Asparagus is one of the joys of spring that should not be missed. Their delicious taste is a real treat during the short time they are in season. They’re are easy to grow, even though it takes around two to four years to become established. Once established, an asparagus plant can produce spears for up to 15 to 20 years. In this article, we will share how to grow asparagus, the nutrients and health benefits that can be gained from eating them.
Although there are many varieties of asparagus, make sure to choose the one that you love as they will continuously grow back for a minimum of 15 years. Here are some recommended varieties: ‘Jersey Knight’, ‘Backlim’, ‘Mondeo’, and ‘Stewarts Purple’.
How To Grow Apsaragus
Asparagus can be grown from seed, but this will take longer to grow an established asparagus, crown(roots), or transplant.
Plant asparagus crowns outdoors around March-April when the soil temperature is at least 10°C(50°F). Plant in the ground or raised beds if your garden soil is poor. Ideally plant in slightly acidic, loose, well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.5-7.5, or well-drained slightly acidic compost-rich soil with a pH of 6.5-7.5, in full sun with plenty of air circulation. Dig a trench 6-8 inches deep and 12 inches wide(1ft), space trenches 36-48 inches(3-4ft). Create a 2-inch high mound down the center of the trench, spread ou the roots, and set it down like an octopus on top of the mount. Place the rest of the soil, leaving the bud tips visible.
If growing from seed, sow indoors 12-14 weeks before the last frost or 8-10 weeks before your set transplant in the garden. sow seed around 3-4cm deep in well-drained, fertile soil. Sow in seeds in individual containers. The seeds will germinate in 1-3 weeks at a temperature of 23°C(75°F). Transplant seedling outdoors after the last frost.
Water regularly keeping the soil evenly moist throughout the growing season. Fertilisers are optional, but if you want the best results, feed with a general fertiliser such as fish, blood and bonemeal in early spring. Do not harvest the first two years after planting. Third-year onwards harvest spears from mid-April for 4-6 weeks. Harvest by cutting spears with a knife when they are at least 6-10 inches tall. Cut the spears at soil level or just below.
Nutrients And Health Benefits
Asparagus is rich with many nutrients they contain vitamins- A, C, K, E, B-9, and B-2. Minerals- Potassium, phosphorous, iron, and zinc. Asparagus contains 20 calories, 2.2 grams of protein, 0.2 grams of fat, and 1.8 grams of fiber per 90 grams of asparagus. in addition, asparagus is a good source of antioxidants, may improve digestive health, lowers blood pressure, and helps support a healthy pregnancy.
How To Add Asparagus To Your Diet
In addition to being nutritious, asparagus is delicious and easy to add to your diet. Asparagus can be boiled, grilled, steamed, roasted and sautéed. Asparagus can be used in many dishes such as omelets, salads, pastas, sandwiches, rolls, stir-fries, soups, and make amazing side dishes.