Asparagus is a perennial plant with a fairly short harvest season, but if you like the flavor of this vegetable, it may be worthwhile to start an asparagus farm in your garden. And, by doing so, you will have excellent asparagus available for many years.
Their unique and decisive flavor and crunchy texture make asparagus very popular with gourmets; moreover, this vegetable with a thousand-year-old history has several beneficial properties.
Its chemical composition includes, for example, asparagine, an amino acid that is very important in protein synthesis, rutin, which helps strengthen capillaries, folic acid, manganese and vitamin A, which are beneficial for the skin and the proper functioning of the kidneys, as well as calcium, potassium and phosphorus, all with a minimal caloric intake, very little fat and a minimal amount of sodium.
The asparagus itself, or the edible part of the plant, is only the tender shoot, or twig, that grows mainly underground. The main stem and roots are the most important underground part of the plant; the shoots, if left to grow, will form the stems that will produce the flowers, fruits and seeds, which in fact are of no interest for cultivation since we will only consume the edible parts or tender shoots.
If you want to cultivate asparagus, you should know that, first of all, starting the cultivation from the seeds, you will have to be patient, because it will not be possible to consume the fruits in the first year, but it will be necessary to wait at least two years.
That’s why we recommend to start growing asparagus from their roots already grown for at least two or three years, which can be purchased in a nursery of more likely in a farm. This way, you can harvest the first shoots in the year following the planting of the roots.
Asparagus needs sandy, loose soil that allows the buds to sprout unhindered, and good drainage. The ideal temperature for the cultivation of this vegetable is between 18 and 25 degrees, which corresponds to a warm climate but without excessive heat.
The soil should be prepared by eliminating weeds; then it should be ploughed to a depth of 30-40 centimeters and fertilized with an organic fertilizer, for example mature manure.
Planting of the Roots
This operation will be carried out in early spring or late winter. The roots will be placed in the soil at a distance of about 40cm from each other and, if you organize the cultivation in rows, it is recommended to space them about one meter apart in order to have the necessary space for maintenance operations, harvesting of asparagus and fruits.
Inside each hole, which will receive a root, a layer of manure of about 5cm is inserted and, above, a layer of soil of the same thickness. Once this process is done, you can insert the roots in the soil and cover it with another 6/8 cm layer of soil.
The asparagus plant has a very long life so it is necessary to take this into account when choosing the location of the plant.
As far as care is concerned, one of the most important aspect is fertilization, which should be abundant and repeated every year during winter season.
Pruning will be carried out during winter and it will consist of eliminating the old branches; given the weak consistency of the branches, this process can be carried out with simple shears which must however be well sharpened to allow a clean cut, essential for a fast healing.
It will be necessary to constantly watch for the presence of weeds in the asparagus and, if they appear, to eliminate them quickly to avoid that they deprive the plants of the food necessary to their development.
The asparagus will be ready to be harvested at the end of winter and will produce until the end of spring. The harvesting technique consists in cutting the spear at ground level, when it will have a diameter of about 5/6 mm.
There you go! With those tips, you will be ready to grow your own asparagus. What’s your favorite vegetable and which one are you already growing in your garden? Let us know your tips in the comments below.