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

Fertility Requirements:

  • 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.

Watering Needs:

  • 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


Planting Instructions:

  • 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.



Potential Pests:

  • Asparagus beetles
  • Cutworms
  • Slugs
  • 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.

Plant Pathogens:


  • Fusarium sporotrichioides
  • Fusarium poae




  • 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.

Average Yields:

  • 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)
2017 Asparagus N/A N/A 5/8/2017 N/A 1.5 N/A

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