Jersey Knight asparagus have extra large sprouts since no plant energy goes into seed production. Highly productive male plants are disease resistant, and adaptable. Plant site should have good drainage. Space plants 18" apart in 3' wide perennial beds. Usually our 2 inch potted asparagus are harvest-able the following season. Do not go to the trouble of digging ditches for the plants. Just plant them in your prepared bed as any other potted plant. A mulch is good for keeping weeds down. After harvest the four foot tall plants are pretty with their fine fern like appearance. Zones 3-10.
|Wet Soil Tolerance
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|This information is accurate to the best of our knowledge, comments/opinions are always welcome
Asparagus are a perennial vegetable. An asparagus bed can be productive for 30 - 40 years. To begin with the soil should be well worked. A part of the garden that's been cultivated for a few years is a good choice for an asparagus bed. A few years good culture should bring your soil up in organic matter and down in weeds, also the addition of lime and manure should bring Ph levels up to 6.5. If you are considering planting asparagus as an ornamental, their beautiful fern like growth is an addition to any flower garden. They can be used as a border but remember their plant height is 18" to 36".
Our plants are sent to you in pots, so planting is very easy. Simply space plants 18" apart and set plants at 1/4" - 1/2" deeper than the top of the soil mix the plants are growing in. Water very well for the first 3 weeks after planting. Mulching plants to keep weeds down is a good action, it will save you energy later. Start our plants any time the soil can be worked and once they've established themselves harvesting is not too far away. Notice the size of the spears or sprouts as they come from the ground. When larger spears start showing themselves this will be the time to harvest. We have had customers cut spears only a year after planting. This all depends on how much the asparagus plants grow.
Every year before the sprouts come up apply manure, leaf mold, peat, compost, etc. Asparagus like pH above 7. Fertilizers can be potassium sulfate, kmag or wood ash. Harvest spears 6" - 8" long cutting below the soil surface 1" - 2". The first year of harvesting pick for two weeks and second year end in 4 weeks. Once the bed is mature extend the harvest season to 6 or 7 weeks. Harvest till 75% of spears are pencil size. At that point crowns are depleted of energy. Picking all spears including small ones prevents asparagus beetle from getting a foot hold in the ferns early in the harvest season.
If asparagus are planted in rows the row should be maintained 3' wide unless the plants are zig zag, then the row should be 5' wide.
The variety Jersey Knight is a very adaptable hardy and disease resistant variety. It does not produce seeds and puts that energy into its spears.
Asparagus in South Florida
"We can eat asparagus all year round in south Florida and most people don't know this. You buy an asparagus plant, let it grow the first year. The next year you start taking some of the small spears and let a few of the spears to grow into a fern and eat the rest of them and pretty soon you cut back the fern when the crown has been nourished enough and out comes more asparagus. These are standard varieties of asparagus. Asparagus does grow well in south Florida. Nothing better than wandering out into the garden in the morning and eating some fresh asparagus..."
Information on Asparagus in South Florida from 'Volume 51, #6 Tropical Fruit News, Bill Lessard'