If you plan on growing asparagus, it’s essential to know how fast does asparagus grow so you can allow it the time it needs.
Asparagus is a highly desirable, early-spring vegetable that does well in the cooler areas of West and North Texas. It also grows in places like Dallas and Houston. In mild winters and long hot summers, it produces poorly. With proper care and the right growing conditions, an asparagus plant can last 15 to 25 years.
Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin A and C and minerals and tastes better when freshly cut from your garden. It is grown for its stems or spears, yielding about 8 to 10 pounds or more per 100 square feet bed. A 20-foot row or 100 square feet bed is adequate for a family of four.
How Long Does It Take Asparagus To Grow?
Simply put, it takes 3 years to grow asparagus from seed to harvest.
Once they are established, asparagus plants will remain productive for up to 15 years or more. In the first year after planting, the asparagus starts at the diameter of a pencil. These mini-spears finally grow into a ferny, waist-high canopy that feeds the underground rhizomes with energy from the sun.
By the second year, the plants gain strength, and by the following spring, a few spears are reaching the total diameter of a pencil.
You know you are in for a long ride when you grow a plant that takes about 730 days to maturity. However, don’t forget how long it will serve you.
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How Fast Does Asparagus Grow?
Asparagus takes its time to grow! It is a plant known to rival sloth for its slowness. Here are a few facts about how it grows.
- Asparagus seeds take 21 days or more to germinate. This fact helps you not give up waiting to see those shoots.
- Once germinated, the seedlings require several weeks to reach 2 inches in height, which is the right size for transplanting into a growing bed.
- It takes 3 to 4 years for a young plant to develop the maturity needed to support annual harvests that could last at least 4 to 6 weeks. Until then, you should harvest sparingly.
- At 4 years of age or older, an established asparagus plant can generally grow half a pound of asparagus across up to 8 weeks.
- Asparagus is a slow starter, but it certainly has stamina. Once it matures, it can provide you with a good crop for the next 20 or more years. And, the shoots that emerge in early spring can grow 7 inches each day.
Different Ways To Grow Asparagus
When it comes to growing asparagus, time is of the essence. As shown below, how long does asparagus take to grow can be different depending on the kind of asparagus you plant.
- From Seed. Growing asparagus from seed is the most economical way to establish plants; however, it’s also the slowest and most labor-intensive.
- From Young Plants. Purchasing young plants from garden centers gives you a faster way to grow asparagus.
- From A Mature Plant. To make progress in this slow game of growing asparagus, you can purchase a year-old plant. Asparagus crown, as it’s known, gives you a faster start. A crown is the root base of a year-old plant. They are commonly available from mail-order sources if you are unable to find them locally. Demand for these plants can be high, so placing your order early fall is vital.
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Planting Asparagus Crowns
If you choose to shorten your asparagus growing journey and plant crowns, this is how to do it.
- Plant the asparagus crowns at least18 inches apart in trenches.
- Dig 15 inches deep trenches in rich, well-draining soil.
- Fill the bottom 3 inches of the trench with compost or old manure, and then add 3 inches of soil.
- Plant the crowns with roots and cover them with another 3 inches of soil.
- When the crowns begin to send up shoots, add another 3 inches of soil.
- As the plants grow, keep the bed free of weeds and water as required, so the soil remains moist.
- A month after planting your crowns, slim spears will emerge from each crown. Some will be as tall as 2 feet.
- At 4 months, the plants will have doubled in size and become more bushy and full.
- In the next 2 years, each plant will grow to occupy 4 to 5 feet of space and is dense enough to prevent weeds from growing.
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Asparagus Varieties To Grow
Various choices range from cherished heirlooms to the latest hybrids.
- Mary Washington. It is an heirloom that American growers have grown for over a century due to its traditional look, uniformity of long green stalks, and good flavor.
- Jersey Giant or Jersey Knight and others in the ‘Jersey’ group. These vigorous growers thrive in cooler climates offering good disease resistance. ‘Jersey Supreme’ is best grown on sandy soils.
- Purple Passion. It sports a unique purple color and is fun to grow. Once cooked, the purple color changes to green.
- Millennium. It is a uniform grower that thrives in heavier soils.
- Larac. It is an almost white French variety.
- Precoce D’Argenteuil. This old French heirloom is popular for its pale stalks and rose-pink tips.
- Apollo. It does well in both cool and warm regions and is extremely disease resistant.
- UC 157. It is a warm climate variety and disease resistant.
- Atlas. This variety thrives in hot weather, offering good disease resistance.
- Viking. It is adapted for colder weather, much tender and flavorful.
Growing asparagus takes a lot of time, thus, a lot of patience. However, when ready for harvest, it can produce several spears of healthy asparagus for years. Now that you know how long for asparagus to grow, it’s easy to plan your garden and the expected time of harvest.
Did you know that China produces the most asparagus in the world? There are about 57,000 hectares of asparagus in China, followed by Peru with 27,000 hectares, and Germany is close behind with 22,000 hectares. America ranks 5th with about 14,400 hectares, all from California, Washington, and Michigan.
All the best in your asparagus growing journey!
Caroline is a gardener who loves to get down to the nitty–gritty of gardening. She proudly proclaims herself as a ‘dirt worshipper‘ and can often be found deep in the garden, covered in soil and singing to her plants. As a self–proclaimed ‘plant whisperer‘, Caroline believes that plants need love and attention just like any other living thing, and she loves to give them both. When she‘s not tending to her garden, you can often find her researching the latest gardening trends, or teaching others how to make their gardens thrive