Asparagus Fail…

We love asparagus and eat quite a lot of it, but let’s be honest – the season is very short and asparagus is best served fresh from the garden, so when we buy it from the supermarket we know it’s not at its best, and it’s probably been flown in from some far-flung location!

So when we designed our vegetable garden it made sense to dedicate one of the raised beds to asparagus, so we could cut it and eat it within minutes, enjoying this delicacy at its finest!

It’s not something we’d ever grown before and after researching we learned that it needed very well draining soil, so we added a bag of horticultural grit to the compost before we planted the crowns on ridges of compost wth the roots laid over them. We planted two varieties, a traditional green and a more exciting red variety!


We also learned that asparagus shouldn’t be harvested in the first year and only 1 picking in the second year so we knew it would be a long term investment, and hopefully well worth the wait!

The crowns were eagerly planted in spring 2013. Fast forward to this week, May 2016, and it’s fair to say we haven’t seen a single spear emerge from the ground this year. Last year we managed to rustle up about 4 very spindly, pathetic spears. So after much discussion, we decided to give up on the whole enterprise!


Although we’ve got 12 raised beds, space is precious to us when we want to grow so much of our own produce, and we weren’t prepared to sacrifice a whole bed for another year when it clearly wasn’t up to scratch. So we reluctantly turned the raised bed over, and in doing so, unearthed some very rotten, definitely dead, asparagus crowns.


There hasn’t been much we’ve given up on in our 10 years + of vegetable gardening, but unfortunately for now, asparagus has beaten us!

Has anyone had more success than us at growing this challenging vegetable?

We’d love to hear about it, for when we decide to attempt it again!


5 thoughts on “Asparagus Fail…

  1. I successfully got one crown growing, it was doing really well for the last 2 years, this would be the third year to pick asparagus…. When the fern bits started growing at the end of last years season, they started flopping a bit, my very helpful and well meaning other half thought it would be a good idea to shove a cane in to help support them. I’m pretty sure he skewered the crown and killed it! I’ve not seen anything yet this year 😦
    I find that the things I neglect a little do best. I didn’t really prepare the ground, just dug right in and it grew really well. There were 2 other crowns where I made the effort to prepare the ground, they died a rotty death! Lesson learnt, make life easy and be lazy!

    1. Oh that’s really interesting, what a shame! Did you harvest any in the second year or leave them to go over as soon as they appeared? We harvested a single crop in the second year, 4 very spindly stems! Ours were very definitely rotten!

      1. The first year I harvested I only took 4 or 5 spears, not sure how many I got last year, quite a few, and then I left them to grow when I realised I’d had plenty! But there were still loads growing that I left. I have found that the more I neglect things, the better they grow!! You should try another crown in a random place, with no preparation and see what happens? You could get lucky 🙂

      2. Yes that’s a good idea, they were taking up a raised bed that is valuable growing space, which is why I dug down to find out what was going on and found rotten crowns!

      3. Start with a single crown, if it lives then you’re doing it right, if it doesn’t then it’s not much space wasted 🙂 (great finger food for kiddies too!)

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