Can You Grow Asparagus from Store-Bought Spears

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Asparagus is not only delicious but surprisingly easy to grow.​ Growing asparagus from store-bought spears is an ideal way for beginners to get started in their gardening journey.​

It’s a rewarding vegetable that offers plenty of nutritional benefits.​ Here are some simple steps on how to grow asparagus from store-bought spears.​

Choose small, firm and fresh-looking spears with tight tips.​ If the tips are dried out, then the spears are likely too old and best to be avoided.​

Can You Grow Asparagus From Store-Bought Spears 0

Avoid asparagus spears with soft or damaged tips and discolored stalks.​ Look for the spears with purplish-green heads and shiny tips instead.​

Before planting, soak the spears for a minimum of one hour in a bucket of lukewarm water.​

This helps to get rid of any dirt, herbicides or other debris that could have been attached to the asparagus spears.​

The asparagus needs to be planted in fertile, well-draining soil.​ Make sure the area you select is not in direct sunlight or exposed to the scorching heat.​ Add organic matter such as compost or aged manure to the soil to increase its fertility.​

It’s important to make sure the soil is rich and fertile because asparagus takes three years to really start producing.​

Dig 2-3-inch deep trenches and spread the spears for planting.​ Be careful not to break the spears when placing them inside the trenches.​

Plant the spears 8 to 12 inches apart, spacing them evenly and water the soil.​ Cover the trenches with soil and firm up gently.​

Provide asparagus plants with 1 to 1.​5 inches of water per week.​ Fertilize with about 3 pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer for every 100 feet of row during the first growing season.​

Mulch around the planted asparagus with a few inches of wood chips or grass clippings.​

In the first growing season, don’t harvest any spears.​ Let them grow as far as possible in order for the spears to develop into thick and strong stems.​

During the second and third years, you can harvest the younger, thinner spears.​ Do not harvest spears that are bigger and older than 1/2 to 1 inch in thickness.​

Germinating Asparagus From Seeds

If store-bought spears are not available, it is possible to grow asparagus from seeds as well.​

Fill trays or pots with fast-draining seeding soil mix and sprinkle some asparagus seeds on top.​ Gently press down the seeds into the soil and use a spray bottle to moisten the soil lightly.​

Place the trays in a warm and sunny area, covering them with plastic wrap to preserve the moisture.​

Keep a check on the soil’s water content and don’t let it dry out too much.​ The seeds need moisture to germinate and should sprout in four to seven days.​

Once the plants have grown a few inches in height, they can be transplanted into the garden beds.​ Make sure to leave adequate spacing between each plant for maximum growth.​

By following the same instructions as you would for planting spears, you can grow asparagus from seed as well.​

However, it may take an extra season or two for the spears to fully mature and become harvest-ready.​

Growing Asparagus in Containers

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Growing asparagus in containers is a completely different experience.​ Since soil conditions and pH levels can differ from place to place, it’s important to use a potting soil mix that will provide the required nutrients for the plants.​ It’s also essential to have a well-draining soil mix.​

Select a deep, wide container that is large enough to accommodate full-grown asparagus plants.​ You will need at least a two-gallon pot size or a three-gallon pot for each asparagus plant.​

Place the pot in a sunny location, such as a patio, deck or balcony.​ Water the asparagus frequently but do not overwater.​ Make sure to fertilize the asparagus plants occasionally to prevent nutrient deficiency.​

Growing asparagus in containers requires you to harvest only the youngest and thinnest spears.​ Once the spears start to become bigger than one inch, it is best to avoid harvesting them.​ This will allow the spears to mature into robust and full-grown asparagus plants.​

Cut the harvestable spears at the base, and the remaining spears will branch out, giving it the shape of a fern.​

You don’t need to harvest every spear to encourage new growth.​ Leave some older spears to create a proper environment for the plant’s development.​

Pruning and Harvesting Asparagus

Pruning asparagus is essential in order to let them flourish with plenty of high-quality stalks.​ During the first growing season, wait until springtime to prune the plants.​ Cut the yellowed and yellow-tipped spears right at the soil level.​

It’s important not to prune until the new spears are 2-3 inches tall.​ Cutting the spears too quickly will force the plant to put more energy into regeneration.​

Once the harvesting period begins in the second year, you can use the same trick to prune asparagus.​ Harvesting gives the asparagus plant an even better chance to fully develop and produce higher-quality spears.​

Brush off any loose dirt or debris around the stalks during harvesting.​ Cut the thicker spears at the base with a pair of scissors.​

Proper harvesting can help the asparagus plants to continue producing healthy spears year after year.​ Keep an eye out for signs of diseases and inspect the spears for any rotting or wilting.​

Regularly prune your asparagus beds and you will see that the plants will stay healthy and productive for several years.​

Storing Asparagus Properly

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If you didn’t eat all the stored asparagus after harvesting, don’t worry.​ Fresh asparagus that is cut and cooked properly can last for up to three days in the refrigerator.​

To keep them fresh for a longer time, submerge the stemmed asparagus in an ice-cold container filled with water.​ This will help release their flavor and texture.​

It is also possible to freeze asparagus.​ Blanch them in boiling water for one to three minutes and cool them quickly in an ice bath.​

Once their temperature has dropped, put them in a re-sealable freezer bag and push out the extra air.​ This will help keep them fresh for up to six months.​

Leftover asparagus can also be steamed with butter and spices as an addition to rice and potatoes.​ To get the most out of asparagus, keep them fresh and store properly.​

Use creative methods that will help make asparagus last longer and preserve their flavor.​

Preventing Asparagus Rust

Rust is one of the most common issues gardeners face when growing asparagus.​ The yellow, orange or blackish-brown splotches on the spears indicate the presence of rust.​

It is important to take preventive measures and keep a check on the leaves and stems of the asparagus.​

Pay attention to the details in the garden and remove dead and diseased plants immediately.​ It’s important to have a healthy air circulation inside the asparagus patch.​

Provide sufficient space in between the plants for the air to pass through and keep the soil well drained.​

Rust defenders are a great way to protect the asparagus from disease.​ They help provide an extra layer of protection against rust and other fungal and bacterial diseases.​

Rust defenders are made up of combinations of sulfur, sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate and other ingredients that are known to protect plants from diseases.​

Regularly apply rust defenders in your asparagus patch and keep a check on the plants’ health.​ Don’t forget to clean and disinfect the containers and tools each season to prevent the spread of rust.​

Taking preventive measures and extra care is the key to making sure your asparagus patch remains healthy and productive.​

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