Vegetable gardening is fun, easy, and the extra work is enjoyable. One of my favorite vegetables to grow is asparagus. The crisp snap of a well-grown asparagus spear is music to my ears. It is said that you can grow asparagus anywhere in the United States, except for where it is very hot. I have a bit of news for you! I live in Texas and we saw temperatures reach over 100 degrees for approximately 26 days during this summer. My asparagus is thriving and I’d like to share with you how I grew my stand.
I live in what is called the “Blackland Prairie” in North Central Texas and the soil here is certainly heavy black clay. Although asparagus loves to live in a sandy loam soil, it will survive in heavy clay soils. You should make sure that there is sufficient drainage. Once planted, mulching with finely ground finished compost to maintain soil moisture is a must.
Previous to setting out one year old crowns, purchased from a reputable garden supplier, I turn in about 6 inches of quality compost to a depth of about 12” through a process called double digging. For best results, the best soil ph range should be about 6.5 to 7.0. Make sure you test your soil before planting, so you give your asparagus the best chance to produce for years to come.
Planting and Fertilizing
Buy quality plants! Purchase plants that are at least 2 years old. Set your plants into a trench 6” deep. Cover them with about 3” of soil. As the spears start to grow, cover with more soil until the trench is full. This is when I use a finely ground finished compost as a mulch. I usually plant multiple rows about three feet apart. At planting time I use a standard vegetable fertilizer, spreading about 3-4 pounds per 100 square feet. I’ll also fertilize in late July with about 1 pound per 50’ row.