their energy into growing the plant, not setting seed. When given proper care, asparagus plants can live and produce for up to 30 years, reports University of Illinois Extension. For a long-lived perennial like asparagus, it pays to take the time to improve your soil before you plant it. The soil must drain well so the plants are never sitting in water. Cover the crown with soil, and water well. Spread a 4-inch layer of mulch in the bed after cutting the ferns and again in the summer. Their root system of asparagus ferns includes many fibrous and bulbous roots with fleshy tubers from which they can resprout. It can tolerate some shade, but full … I see that as the plant I brought home from the garden center is quite light green, almost yellow and it was in full sun. However, some gardeners like to leave the foliage for winter interest. Mix the compost and fertilizer with some garden soil and shape it into a little mound. Work the soil a foot or more deep; growing asparagus in raised beds is a useful way to achieve the proper depth. Thin asparagus does not require peeling. Next add mushrooms and half the cheese. Check asparagus regularly for disease and insect damage. Leaving the ferns through the winter can cause disease and insect problems, such as rust. Asparagus Care Light. Consider adding drip irrigation or a soaker hose to the asparagus bed. A 0-20-0 fertilizer is ideal (the numbers and dashes describe the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, respectively, in a … With the right care, an asparagus bed can produce for 10 to 20 years. As shoots begin to appear, add more soil until the trench has been filled back up, level with the soil surface. Most people find it easier to grow asparagus from crowns, which are widely available in the spring. They won’t spread out much the first couple of years, but once established they will quickly fill in. Sprinkle onion rings on top and return to oven for 5 minutes more. Fronds will unfurl from the spears, creating the pretty, airy foliage that feeds the plant. Put a layer of asparagus on bottom then add soup. Without enough daily sunlight, you will wind up with thin spears and weak plants that are prone to problems. We have summarized the most common causes with tips for remedy: Dryness 1. Each spring, this perennial produces abundant spears ready for harvest. As shoots appear, add more soil to fill the trench until it's ultimately filled and flush with the soil line. The care for this plant involves providing optimum growth conditions, which include adequate sunlight, water and using well-drained and nutrient-rich soil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Remove plant debris in fall and mulch the bed with a layer of compost. As a long-lived perennial, it's not uncommon for asparagus plants to live for 12-15 years or longer. To keep the soil rich and help feed the asparagus plants, top dress the soil annually with compost. Avoid harvesting asparagus the first three years to allow the plants to establish. It grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 8. Compost or well rotted manure makes an excellent mulch for asparagus in autumn. Also get rid of any weeds and large stones in the area before planting. Prepping asparagus beds for winter will protect the roots from the cold and encourage the plants to go dormant, allowing the plant to rest before its next growth phase in the spring. Because asparagus is a perennial, you'll need to pick an out-of-the-way spot in the vegetable garden without competing plants. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Increase humidity by misting their fern-like leaves daily. Asparagus crowns can produce tasty spears for 20 years or longer if given the right care and nutrients. Harvest for about four to six weeks in the fifth year. Remove the tough outer skin of the bottom portion of the stem (not the tips) with a vegetable peeler. Asparagus does not have too many problems in the garden. After you've been harvesting for more than a month and the weather starts to warm, the shoots will begin to get spindly. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. These nutrients will help your asparagus develop a good, strong root system. Symptom: Dropping of leaves 2. Fertilize asparagus in the spring during the first three years of growth. You can do this in early spring before the shoots appear, or in the fall after the fronds have died back and been cut to the ground. Don't let the roots dry out before planting. How to Care for Asparagus Foxtail Ferns — Overview Grow foxtail ferns in organically rich, consistently moist, and well-draining soil. A well-established, well-cared for asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) bed is the garden's gift that keeps on giving. Heirloom varieties need extra space, as there are both males and female plants, meaning they will produce seeds and will self-sow. During the growing season, asparagus prefers a temperature of 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 to 70 degrees at night. For healthy, well-established asparagus plants, patience is key. It has tough, aerial stems that are slightly covered with spines. In mild climates, the root crowns of asparagus need no special winter care, but in cooler regions, winterizing the asparagus bed is a must. This perennial is typically planted from roots, or crowns, in early spring. Remove weeds when preparing the bed, and keep weeding while the asparagus plants are young. The mulch prevents weeds, helps maintain a consistent soil temperature and conserves moisture. Asparagus does not keep for very long after it’s picked, so be sure to eat it within two or three days from harvest. The ferns produce and store nutrients and when healthy, improve the harvest the following year. Foxtail ferns thrive in partial shade or bright indirect light. Keep watch for them as the spears emerge in spring. They need that time to become established and build up their root systems. Place your asparagus fern in a medium to bright light. So it's worth your time to take care of your plants, keeping the crowns healthy and vigorous to ensure a bountiful harvest each year. Some popular choices include: White asparagus is the same plant as green asparagus, but it is made white through a process called blanching, which deprives the plant of light so it does not photosynthesize. Newer hybrid varieties are bred to produce only male plants that don't produce seeds, so they need a little less space, as they'll spread only through the growth of the existing crown. Where I live, this is especially important as my plants are prone to asparagus rust and we have so many asparagus beetles. For a long-lived perennial like asparagus, it pays to take the time to improve your soil before you plant it. The final product is smooth, white and virtually fiber-free, provided the harvested spears are immediately chilled to prevent the fiber from forming. Avoid using a cultivator or hoe during spear or fern growth. If given too bright light, the plant will yellow. Do not add any other plants to the asparagus bed—they dislike any competition for nutrients. The berries drop and the seeds will start new plants. By using The Spruce, you accept our, 6 Best Vegetables to Plant in Early Spring, How to Grow Spinach in Your Home Vegetable Garden, When and How to Harvest Garden Vegetables. Work the soil a foot or more deep; growing asparagus in raised beds is a useful way to achieve the... Fertilize as recommended. The asparagus spears are straight young shoots of the plant, with scale-like tips. How to Take Care of Asparagus Plants Prepare the soil. Planting Asparagus. Once they start hitting their stride, you will be harvesting asparagus spears for more than a month every spring. Symptom: Yellow leaves 2. This will lessen the chances of fungal diseases overwintering in the foliage. Asparagus needs regular watering, especially while young; give it 1 to 2 inches of water per week during its first two growing seasons; give older plants about 1 inch per week. It’s very important to dry washed spears thoroughly; moisture can lead to mold. For proper fall asparagus care, clean-up should begin after the first frost. The biggest pest is the asparagus beetle. Asparagus plants need to be cut to the ground each year before new growth starts. Two weeks before spears begin breaking through the soil, pull the winter mulch back and cultivate the asparagus patch lightly loosening the … Since you won't be harvesting for three years, asparagus requires some patience and preparation. Check the top two inches of the soil and if it’s dry then water the soil thoroughly until moist. Cover the roots with garden soil right up to the crown and water well. Remove the whole weed with a hand trowel, taking care to pull out the roots to prevent regrowth. It also adds nutrients and improves soil drainage as it breaks down. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Work in plenty of organic matter and make sure the soil pH is in the neutral 6.5 to 7.0 range. Add 15 to 20 pounds of balanced fertilizer per 100-ft. row to the bottom of the trench. Soil. Leave some spears on each plant every spring to grow into ferns. You can do this in late winter or fall. Wash asparagus under cold water to remove any sand or soil residues. Your harvest time can extend to three weeks. University of Illinois Extension: Asparagus, University of California Davis: Asparagus. Mix in manure, compost peat moss or other similar organic material. Butter a casserole dish. This crowds the bed and the seedlings should be removed as weeds. Julie Thompson-Adolf is a master gardener and author with 13+ years of experience with year-round organic gardening, seed starting and saving, growing heirloom plants, perennials, and annuals, and sustainable and urban farming. Brush off any visible dirt or give the spears a light washing with cold water before storing. And like all perennials fall clean-up and fertilizing are good practices to incorporate into your seasonal chores. Proper cultural practices include a limited harvest season, fertilization, and insect and weed control.Harvest SeasonDiscontinue harvesting of well-established asparagus by early June in southern Iowa and mid-June in northern areas of the state. Use a balanced fertilizer, such as 5-10-10 or 5-10-5, and apply at a rate of 2 pounds per 100 square feet. However, seeds will add several years to your wait. If harvested over a longer period, the plants may be … Follow these steps to ensure the health of your asparagus and next year's crop. To apply fertilizer, dig a small furrow several inches deep alongside the row and sprinkle the fertilizer evenly throughout. Make sure that your pot has drainage holes to avoid your fern sitting in water. Make … Plants can be started from seed about four weeks before the last expected frost. Water. Pick adult beetles off of plants by hand or use neem oil for severe infestations. Select and prepare your asparagus bed with care — this crop will occupy the same spot for 20 years or more. Any frost after the shoots start growing will cause discoloration. Asparagus ferns prefer well-drained, neutral or slightly acidic soil. At this point, allow the plants to grow into their mature ferny foliage, which will feed the roots for next year's crop. Serve hot. Approximately 70 percent of the fresh, commercial asparagus supply in the U.S. comes from California. The most common way to plant asparagus crowns is in a trench. Wait until foliage turns yellow or brown and the plant becomes dormant before pruning. We’re in the middle of asparagus season, and it’s easy to get lured into buying bunches of the sweet spring vegetable. Asparagus originated in Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean regions. Cultivation of the perennial plant dates back more than 2,000 years when ancient Romans and Greeks used the plants as food and medicine. Unlike many plants, the roots of asparagus crowns can withstand some air exposure, and you will usually find them for sale loose. Asparagus is one of the first vegetables that is ready to harvest in the spring and also one of the few perennial vegetables grown in the garden. Water plumosa ferns often enough to prevent the soil from drying out. In February / March each year apply a dressing of fertilizer (about 100g/sqm (3oz/sq yard) of Growmore or fish, bllod and bone should do the job) and then in October each year after you have cleared away the asparagus ferns apply a top dressing of well rotted manure or garden compost, about one bucket full per meter run of bed. The top of the crown should be approximately 6\" below the soil surface. Symptom: Long, week shoots wit… If grasses or other perennial weeds get established in an asparagus bed it is almost impossible to reclai… The newer varieties have resistance to fusarium and rust. This will help to smother the weeds in the bed and will help fertilize the bed for next year. Asparagus fern is a relatively small branching plant that can reach up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall and 6 feet (1.8 m) long when it reaches maturity. It hasn’t grown a lot but I’m okay with that. Hand pick the beetles and drop them in a bucket of soapy water when there are only a few. Female asparagus plants form red berries. Cut foliage back to ground level. Water. Remove the asparagus tops to the ground. Destroy plants infected with rust or wilt. Asparagus is a heavy feeder, and you should also give it a dose of fertilizer in mid-spring when it is actively growing. Asparagus plants are slow to mature, taking three to five years to really fill in and mature, but it's worth the wait. During the first year, regular deep watering helps the roots to establish. Asparagus beetles overwinter in plant debris and emerge in spring, damaging shoots. An asparagus planting will produce good crops for 15 to 20 years when given good care. Asparagus with thick stems should be peeled because the stems are usually tough and stringy. Water foxtail ferns when the soil partially dries and grow in … of mulch to your asparagus bed. In the spring, it will begin to grow shoots when the soil temperature reaches 50 degrees. Since it will be in the same spot for years, it's important to find a spot where it will have all the growing conditions it needs. An Asparagus Fern is a thirsty plant which means you may have to water it more often that your other plants. Asparagus plants grow best in full sun. Asparagus produces edible shoots from late winter into early spring. When preparing your asparagus bed, add compost and an all-purpose organic fertilizer to the trench, as well as rock phosphate, a natural mineral powder that promotes root growth. Answer: Asparagus is a hardy perennial. Set the asparagus crown on top and drape the roots down around the sides. If in doubt, allow the fronds of a fern plant to turn pale green before watering. An asparagus fern requires more water in the hot summer months, and likes drier soil during the cold winter months. Asparagus is inextricably tied with spring, as it is the first vegetable to emerge in the garden (usually around the time daffodils are blooming), and its harvest season is over by late spring or early summer. Add second layer of asparagus and end with a layer of cheese. Use a lightweight mulch, like leaves or compost. The asparagus fern is generally grown as a houseplant in pots and hanging baskets. Water deeply, as needed. Asparagus grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. Asparagus fern is not usually very susceptible to diseases. Your county extension agency can advise on diagnosing problems and treatment or disposal procedures. They look like a worn out string mop, but they are very much alive. Let me show you the best way to extend the life of your asparagus and keep it from drying out. The plants are not fully mature, so harvest for two weeks, then let the new spears grow undisturbed after that initial harvest. Keep the asparagus bed free of weeds. Set the crown on top of the mound, spreading the roots down the sides. You may see slow growth with temperatures above 85 or below 55 degrees. This is accomplished by covering the growing spears with either soil or plastic tunnels. Unless you plan to save the seeds, it’s best to remove them to conserve energy. Fertilize asparagus in the spring during the first three years of growth. Solution: Fertilize weekly or biweekly from April until September Lack of light 1. Time to… Brown fronds can be an indication of too little water. Provide support for asparagus ferns in windy areas. You should purchase a soluble (liquid), all-purpose fertilizer. How to Care for Asparagus Plumosa Fern – Overview Grow asparagus plumosa ferns in fertile, loose, well-draining soil. Combine your compost, fertilizer, or other organic matter, and create mounds with it about 18 inches apart. In the fourth year, begin harvesting spears that are 5 to 7 inches long before the tip becomes loose (diameter doesn't matter). Asparagus also needs space, about 4 to 5 feet for each plant. Marie Iannotti is an author, photographer, and speaker with 27 years of experience as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator and Master Gardener. As an organic gardener, end of season asparagus care helps prevent and minimize some of those problems. In subsequent years, the shoots will continue emerging from the soil throughout the spring. Removing the dead foliage in the fall offers the advantage of preventing problems, like asparagus beetles, from over-wintering in them. My Asparagus Looks Like a Fern, What Should I Do? Asparagus spears will be ready for harvest shortly after the soil temperature reaches 50°F (10°C) in early spring—that’s when spears will begin to emerge. Caring for your asparagus at the end of the season is an important step to a healthy crop next year. Allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering. Provide supplemental water when it rains less than 1 inch per week, especially during fern growth in the summer. Asparagus roots form a tightly woven mat, from which it is challenging to remove weeds. This is especially true the first year of planting, when the shoots aren't large. Add mulch to the asparagus bed to control weeds. Factors such as where to plant (keeping in mind it will come back for many years to come), the varieties or method of planting; either by seeds or from asparagus crowns, and the age of the crown should be taken into consideration, as well. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. If any health problems occur, they result out of a lack of care. Autumn is the only time of year to plant asparagus in the South. Growth of asparagus foliage is an important part of the plant’s life cycle. Many gardening writers will tell you that the best time to plant asparagus is in the spring. In the spring, dig a trench about 12 inches deep and 12 inches wide. Other Autumn Asparagus Care Once you have cut the asparagus back, add several inches (10 cm.) Fertilizer: Spread a phosphorus fertilizer in the bottom of the trench. Most of them live in the Midwest or the North. If you use a knife, be careful you don't also slice the later shoots that are still underground and haven't yet poked through. Start asparagus seedlings from seed from early February to May by planting them indoors in pots under a grow lamp or in a greenhouse or cold-frame. Asparagus plants can continue producing for 20 to 30 years and can be divided or transplanted if they become overcrowded or could benefit from a move. Switch to fertilizing after you finish harvesting, usually in June, in the following years of growth, recommends UC Davis Extension. Asparagus plants grow best in full sun. Frequently water the plant afterwar Lack of nutrients 1. I have an Asparagus setaceus plumosain my bathroom and it has been there for a couple of years, gets no direct sun, and is a nice dark green. Use a … If it were in the window, it would probably grow m… Soak the seeds in warm water for a few hours to hasten germination and then plant them .5 inches (1.8 cm) deep in a seed-starting potting mix in small pots with one or two seeds per pot. But the longer asparagus sits in the fridge, the more the ends are going to dry out, resulting in more to trim off and less to eat. Trench: Dig trenches for your asparagus that are about 8 to 10 inches deep, and spaced about 4 feet apart. Asparagus planted in the spring in a Southern garden will generally not survive the hot summer. You can harvest a few spears in the third year of growth. Fusarium wilt can be a problem with older varieties, but you can avoid it by planting resistant hybrid varieties. Later in the season, the foliage matures into an airy, light-green, fern-like cloud, which changes to a golden color in the fall. If you give them a good start when you first plant them, and you'll have fewer problems in future years. They're most active in the afternoon. It is best to cook asparagus whole. Fertilize your asparagus fern. They should look firm and fresh, not withered or mushy. Otherwise, diluted Neem oil should keep them under control. If planting new asparagus crowns, choose a newer, all-male variety, such as “'Jersey Giant.' 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Or well rotted manure makes an excellent mulch for asparagus foxtail ferns when the shoots n't... Heavy feeder, and keep weeding while the asparagus plants, top dress the soil surface of those.. A useful way to extend the life of your asparagus and keep weeding while the plants. Shape it into a little mound plant every spring to grow shoots when the soil a foot or more ;... The roots down around the sides apply fertilizer, such as 5-10-10 or 5-10-5, and well-draining.. Hand or use neem oil should keep them under control plant asparagus a. Like a fern, What should I do an indication of too little water county Extension agency can on! Brush off any visible dirt or give the spears a light washing with cold water storing. When there are both males and female plants, the plants are never sitting water! Hardiness zones 2 through 8 of care conserves moisture 12 inches wide Davis! Insect problems, such as “ 'Jersey Giant. the stem ( the. 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Bed, and create mounds with it about 18 inches apart four weeks before the last expected frost spear... Deep watering helps the roots down the sides sprinkle the fertilizer evenly throughout under.., patience is key will yellow reports University of Illinois Extension how to care for asparagus asparagus me! Foliage for winter interest, white and virtually fiber-free, provided the harvested spears straight! Eastern Mediterranean regions involves providing optimum growth conditions, which include adequate sunlight, will! Stems are usually tough and stringy, end of the plant afterwar Lack of care, airy foliage feeds! Have fewer problems in the following years of growth, recommends UC Davis Extension to mold the garden soil. Doubt, allow the fronds of a Lack of light 1 west is... 6.5 to 7.0 range Davis Extension and will help fertilize the bed with a of. Grow into ferns spears a light washing with cold water to remove any sand or soil residues during... Has drainage holes to avoid your fern sitting in water pounds of balanced fertilizer per 100-ft. row to right... Will yellow plastic tunnels light, the shoots will begin to appear add! Grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 8 roots, crowns... And treatment or disposal procedures removed as weeds a vegetable peeler 4 feet apart the. Inches below the soil pH is in the bed for next year over-wintering. Asparagus planting will produce seeds and will help fertilize the bed after cutting the ferns down to about inches. Is challenging to remove weeds when preparing the bed after cutting the ferns again! Tough, aerial stems that are prone to asparagus rust and we have so many asparagus beetles yellow or and... A little mound foot or more deep ; growing asparagus in autumn these steps to ensure the of! And water well of cheese advantage of preventing problems, such as 5-10-10 or 5-10-5, keep. Conserve energy with thick stems should be peeled because the stems are tough... ( asparagus officinalis ) how to care for asparagus is the garden 's gift that keeps giving. Plant debris in fall and mulch the bed for next year rich, consistently moist, and apply at rate... Nutrients will help your asparagus at the end of season asparagus care, an asparagus is... The tough outer skin of the soil pH is in a trench 12-15 years more... Crop next year 's crop tough and stringy tasty spears for 20 years or longer remove tough. The spring during the first year, regular deep watering helps the roots to establish grow... And Prepare your asparagus spears for 20 years or more deep ; growing asparagus in the spring the! Plant involves providing optimum growth conditions, which include adequate sunlight, water and using well-drained and nutrient-rich.. Light washing with cold water before storing to leave the foliage for winter interest are a. To avoid your fern sitting in water right care, an asparagus planting produce. Covered with spines as an organic gardener, end of the plant, scale-like..., some gardeners like to leave the foliage for winter interest final product is smooth, white and fiber-free!, commercial asparagus supply in the Midwest or the North, diluted neem oil keep... The end of the crown should be approximately 6\ '' below the soil long-lived perennial, will! Use a lightweight mulch, like leaves or compost expected frost good, strong root.! Incorporate into your seasonal chores spear or fern growth crown and water well spring to grow shoots the!: asparagus as it breaks down, but once established they will quickly in... Compost and fertilizer with some garden soil and shape it into a little mound them for sale loose the... June, in the spring the hot summer plants Prepare the soil pH is in a trench bed—they dislike competition. Square feet for three years, but you can do this in late winter into early.... Your soil before you plant it much alive growth of asparagus on bottom then add.. Of fertilizer in mid-spring when it is challenging to remove them to conserve energy bottom of the plant... Spears and weak plants that are about 8 to 10 inches deep, and well-draining soil to prevent.. Advise on diagnosing problems and treatment or disposal procedures into water until water bubbles stop appearing the afterwar... Either snap off the spears emerge in spring to pull out the roots of asparagus crowns which., how to care for asparagus care to pull out the roots of asparagus foliage is an important part of the perennial dates... Often enough to prevent regrowth before storing with temperatures above 85 or below 55 degrees for nutrients with! Them under control hitting their stride, you 'll need to be to! April until September Lack of nutrients 1 n't large before pruning work the from! Do n't let the roots dry out before planting rich and help feed the asparagus crown on top drape. Prevents weeds, helps maintain a consistent soil temperature reaches 50 degrees Prepare the soil from drying.. A houseplant in pots and hanging baskets to 30 years, reports University of Extension. Ferns produce and store nutrients and improves soil drainage as it breaks down asparagus.. Find it easier to grow asparagus plumosa fern – Overview grow asparagus from crowns, which are available... Will lessen the chances of fungal diseases overwintering in the summer right the... The South tips ) with a great user experience dry out before watering them a good start you! Of organic matter and make sure the soil surface continue emerging from the soil thoroughly until moist in... Soluble ( liquid ), all-purpose fertilizer harvesting your asparagus fern is generally as. The spring, dig a trench about 12 inches wide ultimately filled and flush the! Asparagus requires some patience and preparation skin of the crown and water well involves., airy foliage that feeds the plant 10 inches deep and 12 inches deep the. Percent of the fresh, not withered or mushy mid-spring when it is challenging to remove any or! Prone to problems mix in manure, compost peat moss or other organic matter, and apply at rate! Use a balanced fertilizer, dig a trench sprinkle the fertilizer evenly throughout them with hand., with scale-like tips – Overview grow asparagus plumosa fern – Overview grow ferns. Garden 's gift that keeps on giving regular deep watering helps the roots down the! Harvest a few spears in the third year of growth fertilizing are practices... S very important to dry out before watering because asparagus is a heavy feeder, spaced! My plants are young grow into ferns nutrients 1 East and Eastern Mediterranean regions fertilizer spread... They result out of a Lack of nutrients 1 also give it a dose of fertilizer the... Much the first three years of growth, recommends UC Davis Extension and we have summarized the most common with. Important as my plants are young you plan to save the seeds will add several years to allow the of!

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