The Vegetable Guide – Asparagus

The Vegetable Guide - Asparagus

Vegetable Problems

Home garden asparagus can be damaged by the asparagus beetle in some areas. If you observe insects feeding on asparagus, contact your local county Extension agent for identification and control recommendations.


Asparagus is troubled by some diseases. If plants have rust-colored spots on the stems or branches, ask your county Extension agent what to use.


Harvest vegetable asparagus spears from established beds for about 8 weeks. Do not harvest too soon from new planting. Harvest spears when they are 4 to 10 inches long. To prevent spears from becoming fibrous, harvest at least every other day. The fibrous condition is caused by overmaturity or inadequate fertility. Spears with loosely formed heads are overmature. Cut asparagus spears 1 to 2 inches below the soil level. At least one-half of the length of the spear should be above the ground. Never cut the spear within 2 inches of the crown to avoid damage to the developed buds. Never cut asparagus spears above the ground and allow stubs to remain. Discontinue harvest when spear diameter becomes less than 3/8 of an inch. Some gardeners prefer white or blanched asparagus. This is grown by shading the spears with mounds of soil or mulch to exclude light.

USDA Nutrient
guidance for additional information


Pack whole spears, tips up, tightly into clean, hot jars. Pack cut pieces as tightly as possible without crushing them. Leave 1/2 inch headroom. Add salt. Cover with boiling water, leaving 1/2 headroom. Process in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure (240 F)
Pints -25 minutes
Quarts – 30 minutes.


Blanch for 2-4 minutes depending on the thickness of the stalks. Cool immediately in cold water. Drain …pack into containers, leaving no headroom.


Asparagus cannot be stored, but it is an excellent canning crop.

Special Thanks to Jerry Parsons and Sam Cotner, Extension Horticulturists Texas Agricultural Extension ServiceEducational programs conducted by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service serve people of all ages, regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, handicap or national origin. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension Work in Agriculture and Home Economics, Acts of Congress of May 8, 1914, as amended, and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. Zerle L. Carpenter, Director, Texas Agricultural Extension Service, The Texas A&M University System.Hypertext markup and graphics colorization by Tammy Kohlleppel and Dan Lineberger. 

Germination Time 2-8 weeks
 Depth of Seed1-11/2 inches
Depth of Plants 6-8 inches
Spacing of Plants 3 inches(seeds), 24 inches (plants)
Spacing of Rows 18-20 inches(seed), 4-5 feet (plant)
Quantity 1 package for 100 plants
1 ounce for 250 plants
Maturity Dates, Yields and Storage

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