Last Updated on August 16, 2023 by Real Men Sow
Organic asparagus is difficult to find. However, it is possible to grow your own organic asparagus plants. It doesn’t require much maintenance once the bed has been established and it will provide you with delicious shoots every year.
Asparagus plants can be sold as “crowns”. A crown is the root system from an asparagus plant that has been around for one year. Once established, the crowns will produce asparagus. Each crown will yield about 1/2 pound of spears each year.
How to Grow Asparagus
Asparagus is a perennial that can live for many years. An asparagus bed can last up to 15 years if it is planted in the right conditions and allowed time to grow.
The bed should be placed in an area that won’t be disturbed by other plants and where the tall fronds will not shade them. The plant doesn’t care too much about the soil as long as there is good drainage. Ideal soil pH is between 6.5 and 7.5. For every 1,000 square feet, you can add 20 pounds of organic soil to your soil. Before you plant your asparagus crowns, make sure that the soil is at least six inches deep.
Reputable organic growers can sell you your crowns older than one year. Although you can plant asparagus directly from the seed, it is tedious and time-consuming. It is much easier to plant crowns and fresh asparagus will be available sooner. The crowns can be planted as soon as the soil reaches 50 degrees.
- Dig trenches 15 inches deep that are approximately a foot and half wide. Each trench should be four feet apart.
- Line the bottom with 6 inches of compost or well-rotted manure.
- Place the crowns 18 inches apart on top of the mound.
- The soil mixture should be mixed with compost to fill the trenches until the crowns are fully covered.
- Cover the trench with more soil until all the shoots appear.
- Make sure to water the bed regularly and keep it weeded.
- The spears should not be harvested the first year. Let them grow into fronds. This will allow the asparagus to grow strong and established.
- In the second season, you will be able to harvest two to three spears per plant.
- The spears can be harvested in the third season.
It is simple to harvest asparagus. Cut the spears at the soil line when they are six to ten inches high. The asparagus can be harvested for approximately two months. After the harvest is complete, don’t cut the ferns. To capture energy for next year’s growth, it must continue to grow. Cut the dead growth before the new shoots appear in the spring by mowing it.
Pests and Diseases
Asparagus is not susceptible to many diseases and pests. These pests and diseases can be managed by paying attention to the bed and addressing problems promptly.
The stems are then killed by the asparagus beetles that chew on the fern. This decreases the yield for next year. This pest can be controlled with natural predators such as ladybugs, lacewings and birds. They don’t like tomato plants so it is possible to grow asparagus and tomatoes in the same area.
These pests can attack all parts of the plant and transmit viruses that can cause death to entire asparagus beds. Spray the plants with vegetable oil and dish soap.
Root Rot Diseases
These fungal diseases attack plants when they’re stressed. The tips of the ferns will turn yellow and eventually die. The plant’s yield will decrease and eventually die. This can be prevented by not overwatering the bed. You must immediately address any insect infestations and don’t over-cut the spears.