Delicious, nutritious and versatile, this wonderful perennial vegetable takes awhile to grow up to its full capacity. However, once it does it will serve your family for many years to come.
With asparagus, you’re planting for the future.
How Long Does it Take Asparagus to Grow?
It takes four years for asparagus to be reach its full production capacity. Until then, you can harvest lightly after the first year. However, thereafter one asparagus plant can produce up to a half pound per week for up to eight weeks. for harvest. If you want to munch on asparagus regularly in season, you’ll want to plant around 10 plants per family member.
Sure, you have to be patient when growing asparagus, but it’s so worth it for this perennial vegetable will continue producing for an average of 20 years. Plant it once, practice a little patience then reap the rewards for years to come.
What Are the Stages of Growing Asparagus?
- GERMINATION: 21 days or more
- TRANSPLANTING: ~3.5 weeks to reach 2″ for transplanting seedlings to the garden
- ~3.5 years
- Can produce for 20 years on average after year 4
- PRODUCTION (approximately):
- ½ lb./week x 8 weeks per season from years 4-20 years.
- 4 lbs. of asparagus per plant per season.
- 64 pounds of produce for the life of the plant for 16 years of optimal production.
- From late April-July
- Harvesting begins in 3rd year, clipping at the base of plant. However…
- in year 1, harvest sparsely at less than 20% of spears, can stimulate more growth.
- harvest 7-9″ stems every 2-4 days, including skinny spears.
- Leave 2-3 spears minimum on each plant during growing season.
- PRUNING: Cut back asparagus ferns after foliage dies back fall
For more on harvesting asparagus.
While You’ll Want to Grow Asparagus
Asparagus is more than a unique and attractive vegetable that makes your pee smell funny.
- Low in calories / aids in weight loss
- Diuretic (due to the amino acid asparagine)
- High in fiber
- Great nutrients, including:
- vitamins A, B6, C & K
- Improves digestion
- Support healthy pregnancy
- Lowers blood pressure
- Fights cancer
Why Does Asparagus Make Your Pee Smell Funny?
That funky smell in your urine after eating asparagus is caused by asparagusic acid which breaks down into a smelly sulfur compound when digested.
Apparently, asparagus is the only food to contain the chemical asparagusic acid, which likely explains why it bears its name. While this odiferous effect may not be pleasant, it’s not so much that it’s awful, it’s just different and definitely notable almost immediately after consuming.
The Healthiest Way to Prepare Asparagus?
Asparagus is best al dente — lightly steamed — for the highest retention of nutrients. We like it lightly drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil.
We also enjoy it crunchy and raw in salads or as finger food along with other crudites. But there’s no limit to ways to enjoy asparagus.
And, here are some more favorite was to enjoy asparagus.
Best Asparagus Recipes
- Orange-Glazed Salmon with Asparagus
- Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables
- Grilled Asparagus With Gremolata Sauce
Now, that our mouths are watering, let’s move onto growing asparagus!
How to Grow Asparagus
Coleman talks more about the stages of growing asparagus in this video.
I’m LeAura Alderson, entrepreneur, ideator, media publisher, writer and editor of GardensAll.com. Pursuits in recent years have been more planting seeds of ideas for business growth more than gardening. However, I’ve always kept plants, been interested in medicinal herbs and nutrition and healing from food over pharmacy. I assist in our family gardening projects primarily (at present) through the sharing of information through our websites and newsletters.
As a family we’re steadily expanding our gardening, experimentation and knowledge around all things gardening, edible landscaping, fresh organic foods and self sustainability and hopefully, farming in our future. We thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the creative ingenuity of the GardensAll community. I also own and manage theiCreateDaily.com.