There’s nothing quite like fresh asparagus…. To me, it seems to be one of the most rewarding crops you can grow; especially being that it can produce the crisp spears for up to 20 years! Growing asparagus takes some patience though….You never want to eat your asparagus the first or second year, instead you want to let the plant work on getting its roots stronger. By the third year, you will be producing bundles of delicious, tender, succulent stalks for you and your family and friends to enjoy. The other great thing about asparagus is that the roots will continue to produce, generally for the next 2 to 3 months (asparagus growing season: mid-spring to early summer).
Select an area with full sun and good drainage. If you have poor drainage, you will need to make a raised bed that is at least 7 inches high. Thorough cultivation is essential, so be sure to add plenty of compost to your soil since the crop is most likely to be in place for at least 10 years. After mixing the amendments into your soil, dig a trench that is at least 12 inches wide and 8 inches deep.
Lightly rake into the trench an all-purpose organic fertilizer, such as Dr. Earth #7. Next, place the asparagus plants 12 inches apart from one another. Make sure that the spidery looking ends (the roots) are spread and facing down, while the crown of the plant is facing up. Cover the roots with 1 to 2 inches of soil.
As the plants grow, continue to gradually cover the crowns with soil. At the end of the first season, the soil should be level with the top of the trench.
Do not harvest the first year, but instead cut the foliage off. Do this when the stems start appearing yellow or after the first frost. Apply 2-3 inches of compost on top of the beds, this helps preserve moisture during the winter season.
During the second year, you will trim the asparagus back lightly. Meaning, that you will only do this to spears that have grown larger than the diameter of a pencil.
Year three has finally arrived! Time to harvest and enjoy!