Asparagus planting depth - old vs. new method?

bart1(6/7 Northern VA)March 19, 2009

I have a question regarding the proper depth for planting asparagus. IÂve read conflicting information, some of it old and some of it new.

One source printed in 1981 ("Grow the Best Asparagus" by Michael Higgins, Storey Publishing) says that you should vary the depth from about 18 inches to 5 inches to spread the harvest over a longer period. The theory was that the shallower planted crows would come up first and the deepest planted crows would come up last.

The other source printed in 1994 (Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet) says you should plant them no deeper than 5 or 6 inches. It goes on to say that "research shows that the deeper the crowns are planted, the more the total yield is reduced".

So whatÂs the real story here? Is the more modern method the way to go? Or does planting at different depths do what it is supposed to do (spread out the harvest)? Does anyone have any first hand evidence on this topic?

Thanks!

Bart

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chaman(z7MD)

I had planted the roots so that crown remains barely visible at the surface level of the garden soil.Since the roots are of different lengths you will need to dig the holes of different depth so that crown remains at the surface level.
I hope you will hear more from fellow gardeners about their experience.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 4:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Bart - same zone here. ;) I subscribe to the 6" depth planting guideline as long as one doesn't live in the far north where the ground freeze depth can be a concern.

Planted at the surface makes them too susceptible to disease and crown rot or damage and much deeper than 6-8" can indeed reduce production.

We have several beds and one of the oldest was originally planted 12" deep. We get less spears and more damaged spears from it and it is more difficult to supply nutrients that deep.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 5:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hercules(PA 6a)

Bart,

I agree with Dave. There has been a lot of research into this subject from many Ag University teams, and all advice now is that 6 inches is the optimal planting depth. Deeper planting will significantly reduce yields. If you're up to a little more work, dig to 12 inches or more...then backfill to the 6 inch planting depth. Your crowns will adapt to their new home more rapidly and thank you with increased vigor.

Hal

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 6:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

Thanks folks, that's just the advice I was looking for. When less digging equals more productivity, then I'm on board!

Thanks again,
Bart

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 7:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
susandonb(NC 7)

Great. Where were you guys when I was planting my beds 12' three years ago? Now I want to divide my crowns and spread them out cause I think they are too close together and now I find out I should bring them up to 6'. They are so solid in the bed I can't even budge them. Now what?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hercules(PA 6a)

Susan,

I just read your "Members Page", and I'm impressed! What a wonderful thing you're doing.

Having said that, I wish I had some encouraging advice for you concerning your 'gus bed. If I were you, and since you're expanding your operation, I would let well enough alone and plant a new bed of 'gus somewhere in your enlarged operation. "Rearranging" an established aspargus bed is not on my list of fun things to do...for reasons obvious to you now.

I'm a great help, right? ~smile~

Best wishes!
Hal

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 5:31PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
I really messed up, who can help? Tomato expert needed...
I planted beefsteak and July 4th tomatoes and didn't...
dwyerkg
Will I be too late to start a vegetable garden for the summer?
Hello! My husband and I will be moving from Florida...
merritt623
Boo hoo! Purple sprouting broccoli didn't survive the winter!
I was looking forward to early broccoli this year....
ffreidl z5a
mealybugs and leaf miners
How do you control mealy bugs and leaf miners on leafy...
kyrri
Too many seeds, not enough light
Right now, have basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary,...
ilovecucumbers
Sponsored Products
Asparagus Salt And Pepper Shakers
Classic Hostess
Anolon Bronze Hard-Anodized Nonstick 12-inch Covered Deep Skillet
Overstock.com
Asparagus Suspension
Lightology
Red Vanilla Classic White 12.25 Round Platter - FN900-313
$44.99 | Hayneedle
Wildflower Rectangular Platter
$21.99 | zulily
Mini Vegetable Garden Marker - Asparagus
Signature Hardware
Sudbury Rug
Overstock.com
New Super Kazak Asparagus Green Veg Dyed 4'x7' Hand Knotted Oriental Rug H4084
BH Sun Inc
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™