Asparagus grows best in a raised bed. You can plant 14 plants in a 2′ x 8′ raised bed. 25 plants will feed a family of four.
Asparagus grows in most any soil as long as it has good internal drainage. Asparagus roots do not like waterlogged soils that will lead to root rot. It prefers a soil pH of 6.5-7.5., and will not do well if the pH is less than 6.0.
Companion Plants for Asparagus
You can plant parsley and basil underneath asparagus to help with plant vigor, and plant tomatoes alongside asparagus to help deter asparagus beetles. These plants also help one another. Both basil and parsley help tomatoes grow better. Basil deters tomato hornworms while helping improve tomato flavor. Placing these plants together allows each one to help the other in some way.
- Do not plant near Garlic, Onions, Peas
Asparagus crowns are usually available just once a year in early spring. So plan accordingly. Once the bed is weed-free, dig a trench about 12″ deep and a foot wide. The crowns should be planted at 18″ intervals in the bed, so put a shovel of compost and a cup of all-purpose, organic fertilizer in the trench every 18″. Rock phosphate, a natural mineral powder, is another good addition. Phosphorus, which promotes strong root growth, doesn’t move through the soil as easily as other nutrients. You only get one opportunity to fortify the root zone, so don’t miss your chance.
Mix the compost and fertilizer with some garden soil and shape it into a little mound. Set the asparagus crown on top and drape the roots down around the sides. The top of the crown should be approximately 6″ below the soil surface. Cover the roots with garden soil right up to the crown and water well. As shoots begin to appear, add more soil until the trench has been filled back up, level with the soil surface.