It’s official, spring is showing its first signs in our veggie garden. If you have never tried fresh asparagus from your garden you need to now! It’s tender and meaty and so easy to grow. I have 3 spears peeping thru and expect more once it gets a bit warmer.
Asparagus is a really easy vegetable to grow and an added bonus is that they are a perennial! The male varieties tend to produce more but we chose the “Mary Washington” variety for its meaty substance. It tends to grill a bit better. The variety is your choice but I would recommend purchasing “bare root.” The downside of production is that you have to wait a, very painful, 3 years to enjoy! Unfortunately, we gave in and tried a few after 2 years and they did not fail our expectations. Additionally, soil preparation is vital. Asparagus likes a well draining and fertile soil. Lucky for us, we have lots of great compost from our chickens, horses, and veggies. I recommend tilling the soil well and adding in your compost. You need a DEEP hole so be sure to till deep into the soil. Once prepared they are fairly easy to plant but spread them out. Every year they will spread.
Our asparagus garden is now 8 years old and thriving well. We continue to achieve a great spread and have more to eat and share. In the spring, we weed and prepare the garden bed. Once weeded we add a nice layer of nutritious compost (about an inch) and then I salt my beds. SALT!?!?!?! Yep, you read it right. I little “old wives tale” proved to be the easiest way to keep weeds at bay. Asparagus does not mind salt. This is somewhat of a controversial subject, I might add. Salt isn’t great for soil but I simply despise weeds and tried numerous other methods. It won’t eliminate weeds but it will help significantly.
The stalks you see are from last years crop. I am not picky about leaving those in. They add to the soil eventually. Here is one of the first tops showing.
These are so close to picking! I hope I can hold off enough to let them grow. There is something about picking that first asparagus. They do grow FAST so watch the ones that are close to picking. If it reaches 60+ degrees today they will be ready tomorrow to eat. They also “fan” out fast and will be inedible.
The bed is prepared. Still a few weeds to sort thru, but most was completed last week. The salt had a chance to disperse with the rain we had a few days ago. Soon, this bed will be covered in lots of asparagus. The best part? You really don’t need a ton of space to grow this perennial plant. It does well in limited garden space.