Asparagus can be started from seed, but in most cases it makes more sense to plant established crowns bought from a reputable nursery since seeds take a year to produce a usable crown. Crowns are planted as early in spring as the ground can be prepared.
- To plant crowns, dig a six-to eight-inch-deep trench about a foot wide, and place a shovelful of compost every fifteen to eighteen inches; set out the crowns on these compost mounds with the roots fully spread out (not doubled over).
- The side of the crown with the buds (the small lumps from which the spears will grow) should be pointing up and four to six inches below the surface of the bed. *Cover the crowns with a few inches of soil and compost mix, and leave the remainder of the soil from the trench heaped between the rows.
- As the first season progresses and the asparagus ferns grow, gradually fill in the trenches until the soil surface is level again.
- Avoid covering the foliage at any point, as this will slow fern growth and thus lower future yields.
- Water new beds regularly, at least weekly.
Adapted from Straight-Ahead Organic,by Shepherd Ogden. Copyright (c)1992, 1999 by Shepherd Ogden. Reprinted by permission of Chelsea Green Publishing Company.
Adapted from Straight-Ahead Organic, by Shepherd Ogden.