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Asparagus growing.jpg
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Asparagus
Species: Asparagus officinalis
Plant Data
Min germination temp: 21°C (70°F)
Max germination temp: 26°C (79°F)
Germination time: 18 days
Time to transplanting: +53 days
Time to harvesting: +32 days
Mature height: 25cm (10in)
Mature spread: 45cm (17½in)
Ideal pH range: 7.0
Sow depth: 5cm (2in)
References: [1][2]

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is a spring vegetable. A flowering perennial[3] plant species in the genus Asparagus, like its allium cousins, onions and garlic, it is native to most of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia.[4][5] and is widely cultivated as a vegetable crop.

Planner[edit | edit source]

Sow Time
Planting Time
Cutting Time


Growing[edit | edit source]

Location[edit | edit source]

Pick a sunny spot, sheltered from strong winds with good drainage.[2]

Soil[edit | edit source]

Soil type is not too important. Dig through in autumn incorporating plenty of well-rotted manure or compost. Liming will be necessary if soil is very acidic. Remove the roots of perennial while digging, leaving soil rough. Fork over in March and apply a general fertiliser.[2]

Planting crowns[edit | edit source]

Dig a trench 20cm (8in) deep and 30cm (12in) wide. Leave a 8cm (3in) ridge in the bottom of the trench and place the crowns on the ridge with roots spread outwards. Cover immediately with 5cm (2in) of sifted soil. Fill in gradually as the plants grow, it should be level by autumn.[2]

Aftercare[edit | edit source]

Shortly after planting the first spears should appear. These should not be cut, but should be left to develop into bushy fern-like stems. The year after planting little or no cutting should take place. It may be possible to remove one spear per plant in May.[2]

Weed the bed regularly. Provide support for stems if necessary. Water during dry weather. Pick berries before they fall to the ground.[2]

In autumn cut down the ferny stems once they have turned yellow. The stumps should be 2-5cm (1-2in) above the surface.[2]

Before the spears appear in spring make a ridge of soil over each row. Apply a surface dressing of general fertiliser.[2]

Harvesting[edit | edit source]

Cutting can begin in the second year after planting. Once a spear reaches 10-13cm (4-5in) they should be cut 7-8cm (3in) below the soil surface. Use a serrated kitchen knife or special asparagus knife. Cut daily if necessary, but never let the spears get too tall before cutting.[2]

Stop cutting in early-mid June. All spears must now be allowed to develop into fern in order to build up for next year's crop.[2]

Troubles[edit | edit source]

Full troubles list: Asparagus troubles

References[edit | edit source]


This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
  1. (2010). Asparagus. myfolia. Retrieved: 2010-07-31.
  2. a b c d e f g h i j Hessayon, D.G. (2009). The Vegetable & Herb Expert. Transworld Publishers, London. p. 10. ISBN 9780903505468
  3. Grubben, G.J.H.; Denton, O.A., eds (2004). Plant Resources of Tropical Africa 2. Vegetables. PROTA Foundation, Wageningen; Backhuys, Leiden; CTA, Wageningen.
  4. Asparagus officinalis. Flora Europaea. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
  5. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Asparagus officinalis. Germplasm Resources Information Network. Beltsville, Maryland: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. Retrieved 2010-05-19.