Six Tips For Planting Asparagus On Garden Beds
Asparagus adds an excellent and nutritious side to your diet, adding a layer of crisp flavor. You can roast, grill, fry or steam the stems, or even eat them raw - they taste best with a little lemon to enhance their earthy and butter flavor. Asparagus spears need several years to prepare for harvest, but it is worth waiting! In addition, they are perennial plants that return year after year, adding luster to your garden for 15 years or more. Therefore, if you want to try to plant asparagus, but lack the preferred well-drained soil for these stems, please plant them on the garden bed. Here are some tips!
Asparagus varieties can be male or female. The yield of male plants is three times that of female plants, which makes them more popular. However, many varieties will thrive in garden beds.
The "Jersey" series is a male variety that grows best in zones 4 to 6. It includes the "Jersey Giant" with a spear, the "Jersey Gem" with a medium-sized spear, and the "Jersey Supreme" harvest.
Cold-resistant varieties "Guelph Millennium" or "Apollo" and "UC-157" are planted in hotter areas. The optimum temperature for planting asparagus is between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime and about 20 degrees lower at night.
You can also plant "Purple Passion", which has a rotating purple spear. Although purple turns green when cooking, it still looks interesting to plant it in the garden.
Growing from seeds or tree crowns
The next decision after selecting varieties is to determine whether to plant asparagus with seeds or tree crown. The crown is easier to start than the seed, but the latter is possible.
It takes about three years to harvest asparagus from seeds. In contrast, the crown of annual plants can produce stems in about two years, making it a popular choice. Continue, if you buy a two-year-old plant, you will be able to harvest it in one year.
In addition, seeding is a tedious process. You need to sow 1 inch deep in sandy soil with a large amount of organic compost, with an interval of 2 to 3 inches. Pay close attention to the growth of weeds that can compete with growing plants for nutrients.
If you buy tree crowns from a local nursery, plant them on the garden bed in May or June.
Choose the right location
Locate the garden bed so that asparagus can be planted in your home garden. Please remember that it needs six to eight hours of direct sunlight every day, so please choose the right place.
You can also place it in the corner of the garden, where it will not be disturbed by the planting and harvesting of annual vegetables. Because asparagus can produce spears for many years, please make sure that the surrounding shrubs or trees do not grow on the garden bed for shade.
Prepare garden bed
Create a garden bed 2 feet deep and fill it with a mixture of loam and sandy soil. Asparagus thrives in well-drained soil, and does not like to let the roots too wet. It also likes slightly acidic to neutral soil with a ph of about 6.5 to 7.
Add 2 to 4 inches of compost, decomposed manure or organic matter to improve the soil. Because the plant is a heavy feeder, it likes extra nutrients to get a strong start. However, you must supplement organic fertilizer during the growth period. Check the number and frequency of feeding on the label.
Asparagus needs a lot of room to grow. If you are planting tree crowns, place them in the previously dug ditches, with a width of 12 inches and a depth of 12 inches respectively. Row spacing shall be at least 3 feet.
Water the bed
Keep the soil moist and make the plants happy. Asparagus needs an inch or two of water a week. If there is not enough rain in your area, please water the bed yourself. You can use garden hose or watering can, but drip irrigation is best.
When watering manually, check whether the soil is dry before irrigation. If the top 2 inches feel dry, put your fingers into the soil and water.
Before harvesting, give your plants a few years to develop healthy roots. If you harvest too early, the plants may not return the next year.
It may take about two years for the plant to fully mature into a spear from planting the crown on the bed. Once the spear is 6 to 8 inches high, you can harvest asparagus in spring. Cut the top with a sharp knife or scissors. Asparagus will soon become too woody, so please check the plants every day and take out the spears ready for harvest.
The harvest season in the first year is usually short, lasting for two to three weeks at most. In the next few years, once the plant is established, you can enjoy delicious stalks for nearly eight weeks.
Asparagus plants are an excellent complement to any garden. Planting them on the garden bed can help you better control their growth environment. You can choose the best soil for the healthy growth of plants and prevent the growth of weeds. Asparagus will not produce crops soon after planting. Proper care can ensure long-term supply of nutrition and delicious spears.