The esparraguera , common name Asparagus officinalis is a plant very appreciated by the asparagus, which are nothing but young shoots and tender, consumed for its taste and health properties. White asparagus are those that are harvested before the sun hits them, while the so-called wild asparagus are the wild type, which are green and can be found in many areas of Mediterranean vegetation.
If you want to learn everything to keep them fresh and organic at home, do not hesitate to join us in this article in which we tell you when and how to plant asparagus .
When to plant asparagus
The first thing to say here is that there are two ways to plant asparagus. One is to get or buy asparagus seeds and germinate them in a seedbed, but this method is not highly recommended, since it implies that we will have to wait two more years to start harvesting our first asparagus.
Therefore, the most used method is the other, which consists of buying asparagus claws , which is how its rhizomes are called . The best season to plant claws is between late winter and early spring .
How to plant asparagus
Asparagus is a very durable plant that can grow in our garden for up to 10 years. Precisely for this reason, it is very important to prepare the soil properly before planting them, since it will take time to be able to release it again. Follow these tips and steps on how to plant asparagus :
- Dig a trench 30 cm wide, which will be where you plant the row of asparagus. Do it in a sunny spot on the ground, although if you don’t have it, this plant also accepts semi-shade conditions.
- To ensure that the soil is adequate, it is best to prepare the trench bed yourself. Make a mixture of compost, manure, or worm castings. This base will provide the asparagus with the nutrients it needs, since they are very demanding in this regard. Cover the first 10 centimeters of the trench with this mixture and then plant the claws in it.
- It is important that the roots are as spread out as possible, circular in shape, and with the crown pointing up, or the asparagus will not grow properly.
- Separate the claws about 50 cm from each other and, if you make several rows, leave even more distance between them, about 70 cm.
- Then cover the remaining 20 cm in the trench with soil. This soil must be rich in organic matter and must have good drainage and be quite loose. If the soil you use is very clayey, you will need to add more compost to the mix.
- After this, water abundantly and do it again once a week until the asparagus begins to grow. By mid to late spring, you should start to see them sprout.
Now that you know how to plant asparagus, we recommend that you consult the basic care of asparagus in order to be successful in growing it:
Soil and irrigation of asparagus
As we have said, asparagus need very well drained soils as well as rich in nutrients. This is a plant that supports the lack of water very well, but on the contrary, it does not tolerate excess humidity. Therefore, if you live in a rainy or humid area, you will hardly need to water them once they have sprouted, with the exception of very hot summers. In temperate and sunny climates, one watering every ten or fifteen days will usually suffice. To prevent it from accumulating too much moisture, try to water without wetting the asparagus plant, instead moistening the soil around it. Poor drainage or overwatering will cause fungi or rotting of the roots, spoiling all the work of your crop.
The ideal temperature for asparagus is between 18ºC and 25ºC, but thanks to its resistance it even supports frost, although it is always better to try to protect them well if we live in areas where there may be frosts.
Planting tomatoes next to asparagus
We also recommend planting tomatoes near asparagus, since they are one of the vegetables that grow well together . This means that they are species that do not fully compete for nutrients in the soil and that even protect each other from possible pest attacks.
When to harvest asparagus
In the first year it is advisable to let the asparagus die at the end of the season, without harvesting it. There are some farmers who use alternative methods to be able to harvest from the first year, but unless you are in a great hurry, we recommend waiting for the second season .
The asparagus harvest , which is carried out in the warm months , consists of leaving two stems uncut to allow the plant to carry out good photosynthesis, and cutting the tender stems at ground level for our consumption, as they grow. It is also advisable to let the plant rest for a month so that the roots recover from the effort.
To finish, we give you information about the nutritional composition and properties of asparagus , which are much more useful if they are organically grown and consumed fresh, either with dressings, grilled, in the oven, etc.
- Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B9, C, D and E.
Health properties of asparagus
They are considered a food that helps to lose weight, as long as their consumption is accompanied by good eating and exercise habits, because they fill up with a small amount, help in digestion, eliminate retained fluids and because they have what are known as negative calories , since they spend more in the process of digestion and assimilation of their nutrients and elimination of waste than the amount of calories that each asparagus contributes.
In addition, thanks to the amount of vitamins and certain minerals they contain, asparagus are great antioxidants, so they help maintain good health by fighting free radicals that oxidize and age cells and, in addition, thanks to folates ( folic acid or vitamin B9) that they contain, are very suitable for pregnant women.