Crop Name: Asparagus
Scientific Name: Asparagus officinalis
Family Name: Asparagaceae
Cultivar Groups: (most common) Jersey Knight and Jersey King – Widely adapted, do well in warm climates.
Jersey Giant – Good for colder regions.
Warm season or cool season: Warm Season
Space between plants/between rows: –Dig trenches 6 inches wide and 6 inches deeps
- Plants 12-18 inches apart
- Continue to fill in the trench as the asparagus grows leaving 3-4 winches of stem exposed
- tolerates acid soil
- tolerates droughty soil
- requires well-drained soil
- Prefers loose, deep soils high in organic matter. Prefers pH near 7.0, but tolerates a wide range. Add lime and fertilizer before establishment.
- Water during dry spells during the first year. Do not overwater as plants don’t tolerate water-logged soils.
Number of days from seed to transplant and/or seed to harvest:
- 8 weeks for it to mature from transplant to harvest
- Propagate by seed, division or separation
- Purchase disease-free, 1-year-old crowns for planting.
- Divide plants in early spring, if desired. Asparagus can also be grown from seed, but requires an extra year to establish.
- Plant crowns 4 to 6 weeks before average last frost, 18 to 24 inches apart in trenches 8 inches deep. (5 inches deep for Jersey series cultivars.)
- Spread roots in bottom of trench and cover with 1 to 2 inches of soil. Gradually cover with more soil as the plants grow.
- Do not cut back ferns in fall until they die naturally.
- Germination temperature: 70 F to 77 F
- Days to emergence: 10 to 12
- Seed can be saved 3 years.
- Asparagus beetles
- Deer-resistant plant
Insect Pests Controls:
- Removing adults as they emerge from the soil and climb up stalks of the still small plants can prevent larger outbreaks later.
- Hand pick the adults and larvae from plants and drop them in a pail of soapy water. Wipe spears of eggs when you harvest.
- The best control is offered by a tiny wasp (Tetrastichus asparagi) that is not commercially available. The wasp lays its eggs on the larval stage of the asparagus beetle, destroying it from the inside out.
- For bad infestations, introduce beneficial nematodes to your patch. These microscopic soil organisms will destroy asparagus beetle pupae right in the ground.
- Fusarium sporotrichioides
- Fusarium poae
HARVEST & STORAGE INFORMATION:
- Once shoots strong enough for harvest, cut in spring when shoots are about 8 inches tall, snap off at soil line
- Do not harvest if spear has begun to open or develop foliage
- There can be multiple harvests a season
- Young: harvest time can last a few weeks
- Mature: harvest time can last up to 8 weeks
- Rue of thumb: harvest shoots until the diameter is the size of a pencil
Best Method to Cool Crop:
- Refrigerate in plastic bag for a week or more
Optimal Storage Temperature and Relative Humidity:
- Asparagus has a short shelf life. A temperature of 0–2°C with a relative humidity of 95–100% is well known as the ideal storage environment for asparagus spears.
Possible Storage Life:
- Properly stored, raw asparagus will usually keep well for about 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Common Post-Harvest Losses/Problems:
- Not storing at correct temperatures which result in poor storage life. Usually occurs when it is too warm for asparagus.
- A well-tended planting yields a lot of asparagus, approximately 25 pounds per one 100-foot row. If you take your asparagus-growing larger scale, 1 acre can produce between 2 and 8 tons of salable asparagus per year.
Farm to YouNH Crop Data:
|Year||Crop||Variety||Date Planted||Date Harvested||Days to Harvest||Total Yield (lbs)||Yield (lbs/sq. ft)|