By Heather Rhoades
Anyone who is a fan of asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) but not a fan of the cost of buying them in the grocery store has wondered how to make an asparagus bed. The thought of being able to grow your own is tempting, but many people don’t know how to go about planting asparagus. Read on to learn how to start asparagus from seed or how to grow it from crowns.
How to Start Asparagus from Seed
One thing to keep in mind when considering how to start asparagus from seed is that asparagus is a plant that requires patience, especially when starting it from seed. Most of the time, asparagus seeds are started indoors and than transplanted into the asparagus bed later on.
First, soak the asparagus seeds overnight. You may want to nick or sand the seedcoat in order to get them to germinate faster.
Sow the asparagus seeds about a 1/2 inch deep and about 2 or 3 inches apart. Keep them in temperatures of 65 F. – 80 F. It will take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks for your asparagus to germinate. Transplant your asparagus seedlings to the asparagus bed once the seedlings have reached 6 inches in height.
Planting Asparagus Crowns
Most people will turn to planting asparagus crowns when considering how to make an asparagus bed. Planting crowns will establish your asparagus bed faster so that you can harvest the asparagus faster.
Purchase your asparagus crowns from a reputable source. You will want to order them so that they arrive about a month before your last frost date.
When the asparagus arrives, it will be dry looking. Soak it in tepid water for 2-3 hours before you are ready to plant. Asparagus planting instructions recommend that you plant the crowns 8 to 12 inches apart. Cover with about 2 inches of soil. Water the bed well after planting asparagus crowns. Be sure to provide sufficient water until the crowns show sprouts.
Asparagus Planting Instructions
Now that you know how to start asparagus from seed and from crowns, there are a few things you need to know about how to make an asparagus bed.
- Asparagus are heavy feeders – Make sure that your asparagus bed starts out with rich soil and that amendments are added to the soil every year.
- You have to wait 3 years to harvest – It takes 3 years before you will be able to harvest your asparagus. If you grow from seed, you should wait 4 years.
- Asparagus cannot tolerate competition – Asparagus is easily pushed out by other plants (like weeds). You must be diligent in keeping your asparagus bed weed free.
- Asparagus needs a dormant period – Without dormancy, asparagus just can’t produce. They need a period of cold or drought every year in order to keep producing.
Now that you have your asparagus planting instructions, you know how to make an asparagus bed. Now all you need is a little patience.