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How to Grow Asparagus

Asparagus is a delicious and nutritious vegetable that can be grown in the North Peace Region with a little effort and preparation. With our helpful guide, you can grow your own fresh asparagus right in your own backyard.

Fresh cut asparagus on a wooden table

Asparagus it one of those gifts that keeps giving once well established. Planting an asparagus bed is a lesson in patience, but put the effort in now and you’ll enjoy a decade or longer of abundant harvests. Whether you eat them fresh, cooked, canned or frozen, Asparagus is a worthwhile investment in your garden.

Where to Plant Asparagus

Asparagus like to be planted in full sun at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Make sure the soil is light and fluffy and is well draining. Asparagus like sandy soil. They don’t like soggy wet roots but like to dry out between waterings so make sure wherever you plant them they aren’t in a low spot in your yard. They can grow in zone 2 climate.

When to Plant Asparagus

Plant Asparagus in early spring as soon as the danger of frost has passed and the soil is workable. If you need to transplant established asparagus to a new garden location, move the crowns when they are dormant, either in the early spring or late fall before the first frost.

How to Plant Asparagus

If you are planting the Asparagus from roots, soak them in water for 15 minutes to rehydrate them. Dig a hole or trench 6-8 inches deep. Pour water in the hole and let it soak away then place the roots facing down with the crown 2” below the ground. Cover the crown with 2 inches of soil and compost mixture and water again. 

The first signs of growth should show within three weeks as small narrow spears, at which point you’ll add another inch or two of soil to the base of the asparagus. This will prevent water from pooling right at the asparagus. As the spears grow you can also add a layer of mulch to help suppress weeds and help retain moisture.

Asparagus need about 1-2” of water per week for the first few years. But be careful that the water is able to drain away and not drown the crowns resulting in rot.

The plants are heavy feeders and will appreciate a topdressing of fertilizer over the growing season and the start of spring.

Establish asparagus plants in a row
Types of Asparagus that Grow in the North

Mary Washington is a heirloom variety with green spears and a buttery flavor.

Jersey Knight has large green spears, great flavor and vigorous.

Millennium is very productive and has tender spears with good flavor. Best for heavier soils.

Purple Passion, purple spears that turn green when cooked and ultra sweet.

Asparagus Tips and Tricks
  • Skip taking any harvest the first to second year to let the Asparagus plants to establish a good root system
  • Harvest in the second to third year by cutting the spears at soil level. After 3-4 weeks of harvest, just let the plants grow without any more harvesting.
  • Harvest for 4-6 weeks in the third to fourth year and then go nuts the fifth year and on harvesting as you please.
  • Harvest every few days as the spears grow quickly and can become tough and oversized.
  • Asparagus are past their prime once the buds on the head open up.
  • Asparagus spears have a high-water content, which means they won’t last long after picking and should be eaten within a few days.
  • Store asparagus spears upright in the fridge within a cup with an inch of water on the bottom.
  • Apply additional compost around the plants after each harvest and water.
  • Remove old foliage in early spring before new growth appears.
  • Asparagus is considered resistant to deer 
Hand holding freshly harvested asparagus

Growing asparagus at home takes both time and patience, but you’ll thank yourself for every second of effort you put in this season for the ease of harvesting your own spears at home for years, even decades to come.