Planting Asparagus: How To Make An Asparagus Bed

Asparagus Growing Out of the Ground
asparagus garden
(Image credit: norcon)

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 (1.27 cm.) deep and about 2 or 3 inches (5 or 7.6 cm.) apart. Keep them in temperatures of 65 to 80 F. (18-27 C.). It will take anywhere from three to six weeks for your asparagus to germinate. Transplant your asparagus seedlings to the asparagus bed once the seedlings have reached 6 inches (15 cm.) 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 sooner. Purchase your asparagus crowns from a reputable source. 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 two to three hours before you're ready to plant. Asparagus planting instructions recommend that you plant the crowns 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm.) apart. Cover with about 2 inches (5 cm.) 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.

  1. 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.
  2. It takes three years before you will be able to harvest your asparagus. If you grow from seed, you should wait 4 four years.
  3. Asparagus cannot tolerate competition and is easily pushed out by other plants (like weeds). Be diligent in keeping your asparagus bed weed free.
  4. Asparagus needs a dormant period; without dormancy, asparagus just can't produce. The plants 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 and all you need is a little patience.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.