Why Does Asparagus Take Three Years To Grow?

Asparagus is one of the first vegetables ready to harvest in the spring. The young stem shoot of the asparagus plant is edible. It emerges as soil temperatures rise above 10 0C in the spring. You need to wait up to 3 years to harvest them. Why does asparagus take so long to grow?

It is most suitable to harvest asparagus after the first couple of seasons. You will have to give them enough time to establish a sustainable yield. Asparagus will develop strong roots to produce a thick crop. They will need at least three years to mature.

Farmers grow asparagus for its succulent, immature shoots. Asparagus will become the bushy foliage called ferns at the end of free growing. Growth continues into late fall or early winter until the frost kills ferns.

Asparagus is a perennial plant that can yield spears for ten to fifteen years or longer. Selecting a convenient planting site is vital as the crop remains for many years. 

Site Selection And Climatic Requirements

Deep sandy loams are ideal for supporting long asparagus roots. Asparagus prefers sandy and well-drained soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. Make sure the ground is free from stones to prevent crooked spears. 

Asparagus thrives in full sun and with good drainage. Choose an area that has not been in asparagus for the past eight years. It will help avoid root and crown diseases. Late spring frosts in low-lying areas can delay harvest and reduce yields.

The growing season needs warm days, cool nights, and low relative humidity. The asparagus plant prefers a long-dormant time.

How To Plant Asparagus?

The spring is the best time to plant asparagus. Growing asparagus from one-year-old crowns is the simplest method for farmers. Dig trenches or holes about 10 inches wide and 8 inches deep. Set the crowns 12 to 18 inches apart, as asparagus needs space. 

Maintain a 5-feet gap between rows. Spread the roots in the bottom of the trench or hole. Cover the crowns with about 2 inches of soil. Continue adding soil to fill in as the young shoots grow. Make sure not to bury the young ferns in the dust. 

Complete filling the trench to the top by the end of the season. Asparagus will not spread out much in the first couple of years. Once established, they will fill in faster. Learn how to grow asparagus in trenches by watching this video.

You can start from seeds about four weeks before the last expected frost. But they might make you wait longer. They come in a wide variety in the spring.

Does Asparagus Take Three Years To Grow?

Wait until the third year after planting to harvest. Asparagus needs at least two growing seasons to sustain harvests. They can build up ample food reserves during that time. Asparagus need cold winters to reset the roots. Spears are thin during the first couple of seasons of growth.

How Fast Does Asparagus Grow?

In the peak of asparagus season, spears can grow up to 2 inches (5 cm) per day. Young shoots that appear in the early spring have a growth rate of 6 to 7 inches (15-18 cm) each day. 

Asparagus is a slow starter, but it has stamina. Once plants mature, they can provide harvests for 15 years or more.

What Happens If You Do Not Cut Asparagus?

Warm days can make stalks grow faster. Leaving them unharvested will result in four to six feet tall fronds. These fern-like plants will create a natural breeding ground for asparagus beetles. They will lay their eggs in these ferns. When spears are 6 to 10 inches long, harvest them.

Does Asparagus Grow Slowly?

Asparagus is one of the slowest crops to produce harvests after planting. Seeds take 21 days or more to germinate. The plant takes at least three years to mature. It is drought-tolerant and can survive without a lot of water. But the dry climatic conditions can cause slow growth.

How Many Times Can You Harvest Asparagus?

In the third year, harvest only 2 to 3 weeks when the spears are 6 to 10 inches tall. In years from thereon, harvest no longer than 6 to 8 weeks. Prolonged harvesting will impede most fern growth. Cut or snap off the spears at ground level. 

Cut them no deeper than one inch beneath the soil surface to prevent injuring spears. From early May, you will need to harvest asparagus every two days. As it gets warmer, you can perform it every day. Harvesting ends in late June, early July, or when growth slows.

Late frosts can damage young shoots in the spring. Asparagus plants are prone to rotting in damp soil. Slugs, snails, and asparagus beetles can harm the plant.

Harvest spears from mid-April for six weeks in the third year and eight weeks in later years. Harvest every 2 to 3 days for the best quality spears in warm weather. If not, their rapid growth will turn them woody soon. Regular harvesting can promote more new shoot production.


What Can I Do To Make Asparagus Grow Faster?

Choose a well-drained, sunny site with fertile soil that holds moisture well. Avoid areas with shallow or water-saturated soils. 

One-year-old crowns will give you a year’s head start over seed-grown plants. Wrap them in damp sphagnum moss moss until you are ready to plant. Plant the crowns after soaking them in compost tea for 20 minutes.

Seed-grown plants will not suffer from transplant trauma as nursery-grown roots. Sow single seeds in newspaper pots and place them in a sunny window. Use bottom heat to maintain the temperature at 25 0C (77 0F). Lower the temperature to 16-21 0C when the seeds sprout. 

Plant the seedlings 5-8 cm (2-3 inch) deep in a nursery bed when the danger of frost passes. Each asparagus plant is either male or female. To get high yields, select an all-male asparagus variety.

Remove weeds from beds, as the asparagus plant does not prefer competitors. Apply mulch to smother the remaining weeds. Regular watering needs during the first two years after planting. In spring and fall, apply a liquid fertilizer as a topdress or a balanced fertilizer as a side dress.

White asparagus has a slight mildness in flavor than green. Blanch the spears by heaping up soil or mulch over the bed before they appear. It will help you grow white asparagus.


Some research shows that you can harvest asparagus even in the first year after planting. It is possible to reap a few spears from each plant. It can stimulate bud production on the crowns. But ensure to do that only about two weeks on a limited scale. Remove any dead foliage also.

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