There are a myriad of reasons to grow asparagus, but here are the 5 reasons I chose to make room for asparagus in my garden. 1: if I plant it once, I can enjoy it for 20 years!, 2: I love clean, organic food vs. food that is soaked in chemicals and trucked in from who knows where. 3: I love to entertain in the spring so asparagus = fancy finger food! 4: I know the price of organic asparagus at Whole Foods and finally 5: I can have an excuse to eat more hollandaise sauce!
So let’s get started. As soon as the soil is workable in your area, till the area you want to plant asparagus (I was a couple of weeks late this year, but I think I will survive :-). Then dig a trench about 8 inches wide by 12 inches deep and as long as your garden can tolerate and in a place that gets mostly sun. Back fill the trench about 6 inches with a combination of the soil you just dug up, compost (heavy on the compost), peat moss and sand, mound this back fill slightly.
As far as selecting what medium to grow, I am just going to say go with crowns, don’t do seeds…they take too long and they are really tempremental. So get crowns and you will have Asparagus at least a year earlier. Splay the roots so when you place the crown in the trench, it lays flat, back fill with more of the soil mixture and water well. Keep the crowns watered and fed well throughout the first year and leave the ferns to grow in the fall. Next year, do not harvest the spears, let them grow and die back. The next year, harvest for 3 weeks only, each year you harvest you can add a week until you are harvesting for 8 weeks.
For each adult in your household, you should grow a dozen crowns, this will provide enough to eat and perhaps freeze a few.
With a little planning and patience, you can grow gorgeous, flavorful asparagus!