Asparagus is a luxurious seasonal treat. The deliciously tender spears arrive in spring, plugging the hungry gap and thrilling foodies across the UK. We’ve tracked down the very best bloggers, YouTubers and Instagrammers who share their own expert advice, from top planting tips and tricks to recipes that will get your mouth watering in anticipation.
Ready to get your asparagus bed started? Browse our collection of high quality asparagus crowns or perhaps even try your hand at starting them off from seed.
Asparagus is a nutrient-packed perennial that lasts decades
“Five minutes of gardening to plant asparagus can get you 20 years of tasty healthy food,” says Instagrammer Derek at the @fiveminutegardener. Asparagus is not only a long-lived perennial, it’s packed with health benefits too! From easing a hangover to improving gut health and providing an excellent source of immune-boosting vitamin E, Derek will convince you that asparagus more than earns its place in any garden.
Plant your asparagus crowns on a ridge
To plant new asparagus crowns, make a trench and fill with a long mound of rotted manure, instructs Tony O’Neill at his info-packed YouTube channel Simplify Gardening. This preparation gives you the perfect ridge over which to drape the roots of your asparagus crowns as you plant them. See Tony’s step-by-step tips in his fun video: ‘How To Grow Asparagus The Lazy Way!’.
Don’t harvest any asparagus spears for the first two years
Allow your asparagus a two year hiatus after planting. This gives the crowns enough time to get fully established and set themselves up for better harvests in the following years. And if that seems too long to wait, Will, the professional veg gardener behind WillGrow has a solution: “If you happen to ‘accidentally’ snap a couple off during this two year period, then it doesn’t hurt to give it a taste test.” Read his full article for a beautifully written potted guide.
Cut asparagus spears below soil level to harvest
Not sure how and when to harvest your asparagus spears? Watch Ali and his friend Chris demonstrate the technique in this helpful video over at Ali’s Allotment. Using a sharp knife, make a diagonal cut an inch or two below the soil surface. Don’t worry too much about the width of your spears – size doesn’t matter here! Watch the full video for tips on when to stop harvesting your asparagus to protect next year’s precious crop.
Grow your own asparagus to avoid long-distance imports
For allotmenteer Sarah at @she_sows_she_grows, asparagus is the pinnacle of seasonal, eco-friendly gardening. “We only eat our own homegrown asparagus and love that this luxury, fried with garlic, mushrooms and scrambled eggs on homemade toast hasn’t cost the earth.” A great way to avoid imported supermarket veg and enjoy your own carbon-free crop!
Snap fresh asparagus spears at their natural ‘break point’
“The flaked almonds in this are absolutely scrumdidillyumcious with the asparagus,” says Jessie at Plot 37 of her mouth-watering asparagus and almond salad. She brings together bitter leaves, nutty toasted almonds and fresh, home grown asparagus spears that have been snapped at their ‘break point’. “I could basically eat this all day long (with a cold glass of white and some fresh bread),” enthuses Jessie. Sounds good to us!
Support tall asparagus ferns while they’re photosynthesizing
“I’ve driven in three 4ft6 posts per row and fixed a 3mm wire to each side to provide support to the ferns and prevent the crowns being walked on,” says Scott at @uncle_scotts_allotment. Asparagus stems and foliage can get very tall. Scott’s own productive plants are 10-years-old and reach above his head in summer! See for yourself at his fun page.
Wait until the ferns turn yellow before cutting them back
When the tall, fern-like foliage on your asparagus plants turns yellow in autumn, it’s time to cut it back, advises our expert horticultural team at Thompson & Morgan. Not only does this tidy up the bed, it allows you to cover the crowns in a thick mulch of well-rotted manure to keep pesky weeds under control. Find year-round maintenance tips for your asparagus in our excellent guide.
Save money by growing asparagus from seed
Up for a slightly longer project? Sow your asparagus from seed, says Claire at her YouTube channel Claire’s Allotment. They’re a bit fiddly, and take much longer to establish than crowns, but are a very economical investment for the future. See Claire’s bunch of hardy survivors a year later, as she plants out her asparagus seedlings in a friendly follow-up video.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our roundup of the best independent asparagus tips! For even more info and advice on asparagus, visit our hub page. And keep up to date with sowing, planting and harvesting all your favourite veggies with our handy monthly sowing and growing lists. And don’t miss any of our tastiest products, plants, and seeds by following us on Instagram or Twitter.
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