Asparagus – no dig, planted in mulch over weeds, how to grow and harvest

Filmed in summer of asparagus year 6 after a third season of harvests, this year 2018 we picked 15.5kg/34lb of spears. The asparagus plants are growing on level ground with no ridges, easier for weeding because very few grow. We are a zone 8, temperate climate with around 800mm/32in rain per annum. My garden includes 1000sqm of no dig beds (a quarter acre), growing salad leaves and some vegetables for sale.

11 thoughts on “Asparagus – no dig, planted in mulch over weeds, how to grow and harvest

  1. Thanks again Charles, though this is a first thank you. I have been following your site and advice for a couple of years. After organic gardening for 40 years your short piece on BBC excited me to try 2 small beds on our lawn. Ureka! It worked and I now also have 2 allotments and a walled garden under no dig cultivation. Looking forward to an extended gardening life. Thanks again. Chas

  2. Could you please advise how you plant your asparagus. Most conventional advice involves digging trenches etc, but I’m assuming with no dig you wouldn’t be doing this:)
    Many thanks

    1. Hi Daisy and no trenches needed, just pull out a 3-4in/8-10cm deep hollow in the surface compost and soil, see also my Asparagus video

  3. Great Video Charles.
    I live in a zone 5-6 . in Canada. I was wondering if just 3 or 4 inch hollow would be enough protection from the hot summer sun and the cold winters that we have here. I understand that a top up of compost would be added in the fall . Should my Crowns be planted deeper because of my climate?
    Last summer temperatures were around 30 C for most of the summer and winters can be colder than -20 C for several weeks.
    Also just wondering how to be able to tell if the crowns that I purchase are males?
    Thanks for your help.

    1. Hello Nancy, thanks, and crowns can’t go too deep for fear of weakening new shoots so yes, add just one inch to planting depth, and I would try a mulch of straw in winter, perhaps summer also, applied after the picking season, which for you should be May-June. Summer growth could ne through the mulch.
      I don’t know of a way of checking crowns for sex!

      1. Hi Charles
        Thanks for the quick response and the advice.
        I will plant them today,
        Love your web cite and all your videos.
        Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  4. hi charles, Thanks for all your gardening help! I just finished your online gardening course and Im super excited to start he next one!! Im starting asparagus from seed today and was wondering about module sowing (a few seeds in each cell) or maybe sowing in a tray and pricking out one plant per cell. which is best? I live in ZONE 7A (petersburg Alaska) and we are right on the water which keeps as a little warmer but being that we live so far north our daylight is what has me wondering about sowing dates. Ive been copying yours but i was hoping for suggestions? we have dark winters (January and February its dark by 3 pm and light by 9 or 10 am) but in the summers sun set is sometimes 11pm and sunrise its 4 am. if you were me how would you change your sowing dates?

    1. Hello Chelsea, nice to read your feedback and have news of distant Alaska.
      Your light levels are similar to Scotland, where I worked in 1981. Great in summer at least!
      I would sow just a week or two later now in February through March, then same time April through to end June, then a week earlier in summer and two weeks earlier September.
      After doing that for a year you can fine tune dates – everybody has microclimate aspects, such as your proximity to water.
      You should find row covers/fleece very useful in early spring, to convert light into warmth. I wish you well.

    2. Forgot to mention asparagus – if expensive hybrid seed, sow in tray to prick out. If cheaper seed you could sow 2-3 per cell then thin to one.

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