Growing asparagus in your garden
- Perennial vegetable
- Spears with scale-like tips
- Deer resistant
- Can take up to three years to harvest from seed
everything there is to know about asparagus seeds
Believe it or not, asparagus is actually a member of the lily family. Also known as sparrow grass, asparagus dates back as early as 3000 BC. There was a time when it was commonly found growing in the wild. The earlier cultivated versions had thinner stalks and were darker in color than the asparagus most people are familiar with today. The flavor of asparagus is quite unique, and has been debated for a long time. Many people compare the flavor to broccoli, or even beans! However, it's not just consumed for its unique flavor, asparagus has also been touted as having medicinal and aphrodisiac properties. Rich in folate, vitamins A, C and K, and antioxidants, asparagus is as delicious as it is nutritious.
Slender and upright, asparagus appears from the soil surface in early spring and with it, our hopes and aspirations for the season of rebirth. Often thought of as a luxury vegetable, asparagus is prized for its succulent taste and tender texture. Most people are familiar with the traditional green stalks, but it also comes in different colors, including white and purple. Grown throughout the world, the biggest producers are Peru, Germany, China, and the US. Why not get some growing in your very own yard?
planting asparagus tips and tricks
Growing asparagus does require some amount of patience. Typically, it takes about three to four years to produce the delicious edible spears we all know and love. However, once established, the asparagus plant is long-lived and incredibly loyal. Asparagus likes full sun and well-draining soil, so be sure to select the proper planting area. For best results, start your asparagus in flats, planting the seeds one inch deep. Be sure to keep asparagus beds well-weeded. In the autumn, cut your plants back to one inch deep then mulch with organic matter. Cold dormancy is required for proper growth.
asparagus care and harvest
Unlike most vegetables, asparagus plants are perennial. Leaving their roots undisturbed will bring you fresh asparagus shoots year after year. Harvest your asparagus spears when they are six to eight inches tall. This highly prized vegetable arrives with the coming of spring and brings with it a celebratory song that winter is over.
For more information about planting, growing, and caring for asparagus, see our Asparagus Seeds Planting Guide.