Whether it be roasted, grilled, or thrown into your favorite recipes, asparagus is a staple for the warmer months. Find a sunny spot for asparagus in your garden and after a year or two you'll be ready to harvest this perennial veggie for many springs to come.
1. Sow It
Dig a trench in compost-enriched, well-draining soil that is roughly 6-12 inches deep and 12 inches wide. Place the root crowns 18 inches apart. (Plant 25 crowns for a family of four asparagus enthusiasts.)
2. Cover It
Cover the crowns. Firm soil around the crowns and water well. Make sure the soil over the asparagus crowns stays level with surrounding soil.
3. Manage Pests
Asparagus beetles eat spears and foliage, damaging the plants. If you see beetles or their dark eggs, pick them off and drop them in soapy water.
4. Harvest It
Spears are ready to harvest when they reach about 8-9 inches tall. To give the plants time to establish deep roots, avoid harvesting heavily during the first two years.
5. Cut It
Cut the spears with a sharp garden knife or break spears slightly above soil level. Don't cut the asparagus below the soil—this may injure the buds that will eventually send up new spears. The small stub above the soil will eventually dry up and disintegrate.
6. Control Foliage
After harvest season passes, the lacy green asparagus foliage will grow 4-6 feet tall. Keep the plants watered, weeded, and mulched all summer. Cut the stems back to 2-inch stubs in late fall.