Asparagus is one of those crops that we aspire to grow, and to grow really well. But it can be a tricky plant to grow to its full potential!
This being said, once you have got your bed established it actually requires very little maintenance.
So, now you need to know how to harvest asparagus. Again, this is the easy part, and you’ll be laughing all the way to your dinner plate once you know the best ways!
What You'll Learn Today
How Do You Harvest Asparagus From The Garden?
Harvesting asparagus is very simple, once you know how, and you can then enjoy the deliciousness of asparagus.
There are just a few thing that you need to be aware of when cutting asparagus:
- Wear gloves to protect your hand from the sharp knife.
- Cut the individual spears 1 inch below the soil.
- Try to catch them before they reach over 7 inches tall, for the best results.
- In warm periods, you can harvest every 2-3 days.
- Do not harvest your asparagus at all for the first two years.
Harvesting asparagus is ridiculously easy, once you know how. After you have grown your delicious stems you can easily cut them down, take them home and enjoy them!
This is a good, informative article from the Royal Horticultural Society showing the best way to harvest asparagus:
When To Harvest Asparagus?
When you first plant your asparagus bed, you will have to curb your enthusiasm for the delicious green spears for the first two years.
Harvesting before this time will result in small, thin spears, and the plant itself can become stressed so that it no longer produces.
After the first two years, you can start to harvest from mid April. During this first harvest, you can continue picking for 6 weeks.
In following years, you can begin your asparagus harvest from mid April, and continue for 8 weeks as your plant will be stronger and better established.
Once your bed is established, you can continue to harvest spears from it for up to 20 years, so make sure you look after it!
This little video will show you how to harvest your asparagus well – and also why you don’t need to worry if you leave it a bit too long:
How Do You Pick Asparagus So It Keeps Growing?
This is a perennial plant, which will keep growing even after it has been cut. This being said, there are better ways to cut it so that it keeps coming back.
- You should only harvest after the first two years of growth.
- In the third year, you can harvest for 6 weeks every few days.
- After the third year you can increase your harvesting to 8 weeks.
- Using a sharp knife, cut each stem an inch beneath the surface of the soil.
- Make sure you harvest all the stems, even the smaller ones, to prevent Asparagus Beetle laying its eggs.
- After the 6 or 8 weeks, you should stop harvesting and allow any remaining spears to grow; these will become the ferns for next year’s growth.
Asparagus will keep growing, year after year, so making sure you have established the best way to grow and pick it in the early days is a key thing.
How Many Times Can You Harvest Asparagus?
When your asparagus bed is fully established (after the first two years), you can harvest your asparagus bed for at least 6-8 weeks.
During this time, especially if the weather is warm, you can harvest your asparagus every 2 or 3 days.
Just cut the stems below the surface using a sharp knife, and repeat every time you see a stem appear.
The following year, repeat the process, and continue for as long as your asparagus is producing well each each year.
This cycle can continue for years and years – as long as you look after your asparagus bed, the crowns can keep on giving for as long as 20 years!
You may find that during this time you need to divide the crowns, or even add new ones in – but asparagus truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
When To Stop Harvesting Asparagus?
If you want to know when to stop harvesting asparagus for the year, wait until the end of 6 or 8 weeks, depending on the age of your crown. This should be around mid June.
After this time, leave the remaining spears in the ground, to become the following year’s ferny growth.
If you want to know how long your asparagus crowns will continue to produce, keep an eye on how many and how healthy the spears are.
If your asparagus is not producing as much as it did in previous years, it may be time to divide or replace your crowns.
As a general rule, this amazing plant can continue to provide you with delicious asparagus for between 10 and 20 years, with the correct and proper care.
Asparagus is an incredibly rewarding crop, especially as it just keeps on giving, year after year.
Now you know how to harvest asparagus effectively, you can enjoy your favourite vegetable whenever and however you want to!