Despite being heralded for its distinct flavour and medicinal values in Ancient Rome and Egypt, there was little interest in asparagus in Britain until the 16th century. Now, it’s a staple on spring vegetable spreads.
Asparagus Plant Care Top Facts
- Easier to grow than you might think
- Requires generous feeding
- Suited to well-draining soil in a sunny position
- Will crop for around 20 years
- Requires monitoring for slugs and snails, asparagus beetle and damage from late frosts
Where To Grow Asparagus Plants
A well-trained and reasonably fertile soil in an open sunny position is required for an asparagus bed. Dig the patch to a spade’s depth and work in plenty of garden compost or well-rotted manure.
If your soil is cold and wet, add some sharp sand to aid drainage. Try and maintain a pH of around 6.5 to 7.5
How To Look After Asparagus Plants
Aftercare for asparagus plants is easy. Keep the beds clear by hand weeding so that you don’t disturb or damage the shallow root system of your asparagus plants. In spring apply a top dressing of general fertiliser.
In the autumn, simply cut down the yellow ferns to within 3cm of the ground. Then add a mulch of garden compost or well-rotted manure to a depth of 5-8cm.
When To Harvest Asparagus Plants
The first spears will break the surface at the end of April. In the first year, let the spears develop into foliage, and start to harvest in year two. Wait until they are about 15cm high and then, using a sharp knife or specialist asparagus knife, cut the spears a couple of centimetres below the surface. Harvest your asparagus as needed every few days, but tradition says that you should stop cutting by the longest day of the year to allow remaining spears to grow into foliage.
How To Eat Asparagus
Your asparagus plants will provide many healthy meals over the coming years. Grill them and then drizze with a dressing of good quality olive oil and lemon followed by some grated parmesan. Simple, yet delightful!
Asparagus Nutritional Value
Not just prized for its delicious flavour, asparagus is also a popular vegetable for its health benefits. It’s high in vitamins K, C, B9 and A, and is full of antioxidants. It’s also a great low-calorie addition to a meal.
You may also be interested in other popular vegetable plants by Suttons, or our range of popular vegetable seeds.