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How to Grow Asparagus Crowns 23 April 2021

Growing asparagus is a long-term investment, but when you see the results, it is definitely worth it. Even though it can take a while to grow, it is fairly easy to plant and grow and can produce spears for up to 20 years. Our asparagus crowns are despatched once a year in April, ready to be planted out in spring.

How to Prepare an Asparagus Bed

When growing asparagus crowns, soil preparation is vital. Remove any perennial weeds and large stones from the bed prior to planting. Moist types of soil are suitable, as long as they are well drained. Dig in well-rotted manure or compost. The site should be open and sunny for best results. When planting asparagus, use first year crowns, which are tolerant to cold weather. A bed of asparagus can produce tasty harvests up to 20 years. Plant asparagus in spring in their own dedicated bed.

How to Plant Asparagus Crowns

Dig a trench about 20cm (8") deep and at least 30cm (12") wide, this will allow each individual crown to have its roots fully spread out. Create a mound of soil about 7cm (3") high along the bottom of the trench for the crowns to rest upon. Set the crowns 37-45cm (15-18") apart. Cover with 5-7cm (2-3") of fine soil, and press firmly. Allow 75cm (30") between rows. Gradually fill in with soil as the plant becomes established.

General Tips for Growing Asparagus
For the first season keep the bed well watered and do not cut the spears in the first year. Let them grow on and develop "ferns" (leaves), which should be cut at ground level in November, or when it has yellowed. Now liberally mulch the asparagus with well-rotted manure or compost. By leaving the plants to develop will encourage strongier and healthier growth in the following years. The following spring, add a dose of well balanced fertiliser using about 30g (1oz) per plant. Only make the most frugal cutting of spears at this time. The following year is the time when you can cut as many spears as necessary, as you will have a full crop of succulent spears. You can begin harvesting from mid-April. It will be worth the wait - fresh English asparagus eaten within minutes of being picked is one of the greatest gourmet treats. To harvest the spears, cut at ground level, or just below with a sharp knife.

In the Kitchen

Steaming is the classical method of preparing asparagus. It is then served hot with melted butter or hot or cold with an oil and vinegar dressing. The golden rule is to avoid storing or cooking for too long.

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