Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Planting The Long Game: Growing Asparagus

Asparagus in soil.
Diana Taliun
Want to grow your own asparagus? Plan to wait, and then to have it around for a long time.

A large part of gardening is patience. And deciding to grow asparagus, a perennial synonymous with springtime, takes a bunch!

If you want to grow your own, plan the placement of it well, because it will last for 20 or 30 years! Your asparagus crop needs full sun and well-drained soil.

Make sure to purchase the "all male" variety. A good one to try is called the Jersey Series of asparagus, and it comes in two varieties that are suited for your soil. If you've got clay, go for "Jersey Night." If your garden plot has sandy soil, try "Jersey Supreme."

You won't start from seed, but instead head to your favorite garden center and look for asparagus crowns. Then once you've decided on the best location to plant, dig a trench 8-10 inches deep, make a mound of soil in the trench, put the crown into a hole in the top of the mound, then cover with soil and compost.

You then backfill the trench with soil and keep it well-watered and weeded. This is where patience comes in, because you'll need to continue to water and weed and wait.

You won't harvest until the third year, when you'll take the thickest spears to enjoy for four to six weeks as they continue to grow! After that, expect your asparagus crop to sprout and grow for many, many years to come.

You can create also white or blanched asparagus. Cover part of the bed now with black plastic to block the sun, and this will create a more tender, sweeter crop that doesn't have as strong a flavor.

Q: If the almond tree blooms too early in spring, will its fruit be killed by frost? — Brian, via email

Vermont is in Zone 4 and Zone 5, and almond trees are in Zone 6, so they tend not to overwinter here in these climes. However, if you have a self-polinated almond plant that is growing in a protected area or in the Champlain Valley, you might just get fruit from it!

Q: I wanted to ask specifically about Rugosa Roses. I bought my property a few years ago and a large area is overrun with them. I put out the word that they were free for the taking and I received pushback that they were invasive and that it was unlawful and unethical to spread them around. — Manny, in Rochester

Rugosa roses are not considered an invasive plant, though they do spread around easily. Cut them back every year and dig out the suckers as they sprout, but don't worry about them taking over the neighborhood!

a grey line

All Things Gardening is powered by you, the listener! Send your gardening questions and conundrums and Charlie may answer them in upcoming episodes. You can also leave a voicemail with your gardening question by calling VPR at (802) 655-9451.

Hear All Things Gardening during Weekend Edition Sunday with VPR host Mary Engisch, Sunday mornings at 9:35.

Mary Williams Engisch is a local host on All Things Considered.
Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, radio and TV show host, consultant, and speaker. Charlie is the host of All Things Gardening on Sunday mornings at 9:35 during Weekend Edition on Vermont Public. Charlie is a guest on Vermont Public's Vermont Edition during the growing season. He also offers garden tips on local television and is a frequent guest on national programs.
Latest Stories