Asparagus Crown Production
To allow for selection of strong, healthy crowns,
plan to grow more plants than actually needed. One kilogram of seed
usually produces enough crowns to plant 1 ha (approximately 1 lb
Select a well-drained, sandy loam with a pH in the range of 6-7.
While a good seedbed is important, avoid over preparation. Asparagus
seeds are slow to germinate and are quite susceptible to crusting
and soil structure problems.
Soak seed in 32º C (90º F) water for 3-4 days. Soaking
starts the germination process by softening the seed coat. Soaked
seed will emerge up to one week earlier than un-soaked. The benefits
of soaking are particularly apparent when planting into cooler soil
temperatures. Treating the seed in cooler water conditions (i.e.
room temperature) does not offer the same germination benefits.
Dry and plant immediately after soaking. Nursery fields are usually
planted in mid-to-late May. The optimum soil temperature range is
15-30º C (60 to 85º F.)
Row Spacing: 45-60 cm (18-24")
In-Row Spacing: 8-10 cm (3-4")
Depth: 2.5-4 cm (1-1.5")
Rate: Approximately 11 kg/ha (10lbs/acre)
Broadcast 75 kg actual Nitrogen/ha (68 lbs./acre) prior to planting.
An additional 50 kg/ha (45 lbs./acre) may be applied as a side-dressed
application in August.
Apply Phosphate and Potash according to soil test recommendations.
Dig crowns in the early spring, before the buds begin to grow. Avoid
damaging the roots and select only the healthy crowns with plump
buds and strong roots. Discard undersized and damaged crowns. 20
to 40% of crowns may be discarded.
Plant crowns as soon as possible after digging. If they can not
be planted immediately, store them indoors to protect them from
the drying effects of the elements. Maintain cold (but not freezing)
temperatures and low humidity, 4º C (39º F) is ideal.
Avoid storing in large piles with poor airflow. The warm humid conditions
common in large piles will cause storage rots.