When you think of springtime plants, asparagus is hardly the first one to come to mind. However, it is one of the first plant harvests we get during spring. Asparagus is a perennial plant, which is harvested at the end of April every year.
Since it’s a perennial plant, growing asparagus is well worth the effort. If you’re a beginner, don’t worry.
In this article, we’ve covered all the essential questions, including:
- How does asparagus grow?
- Does asparagus regrow after cutting?
- When is it okay to stop cutting asparagus?
Well, we’ve actually already answered the second question. That is if you know what perennial means. If you don’t, it’s okay.
Let’s find out.
How Does Asparagus Grow?
Firstly, let’s quickly go over the basics. Asparagus is a seed or crown grown plant, which produces better in colder regions. So, when you’re seeding the plant, you should do it in late January or early February.
Seeding is an essential part. However, after you’ve created the asparagus bed, don’t harvest for the first two or three seasons.
Asparagus plants are more productive if they’ve matured before harvest. It may seem taxing, but the work is very fruitful. If you do it correctly, you’ll get a productive plant for at least 15 to 20 years.
So, it’s important to follow all the steps; for example, you’ll get a more productive plant if you buy the best local variety. You can look up the best variety in your area. Moreover, you can even consult plant shops and nurseries for their professional opinions.
When planting asparagus, you can do it in two ways: through crowns (one-year-old asparagus plants) or seeds. Using crowns is easier as you can get to skip the weeding bit.
At the same time, while seeds germinate gradually, they give more produce. Therefore, you can weigh the pros and cons and decide which method works for you.
However, before using either method, you must decide on the grow space.
The growing area must be:
- Clear of any weeds or grass
- At least 15 x 30 feet big (for 10 to 20 asparagus plants)
- Composted with manure before planting
Since the asparagus will be growing there for a long time, make sure the designated area is either available for long-term use or versatile enough for multiple purposes.
Now, you know what things to consider when you’re planting asparagus. However, what’s the actual growing process?
Well, it differs depending on the method you use.
For crowns, you have to dig holes about six inches deep and around 12 to 18 inches apart (depending on your grow space).
If you’ve made the holes, simply insert each crown. However, be mindful; the bud must point upwards while the roots should be spread.
As the plant grows, you’ll have to cover the crown with soil. However, make sure the crown isn’t completely buried in the first few weeks.
As for watering, you must do so once a week. If you live in a dry climate, make sure to water the crowns deeply.
Alternatively, if you’re using seeds, you need to start indoors. With this, you’re starting from scratch, so be mindful that the growing process takes up at least two years.
Firstly, sow your seeds in some pots, placing them in a sunny area. The indoor temperature should be 77 degrees Fahrenheit. You can maintain the temperature using the bottom heat process.
When seeds sprout, you can lower the temperature to up to 60 degrees. When the seedlings become about one foot tall, you can move them into a temporary outdoor nursery.
After a while, flowers will appear. When that happens, you must weed out the female flowers.
How can you tell which are the female flowers?
Well, the female flowers are small with three-lobed pistils. Simply take them out.
Keep watering the plants, and the following season, you can move the male flowers into a permanent nursery.
Afterward, simply do what you would with asparagus crowns. You should keep mulching and watering the plants in both spring and fall. Experts recommend mixing liquid fertilizer like compost tea with a balanced fertilizer, such as garden fertilizers.
In the next season, you should see significant yields.
Does Asparagus Regrow After Cutting?
Now, let’s get to the question: does asparagus regrow after cutting. The answer is yes because perennial plants return year after year. After all, a plant won’t last 20 years if it can’t regrow after cutting.
There are four types of plants:
- Annual & Perennial
Perennial plants are different from annual and biennial plants. Annual plants last only one growing season. Examples include maize, rice, and wheat.
On the other hand, biennial plants usually last two years. The first year takes up seeding and weeding, while the second year takes up stem elongation, flowering, and reproduction. Later the plant eventually dies.
Perennial plants have a healthy root system. After every season, the top part of the plant dies. In the next growing season, a new plant appears.
Consequently, asparagus plants, while taxing to grow, are excellent investments.
Annual & Perennial Plants
Lastly, there are annual and perennial plants. What does this mean? In essence, a single plant can behave as both annual or perennial. It depends on a few things.
For instance, the plant will change its growing type if the:
- Weather changes
- Geographical location isn’t appropriate
- Local climate is different
For instance, Black-Eyed Susans act as annual plants in humid, subtropical climates and as perennials in temperate climates.
When Should You Stop Cutting Asparagus?
When the asparagus spears are about six to ten inches above the soil line, they’re ready for harvest. After the plant reaches the harvest stage, you have about six to eight weeks to cut or snap the spears off.
However, don’t do this after late June. If the plant decreases production before that time, stop immediately. It’s better to save the plant’s energy for the next season instead of over-harvesting.
Moreover, when should you cut the asparagus back?
Asparagus foliage turns yellow or brown by early fall. Therefore, you should cut the asparagus back in early to mid-September. Be careful, though. It’s important to make sure all of the foliage is dead before cutting.
If it’s dead, you should cut the plant down to two inches above the ground.
It’s essential to do this correctly, or else you risk infestation from asparagus beetles and other pests. If you do end up with a pest problem, don’t fret. You just have to hand-pick the beetles out and spray the plant with insecticidal soap.
Before you can finally call it an off-season, there’s one last step to follow. Add at least ten inches of fertilizer to the asparagus bed. This step will keep the bed well-composted for the next growing season.
All in all, asparagus farming requires a lot of care and patience. However, if you understand how the process works, it’s easy to do. With this article, we hope you’ve learned everything about growing asparagus plants.
If you’re looking for products to help you grow your plants, here are some helpful reviews on grow lights, which help maintain indoor temperatures, and self-watering pots. Both will help you in seeding asparagus indoors.