Growing Asparagus

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                P P P  

(Best months for growing Asparagus in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Plant crowns

  • Easy to grow. Plant as crowns. Best planted at soil temperatures between 16°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 20 - 40 cm apart
  • Harvest in 2-3 years. Plant 'crowns' to harvest earlier .
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Parsley, Basil, Nasturtiums, Lettuce
  • Avoid growing close to: Garlic, Onions, and root vegetables
  • Asparagus growing
  • Baby Asparagus Seedlings (approx 6cm/3in) ((c) Liz Hutchinson)

Plant crowns (roots) 20-40cm apart and a few cm (1 inch) deep in well manured soil. The asparagus shoots grow in spring. Harvest the shoots which are bigger than 1-2cm/half-inch in diameter. Leave the rest to grow into the leafy ferns (1.5m/5-6ft tall) which will feed the crowns to give a crop next year. In autumn the ferns will be covered in bright red poisonous berries. Leave the ferns to die down in autumn, then trim off the dead stalks and pile on plenty of rotted manure/compost to give the roots plenty of food to produce new stems in spring.

Harvest by cutting off the stalk, close to the ground. From the third year you can get an additional crop by letting the first lot of ferns grow, then bending down the stalks to break them. A second crop of shoots will grow and can be harvested. Leave subsequent shoots to grow on to ferns. Asparagus does not like continuously wet and warm soil. It grows better where there is a cool or frosty season.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Asparagus

Steaming is traditional, then coating with melted butter or hollandaise sauce.
Alternatively break in short lengths, and cook quickly in hot oil in a wok and sprinkle with soy sauce or balsamic vinegar.

NOTE: The asparagus berries are poisonous. Only the young shoots are edible.

Your comments and tips

13 May 22, WayneReal (Australia - tropical climate)
When are Fat Bastard Asparagus crowns available? What size and price please Postage to 4703 Thanks Wayne
29 Apr 22, james gray (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted green and purple asparagus about 2 years ago in a raised bed, 2 hours south of Perth in Lowden.. All the plants fronds are massive now, maybe 500mm high, falling over and hanging out of the bed itself, still very green and very healthy. I am wondering when do I trim the fronds off back to ground level and then fertilise with chook manure, etc, and mulch again?
19 Apr 22, Dawn (USA - Zone 10a climate)
When you buy crowns does only one shoot grow from one crown? It looks like from pictures that there is more shoots coming up if your planting them 8 to 12 inches apart? Since we live in central coastal California is it best to go to a nursery in town for buying the two year old crowns?
21 Apr 22, (USA - Zone 5a climate)
The crown will produce many spears. As it grows it produces more and more over the years. Plant 2' apart. Buy 1 or 2 year crowns.
18 Apr 22, Wendy (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I’m on the Sunshine Coast Qld. It’s autumn now so do I cut back my asparagus plant now. It’s starting to die off but still sending spears up. Thanks
21 Apr 22, (Australia - temperate climate)
Leave until late August to cut back, then fertilise, compost and water. Stop watering in the next month.
19 Apr 22, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I stop watering at the end of April and just leave it. I cut back the end of August and apply fertiliser then water and 4-6 (??)
21 Feb 22, Steve (Australia - temperate climate)
Hello my plant is about 4yrs old was getting skinny shoots until I put dried chicken manure from my chooks on and within weeks I started getting thicker shoots the size of an index finger, I'm in Alice Springs where we get minus 5 temps in winter when is the best time to prune as I've never pruned it before. Thank you looking forward to hearing from you.
08 Mar 22, John Mauger (Australia - temperate climate)
Asparagus is a 'gross feeder' meaning that it likes rich soil with plenty of nitrogen. That is why the poultry manure gave them a burst. Harvest the spears from Spring into Summer, then let the spears grow into 'ferny' heads. Keep the water and nutrients up, use a good mulch to retain water, then cut the heads off at ground level when they turn yellow in late autum. Leaving the ferny heads on helps the plant to regenerate. You should have a good crop next season. Asparagus is quite cold hardy. Trust this helps
27 Jan 22, Lori (USA - Zone 9b climate)
I planted Asparagus last year. It has done very well and I fertilized,mulched when need to , or cut ferns when need. My question is, at the end of December, a few Asparagus began popping up, and tips purple. Is it ok for them to pop up that early?
Showing 1 - 10 of 491 comments

Hello. I planted a bed of asparagus last year and they grew beautifully. I did not harvest any stalks and the bed is full of ferns. I live in Los Angeles, where the weather has stayed quite temperate, even though it is now December, The ferns are still green. I'm concerned they may not die back fully in our climate. Can I cut the ferns down before they brown without harming the plant?

- KrC

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put GardenGrow in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join our 60,000+ gardeners who already use GardenGrow and subscribe to the free GardenGrow planting reminders email newsletter.


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About GardenGrow | Contact us | Privacy Policy

This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.