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Afraid to grow these finicky bad boys? Don't be. It's easier than you think, and a smart budget move, since asparagus are expensive. It's worth the effort when you taste this super-healthy veggie grilled or chilled with a vinaigrette dressing.
Hardiness: Grown as a hardy perennial in Zones 2 to 8b.
Planting advice: Start asparagus from year-old crowns. Soak briefly in lukewarm water, then plant in well-draining soil.
Dig a trench at least 6 inches deep and 12 to 18 inches wide. Create a small mound along the middle of the trench. Plant the crowns atop the mound, with the roots draped over the sides, about 12 to 18 inches apart, with 3 to 4 feet between rows. Then bury the crowns 2 inches deep in properly prepared soil.
It takes at least two years to establish the plants.
Harvest tips: Harvest in spring of the second year. Cut off spears at ground level when they're as thick as a pencil, or about 8 inches tall.
Store them like cut flowers—upright in a container filled with an inch of water.
Recommendations: Jersey Giant, Jersey Prince, Jersey Knight, Viking KBC.
More Asparagus Recipes»
Source: Birds & Blooms "Grow Veggies for Less"