We currently have six crowns of asparagus growing here on the homestead. Asparagus is a perennial plant so each spring it returns to provide food. The new crowns take some time to get established (2-3 years) so patience is essential.
You can plant this vegetable in a trench, some say deep trenches, some say shallow trenches. The online information that I could find calls for 15-18 inches between plants. We don’t have that luxury here, and I can tell you we are pulling asparagus even though they are planted much closer. Our plant are 8-10 inches apart and do just fine. We also did not trench our in in rows. They go half a bed split with the rhubarb, and were placed in a hole about 6 inches deep. When we planted though we did do our best to spread the roots out, and it seems to have worked just fine.
Everything I have found so far calls for 2-4 inches of manure or compost over the asparagus patch and a 100% weed free environment. My experience is that this method is not totally necessary. A small confession, our bed has weeds. The asparagus does not seem to mind them much it comes up just fine. We do pay attention and cut down any weeds we see growing in there and pull out the smaller ones but overall it is a happy bed. Our asparagus is not mulched except for the first year, and seems to like the thin layer of leaf litter from the tree overhead. Wh
en compost is available and not needed for pickier plants the asparagus will enjoy some for itself, however it is totally happy with nothing at all as well.
Asparagus has a window to harvest which is about 2-3 weeks. You will be looking for Spears to begin appearing almost as soon as the weather gets warm. When the spears reach about the width of a pencil and or 6 inches long simply cut them on an angle and enjoy. About 2-3 weeks after you first spot the spears it’s time to stop harvesting. Let the plant go to fern to rejuvenate itself.
Do not eat or allow anyone to eat the red cherries when asparagus goes to fern. They are poisonous.