A friend just gave me an asparagus crown (the network of roots that supports an asparagus plant), so I figured I’d better figure out how to plant it!
Unlike many garden vegetables, asparagus are a long-term investment; you aren’t supposed to harvest the asparagus for the first few years, to give the plant time to store as much energy as possible, and plants can survive for well over fifteen years! Most of the instructions I found online involve digging a trench for multiple plants in a proper vegetable garden. I’m a city girl with a container garden on my deck, but I’m hoping that a single plant will survive for a year or two in a big pot until I can transfer it to a bed in a backyard or community garden. By then it may even be time to harvest!
Here are the step-by-step instructions I found from various tutorials online, adapted somewhat for a 15″ pot.
The general consensus seems to be that you should plant your crowns in a trench, 6″ deep and 9-12″ apart, so I chose a 15″ pot for my crown. Asparagus like well-drained soil, so I mixed in some potting sand and bone meal.
I dug a lopsided 6″ deep hole to allow room for the roots so that the baby asparagus spear was roughly centered in the pot.
I gently covered up the roots with about 2″ of soil; one of the spears is still poking up a bit. According to the general wisdom, over the next weeks (months?) the spears will keep growing, and I should cover them with more soil until the top of the soil is level. (Right now, there’s a 4″ dip in the middle of my pot.)
Here’s a wide shot of the pot; you can see that there’s still a bit of a hole in the middle, which will gradually be filled as the shoots grow taller. In future years, I may need to raise the soil even higher to keep the crown covered, resulting in a bit of a mound. The tiny asparagus spear is circled in yellow.
Check back in a few weeks, and I’ll post photos of my baby asparagus’ progress!