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Asparagus is one of the earliest crops for the Southwest Michigan area.  For your home garden, it can yield a fresh crop without taking up too much of your garden.  Plants require 3 years from the time of planting until the beds are in full production.  Harvest can begin the third year.
  • Before planting, prepare your garden with fertilizer.  Classes offered during our winter months will help you become aware of the best way to work your home garden.
  • Select asparagus roots - popular all-male asparagus varieties are Jersey Knight, Jersey Giants and Roberts Improved.  Make sure they are one year old roots. 
  • Make sure you plant your Asparagus roots in an area that received at least 6 hours of sun a day, as well as well draining soil.  Asparagus grows best in a bit sandy soil and will rot in clay soil. 
  • Till the area after removing and killing perennial grasses.  Add some well-aged manure for enhanced soil nutrients.  Best soil PH is between 6.5 and 7.0 for asparagus.  Wait until the nighttime temperatures reach above 50 degrees F.
  • Make your furrows about 6 to 12 inches deep or 4 to 6 inches in heavier soils.  Place quality compost in the bottom of the furrow.  Place fertilizer directly on soil to prevent roots from being burned. 
  • Crowns should be covered with about an inch or so of soil.  As asparagus grows, fill the furrow with more soil.  Planting the crowns deeper will prevent damage when cultivating with tiller or garden tools.
  • Place roots about 1 1/2 feet apart flat in the furrow.  Spreading of the roots is not necessary.
  • Analyze the width of the rows for larger asparagus beds. Follow these steps for additional beds.
  • When planting is complete apply water.  Asparagus likes watering and roots can grow up to 10 feet in depth with the right soil and moisture.  Your plants should start emerging in about a week of planting.
  • Continue weeding, tilling and fertilization as needed throughout the growth process.
Ten asparagus roots require about 10 square feet of garden and should feed four people once it is ready to harvest.  Established asparagus will harvest for about 6 or 7 weeks.

Winter Preparation - After the first hard frost or freeze cut the tops off at ground level and remove by late November.

6486 W. Main St.     •     PO Box 327     •     Eau Claire, MI 49111     •     269.461.6977