How to grow asparagus in a container

If you actually want to grow Asparagus in a pot, look for a big container because the bigger the container the better. Asparagus grows perennially within USDA plant hardiness zones 2 through 8, where the plant can actually live for decades and reach a very large size under ideal growing conditions. However container-grown asparagus plants lacks the same longevity and productivity as garden-grown Asparagus plants, although it is possible to grow a small crop of asparagus plant if you choose a suitable container and also provide the right growing conditions.

How to choose the right Container

Actually choosing the right container to grow Asparagus is the most vital aspect of successfully growing Asparagus plant outside of a garden bed. A mature Asparagus plant can spread two to three feet and reach a height of about five to nine feet if grown under good conditions. You can use a container that is a minimum of twenty inches deep by twenty inches wide, although bigger container is better.

Also using half wine barrels, raised garden bed containers or 90-gallon galvanized steel feed troughs, are still good and they all provide enough depth and width for growing asparagus plant. Make sure you choose the biggest container that will fit your space. Try and grow only one asparagus plant in each container so that it will have room to spread without competing against other plants. If you are choosing a container, make sure you look for the one with multiple drainage holes at the base or you can easily create your own drainage holes since constantly wet or poorly draining soil is a common cause of disease and death in asparagus plants.

How to Plant Asparagus in a Container

One of the best times to plant Asparagus crowns is late winter. It is actually best to start 4 to 5 weeks before the last frost since the colder weather will help the Asparagus plant roots become established slowly before the weather warms. You can look for asparagus plants for sale in late winter. You have to fill the container with a mixture of equal parts potting soil, garden sand, compost and aged manure, all these will really provide the right balance of drainage and richness. Asparagus plants prefer a soil pH between 6.5 and 7.5, this can also be determined with a pH test kit.

This plant need 8 or more hours of sunlight each day, try and choose a suitably bright, sunny location since the container will be very heavy to carry once it is filled with soil. Make sure you choose a sheltered location with some filtered mid-day shade if you live in a microclimate with very hot, dry summers.

To plant the Asparagus you have to create a hole that is roughly eight to ten inches deep and twelve inches wide across the center of the soil. You need to create a mound of compost in the bottom center of the trench. Then set the asparagus crowns in the bottom of the hole on top of the compost with the plant roots spread out. You have to cover the roots with two to four inch-thick layer of soil or enough to stabilize the crown. Make sure you water well to settle the soil. Immediately the shoots emerge in spring, you can fill in the trench with soil.

How to Grow Asparagus in a Container

Growing asparagus in a container is simple, although it requires attention to detail. Adequate soil moisture is very important, most especially in warmer microclimates where soil normally dries out quickly. Water the plant deeply but infrequently, adding water until the soil feels very moist in the top few inches and also allows it to dry out completely in the top four to six inches before watering again. During hot weather make sure you check the soil moisture often.

This plant is a heavy feeder and the plant needs annual applications of fertilizer or compost to keep up with its nutrient demands. You can feed your asparagus plant with high phosphorus. You can apply 0-20-0 ratio fertilizer at full strength according to the manufacturer’s recommendation or you can use a thick layer of rich compost if you prefer an organic option.

Make sure you allow the asparagus grow for 2 years before harvesting the spears. In autumn of its first year you can cut the entire Asparagus plant back to the base using a very good sharp pruning shears. In the following spring you can apply fertilizer as new growth emerges and mulch heavily. You can harvest the first thin spears in spring of its third year.

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