INSIDE : Learn how simple it can when growing asparagus in pots. These hardy vegetables can live for upwards of 10 to 20 years, so tips like how deep to plant asparagus crowns, their best lighting and when to plant them are key!
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Growing vegetables is one of the most rewarding things you can do with your outdoor spaces. I talk all about creating a Simple Raised Vegetable Garden, the best Small Garden Compost Bins and even How to Grow Zucchini in pots here.
Another vegetable that I was so excited to grow in my backyard was Asparagus. Last year, I shared how to Winterize Asparagus plants, but I wanted to get a full growing season in before I shared how I grew them in containers to make sure my method worked well.
It is is a delicious vegetable that is relatively easy to grow. With a little care, you can enjoy fresh asparagus from your own garden for many years to come.
Asparagus is a delicious and nutritious vegetable that can be grown in a variety of climates. It is also a relatively low-maintenance plant, making it a good choice for beginner gardeners. While asparagus is typically grown in the ground, it is also possible to grow it in pots. This can be a good option if you have limited space or if you want to be able to move your asparagus plants around.
What is an Asparagus plant?
Asparagus is a hardy, perennial vegetable that once established, can produce yearly crops of delicious asparagus shoots. It is a tall plant of the lily family with fine feathery foliage called fronds. Prior to the plant growing fronds, the stems called spears or shoots are edible. The roots of asparagus are often called crowns.
The introduction of new cultivars has made the process of growing and caring for these plants easier than ever before. Although, they do still take quite a bit of patience.
Does Asparagus grow well in containers?
Ideally asparagus plants are grown outside. They excel in USDA zones 4 through 8. When planted outdoors in the ground, you can expect to harvest shoots from asparagus plants for up to twenty years. Really giving your plant enough garden space is key to healthy asparagus plants, as their root system can grow quite large.
However, if you do not have ample growing space in the ground (like me), then it’s worth giving your Asparagus plants a chance in planters because it certainly can be done!
What supplies do you need to grow Asparagus in planters?
- A large pot, at least 18 inches deep and 12 inches wide
- Potting mix
- Asparagus crowns
Tips for Asparagus growing in planters
Growing asparagus isn’t difficult, but there are certainly some important things to know before you start.
Asparagus plants can grow up to 20+ years if given the right care and nutrients. So doing some planning before you start growing asparagus is important.
There are three stages of growth for asparagus. The first is the spear stage. The second is the fern stage. And the third is the dormant stage which happens in the winter.
- The first important thing when planting asparagus in pots is the size of the container. The crown and root system of asparagus when in the ground can grow to 5 to 6 feet in diameter and 10 to 15 feet deep. So, when using a container for your plant finding one that gives the most depth possible is important.
For each crown, choose a large container at least 18 inches (46 cm.) deep and 12 inches (31 cm.) across. Planting in larger containers is essential, as asparagus crowns must be planted deeply.
Shop Deep Asparagus Pots –
- Be sure to plant your Asparagus Crown (roots) as deeply as possible. Plant asparagus about 6-10″ deep in the soil. Asparagus likes to grow in rich soils, and will deplete the nutrients over time. Be sure to amend the planting area with organic matter and add new soil to your pot each year.
- Allowing at least one to two grow seasons before harvesting. Since you are harvesting the entire plant to eat when you harvest, it is important to allow your plant time to grow a strong root system. Allowing the asparagus to grow it’s leafy frond the first grow season is key to getting stronger healthier asparagus spears the following year. It is recommended to start harvesting your plant in the second or third year. However, once they’re established, asparagus can be very productive for years. Patience is key here!
- Winterizing your asparagus plants helps to protect the roots from the cold. It also encourages them to go dormant, so they can “rest” before beginning the next productive growth period in Spring.
When to harvest potted Asparagus
- Do not harvest any asparagus spears in the first year after planting. This will allow the plants to become established.
- In the second year, you can harvest asparagus spears for a few weeks.
- In the third year and beyond, you can harvest asparagus spears for 6-8 weeks.
- After harvesting, allow the asparagus plants to grow and fern out for the rest of the growing season. This will help the plants to produce more asparagus spears in the following year.
How many asparagus plants per person
Each asparagus crown typically can produce up to 25 spears or one ½ cup serving per season. So if you have a family of four, planting anywhere between 5 to 10 plants makes about 4 to 5 meals with asparagus sides.
When to plant asparagus
Typically you should plan to plant asparagus crowns in the spring. However, you can still plant them in the summer and/or fall while the soil is still staying warmer.
Why does asparagus take so long to grow?
When you harvest asparagus to eat, you can basically cutting down the entire plant. Because of this, it is important to allow the plant’s root system to grow strong and healthy underground before harvesting. You will notice even on the plant’s second year, the shoots that emerge are fairly thin as the plant is still maturing.
It is this long waiting period is the main reason that many gardeners choose to purchase plants in the form of asparagus crowns when starting off. Crowns are plants that have already been grown for one to two years at an Asparagus Farm. By planting crowns, you are hopefully decreasing the waiting period between planting and harvest.
Do asparagus need full sun?
Yes, full sun is ideal for asparagus plants. They need at least 8 hours of sun per day. When deciding where to locate your asparagus, having them in a container is nice because you can move the planter around a bit to get that ideal lighting.
Why are my asparagus spears thin?
Often times, if your asparagus spears are really thin it is due to the crown not being planted deeply enough. They should be planted around 6 to 10″ deep and each year you can add more soil on top as shoots emerge.