Don’t let this discourage you if you really love Asparagus then the work will pay off in the end. The key word here is patience, once you get the bed set up after the first year you will be in maintenance mode.
So if you think you want to try your hand this grow guide will give you all the information and a step by step to get your Asparagus bed growing
Planning And Preparing The Asparagus Bed
Because this crop requires three years to start harvesting it is important to prepare your planting bed well so that the plants have ideal condition with minimal disturbance.
The bed should be built in a well drained location while full sun is not a necessity partial sun of at least 6 hours a day is. Because the bed will be permanent you will want to locate it where it will not interfere with any future landscaping plans.
The area will need to be cleared of weeds before you can plant. The best method is to till the area up many times over a couple month period of time so that as new weeds germinate they will quickly be destroyed. I realize this might seem to be a tedious process but each time you till more weed seeds will be exposed and germinate. Eventually they number of germinating weeds will be minimal and can be removed with a light weeding.
Now you will be ready to get your final preparation done. Asparagus like a slightly acid soil but can tolerate some alkalinity you may want to have a soil test done and follow recommended amendment if it is real alkaline. Next dig a trench about twelve inches deep. After you have your trench dug you will need to take a hoe and build a mound about 6″ high down the middle of the trench the full length by pulling soil from the sides of the trench. The length of the trench will determine the number of plants you can have average is between 10 to 20 plants per person and that would equate to 15 to 20 feet of trench.
To plant soak the crowns in warm water for a couple of hours. Take the crowns and place them on the center of the mounds 18″ apart draping the roots over both sides of the mound. Next mix 3 parts of topsoil with 1 part manure and then cover the crowns burying them 2″ deep then water thoroughly.
During the first year carefully keep the beds weeded. As the plants grow add soil manure mix around the emerging shoots. Once the trench is filled add a 4″ to 6″ layer of mulch around the fern plants. Keep the plants watered as needed.
In the early fall pull back the mulch and side dress with a 10-10-10 fertilizer using about 2 1/2 lbs per 100 sq feet. Water regularly and cut back the dead plant in late fall.
In year two cultivate lightly in spring around emerging shoots until several inches tall side dress with 10-10-10 fertilizer in Spring and Fall and keep heavily mulched. Cut back in the late fall.
For year three and beyond use the same routine as year two but wait till after harvest to apply the spring fertilizer.
While you could lightly harvest some of the stalks the second year it would be better to wait till year three. Only harvest stalks that are at least as as big around as a pencil. Cut the stalk at ground level once it has reached 6″ to 8″ tall.
If you follow this guide you are sure to have a healthy Asparagus bed for many years.