We have a fair amount of folks ask about planting asparagus. Now I would like to tell you about my personal experience growing asparagus, but I have never grown it. Asparagus is a crop of patience and needs a dedicated area for upwards to 15 years to grow to its full potential. I just don’t have a location that I am willing to dedicate for it. But if my taste for asparagus keeps growing I might have to carve out a spot in the backyard.
Asparagus likes loose soil with more of a neutral ph. We have neither of them here. The short answer is compost and lots of it tilled 16 inches deep into the bed. Apply the correct type of fertilizer at planting, during growth and after harvest is of the utmost importance. One of the biggest challenges is keeping the bed free of weeds and grass. Any materials used as a bed boarder need to be installed six to eight inches deep to keep out Bermuda grass. Annual weeds can be controlled with a four to five inch cover of mulch. Asparagus does not tolerate many herbicides so if you have a problem, hand weeding is the preferred method.
I am not trying to sound like a defeatist. We have a fair amount of customers that have tried asparagus. Many have resorted to digging them up after a year or two. There are however, several that have done very well with asparagus. Wells Brothers has not had asparagus slips in many years. I keep trying to get small quantities of asparagus slips but my minimum is 50 pounds. That 50 pounds will plant a row over 100,000 feet long. I’ll keep looking, but if I am unsuccessful in locating the smaller quantities this year and you would like to try the pinnacle of backyard garden crops, give North Haven Gardens a call.