Asparagus is one of the best vegetables you can grow at home because it’s so super healthy, extremely versatile, and fairly simple to grow too! But what if you wanted to grow asparagus in pots? Can it be done? The answer is yes! You most certainly CAN grow asparagus in a pot. Maybe you don’t have enough space in your garden anymore, or maybe you live in an apartment – whatever the reason, growing asparagus in pots or containers is easy and we’ll show you exactly how to do it in this asparagus gardening guide!
How to Grow Asparagus in a Pot
What’s great about asparagus is that it’s a hardy perennial that will keep on giving for up to 20 years! So once planted and well taken care of, your asparagus plant can actually keep on growing year after year for up to 20 years. Pretty wild, right?
Before you go ahead and plant your asparagus, think of how much you need. Each plant produces about one half pound of spears. Also keep in mind that the first two years of growth, asparagus are not edible! Harvest spears in the third year of growth, once the plant is established.
Asparagus can be grown outdoors in containers in USDA zones 4a to 8b in full sun and light soil.
- Plant in the spring.
- Prepare a pot or container that’s at least 20 inches deep and 20 inches in diameter.
- Be sure that your pot or container has drainage holes. If not, drill some drainage holes at the bottom of the container to ensure good drainage.
- For best results, use a plastic pot instead of a clay pot, as plastic pots do not absorb as much moisture, plus it’s easier to make drainage holes.
- If there is too much moisture, your asparagus plant could contract a fungal disease.
- Add about 2 inches of gravel to the bottom of the pot. The gravel helps the asparagus from getting too much moisture and thus preventing rot and/or disease.
- Partially fill the pot with a garden-mix soil.
- Dig a hole in the center of the soil to a depth of about 8 inches and about 3 times the width of an asparagus crown.
- This will give plenty of space for the root system to spread out.
- Place a spoonful of aged compost in the center of the hole.
- Now place the asparagus’ roots in the hole and spread them out with your hands.
- Cover the crown with about 2 inches of soil.
- Water the asparagus immediately after planting.
- Keep the soil moist as the asparagus crown grows.
- Once shoots start appearing on the crown, gradually cover them with soil, leaving about half an inch of the shoots uncovered.
- Continue covering the shoots each week until they reach the top of the soil level.
- You should get about 6-12 shoots from each asparagus crown, depending on the variety you’ve planted.
Caring for Asparagus Plants:
- Fertilize your asparagus plant about once a month by side dressing it with compost.
- You can also fertilize with a balanced fertilizer of 10-10-10 or 15-15-15. Do this in the spring after planting.
- Pick off any red berries that may appear on female asparagus plants. The red berries can fall into the container and grow weeds which are not necessary to the asparagus plant.
- Male plants will not produce berries, and are usually 2-3 times thicker than female asparagus. Both male and female plants are grown the same.
- In late fall, cut the asparagus plants down to soil level to allow it to overwinter and prevent disease.
Tips for Growing Asparagus in Pot:
- Instead of purchasing 1 year old crowns, choose crowns that are two or three years old for a faster harvest. Your local nursery should have these.
- If you live in a warmer climate, plant asparagus earlier in the spring, and keep away from the hot, mid-day sun.
- Only harvest spears that are in year 3.
- Thereafter, harvest every spring once the spears are 8 inches in length.
- Harvest time lasts from 8 to 10 weeks.
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