Asparagus is so expensive to buy, so learning how to grow asparagus can save your wallet and put something tasty on your plate during summer.
Asparagus is a slow growing vegetable that will yield for 10 – 15 years after the first yield so it needs to be planted in a permanent site.
Asparagus is best suited to mild cool climates and sandy soil which has been well manured and composted
The male plants produce better spears, the female plant is identified as the berry producer and should be removed from the asparagus patch.
You can either start your asparagus from seed, which means it will be three years until spears are produced or if you can, find 2 or 3 year old crowns to plant so that you can get spears in the second summer.
Long term care Harvesting asparagus
Do not cut the spears in the first season they appear and cut sparingly in the second. Thereafter you can cut as they appear until the plants reach full production in their 4th year. Green asparagus can be cut when the spears are 10 – 15 cm long with a sharp knife at soil level.
Your plants will continue to yield for 10 – 15 years but each winter when spears no longer appear, cut the asparagus plant right back and fertilise with worm juice or another liquid manure feed
When to plant: Sow seeds in spring, keep warm until summer.
How many plants: 20-25 seedlings will produce a healthy crop for the average family.
How long to harvest: 3 – 4 years
Successive planting: 7 – 10 years
Wash your asparagus well. Place in a non stick pan with a blob of butter and lightly fry for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and squeeze some lemon juice over them. Add 3 turns of black pepper and a small amount of grated Parmesan cheese. Looking for more asparagus recipes? Take a look at First Time Cook’s recipes.