How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Planting asparagus

Direct seeding is more difficult than planting crowns or transplants. It has been most successful in the southern coastal and desert areas. Germination is slow, requiring a 4 to 5 week germination period at cooler temperatures. If planting during the summer months, young seedlings can be protected with 50% shade cloth or two layers of floating row cover until they have about six leaves. This helps protect from sunburn as well as seedling pests. Plant on raised beds made by adding large amounts of soil amendments so that a bed is established above the previous level of soil. Make beds about 24 inches wide with two rows per bed about 12 inches apart. Dig a furrow 5 to 6 inches deep and plant the seed in the bottom of the furrow about 0.75 to 1 inch deep and 3 to 6 inches apart. When the seedlings are tall enough, pull the soil around their stems and fill in the furrows. This develops deep-rooted seedlings that will have a longer life span than those planted shallowly on flat beds.

The best way to transplant asparagus is from 1-year-old crowns available from most nurseries in the winter months. Use only the largest, most healthy crowns. If transplanting in the summer, shade plants in the middle of the day for the first week. Seedlings can be transplanted in the fall. Plant in the bottom of a furrow about 4 to 6 inches deep and 12 inches apart. When planting, place root-side down and fan them out. Cover the crowns with 2 to 3 inches of soil and water in. As ferns develop during the first growing season, begin to fill in the remaining furrows.

Direct seed


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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