How to grow Asparagus in Australia

The early spring asparagus harvest is one that many gardeners love.

Growing asparagus at home can be enjoyable and a productive way to connect with the wonders of gardening.

Read on to learn how you can grow asparagus in Australia.

Asparagus fact list

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Height: Up to 2m
  • Climate: Suitable for most climates
  • Sun: Full sun
  • Soil: Needs rich soil prepared with compost
  • Feeding: Apply an all purpose fertiliser in Spring

Asparagus Appearance and Characteristics

Asparagus is a delicious vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. It has a crunchy texture and a nutty flavour.

Asparagus spears can be up to 20 inches long, but they are usually harvested before they become too large. The tips of the spears are the most tender part of the plant.

Asparagus is available in three colours: green, purple, and white.

Green asparagus is grown in open fields, while purple and white varieties are grown undercover and have been exposed to less sunlight.

Green asparagus has a milder flavour than its coloured counterparts.

When to plant Asparagus in Australia

Asparagus is a perennial that needs to be planted in the winter while the crowns are still dormant. 

We recommend planting your asparagus in July or August, depending on your location. Asparagus crowns can be purchased from nurseries and garden centres throughout Australia.

If you’re growing asparagus from seed, plant them in Spring – they should be ready for harvest within three years.

How to grow Asparagus from seeds

  • Germination days: 21
  • Spacing needs: 20cm to 40cm
  • Seed depth: 1cm
  • Growing season: Spring
  • Days to harvest: 3 to 4 years
  • Soil pH range: 6.5 to 7.0
  • Soil temperature: 24 to 27 degrees Celsius

Growing asparagus is an incredibly rewarding experience, and once you’ve had a taste of your own home-grown asparagus, you’ll never want to go back to the store-bought kind!

Just remember that asparagus is a perennial plant that can live for up to 20 years, so you need to give it plenty of space and love.

Start by putting your seeds in starter pots or trays with soil that has a pH of between 6.5 and 7.0. Keep the soil temperature at 24 to 27 degrees Celsius until the germination period is complete (around 21 days).

After the seedlings have sprouted, transplant them into individual pots or directly into your garden. 

Give each seedling 20cm to 40cm of space, and keep watering and weeding them regularly until they’re ready to harvest—which will be about 3 years from when you started.

How to grow Asparagus from crowns

Growing asparagus from crowns is a fun, low-maintenance way to get started in the world of asparagus cultivation. 

If you purchase crowns, these will have already been grown for one to two years which means you will be harvesting much sooner than if growing from seeds.

Asparagus is a perennial plant that will produce for many years if you care for it properly. 

Here are the key steps to planting them:

  1. First, prepare fertile, well-drained soil and mix in some compost. 
  2. Next, dig a shallow trench, and place the crowns 30cm–50cm apart along the bed. 
  3. Cover them lightly, then backfill with more soil. 
  4. Keep them watered regularly as the shoots grow.

How to grow Asparagus in pots

While there are many plants that can thrive in pots, asparagus is not one of them. 

Asparagus is a perennial plant that grows its roots deep into the ground, up to 20 inches down. 

The root system needs plenty of room to grow and remain healthy or the asparagus will fail to produce a harvest for very long. 

The best way to grow asparagus is to place it outdoors in a garden bed with plenty of space for its roots. 

If you don’t have a large enough yard or garden bed, you use a large container and plant one or two crowns using the method discussed above.

How long does Asparagus take to grow?

Asparagus plants take 3 to 4 years to mature. Once mature, the plants support harvests that last 4 to 6 weeks.

Asparagus plants are among the longest-living of vegetables, and they produce a crop every year for 20 years or more. This makes them a great long-term investment for home gardeners.

Planting crowns directly in the garden during the spring or early summer will allow the plant to develop strong roots in time for harvest the next spring. 

Asparagus Pests and Diseases

Asparagus generally doesn’t have any significant problem with pests or diseases.

The most common problems are aphids, snails, slugs, asparagus beetle larvae and caterpillars.

Asparagus Companion plants

If you’re growing asparagus, don’t plant it near onions, leeks, garlic, or other plants in the allium family as they will interfere with the asparagus’ ability to grow.

Asparagus is happy with lettuce and strawberries. Rhubarb and horseradish are other companion planting options.

What are companion plants?

Companion planting means growing certain plants next to each other for the mutual benefit of both.

Companion plants can help prevent disease and insect infestation, improve the nutrient supply, provide shade, suppress weeds, and more.