Plant asparagus

It needs patience but start it now for tasty crops that are worth the wait!

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Though a long-term crop that you have to invest in for more than a few years, it’s such a worthwhile crop to get going – but be patient! It can take two or three years for a suitable crop of spears to emerge, but this perennial will give you delicate-tasting spears for ten years or more. It needn’t be a large bed too, a few crowns will suffice, but make sure you plant at least three to get a decent harvest.

It’s easier than you think to grow – the latest varieties grow well in simple trenches and cope well with the weather, and once you’ve got it in, there’s only a little maintenance and your crop will perform year on year.

If you have heavy or clay soil it can take a bit of work to prepare the planting area, as they like really well-drained, compost-improved soil. Grow your asparagus in a trench to make it easier to provide the crowns with the right conditions. At the base of your 30cm deep and 30cm metre wide trench, mix in lots of compost and grit, as well as a few handfuls of blood, fish and bone.

Make a central long mound in the trench and put the crowns on top of the mound, draping the roots out and over the ridges of the mound. Cover over with the top soil. Choose a sunny spot for your trench, removing as many weeds as possible.

Cut all the foliage to the ground in November this year, mulch the bed, and then lightly pick a first crop next year, and increase your harvesting amounts each each year after that.