Puny Asparagus

Two autumns ago I built a raised bed, lined it with weed/root mat and filled with topsoil, well rotted manure and well rotted garden compost.

I planted asparagus crowns as per the instructions and waited in anticipation.

Last spring there were plentiful spears, however all were less than the diameter of a pencil.

None were picked.

I top dressed the plot with garden compost last autumn and again waited in anticipation.

Now the second crop is appearing but the spears are still really puny.

They have had a bonemeal feed each spring and that's about it.

I hadn't planned a picking this year, but am a little concerned that there a something seriously awry.

The base soil is chalky, hence the raised bed




David Coldrey


  • Asparagus crowns are a patience game. You don't want to be harvesting the first few years to allow them to develop themselves and their root systems. You want to let it grow at least 3 seasons before harvesting, preferably 4.

  • It might depend on which variety of sparrowgrass you've got there.  Were you expecting those rather large fat white-ish spears?  If so, you could well be disappointed, because I don't know of anyone who grows that sort other than commercially - and probably not even in this country.  If you take a look at the asparagus you can buy in a supermarket you can tell that what's most common is the variety which produces spears which are of the sort of size you've described.  There are people round here who do grow it commercially, and what they sell isn't the "white fat spear" sort.  Actually I don't think it matters much what it looks like as long as it tastes OK!

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 354

    I planted my asparagus 4 years agao in a big builders bag contained in a wooden building crate (just four plants.Last year the crop was non-existent, what there was appeared very late, and was uneatable. I think this was because of the very late, very cold and wet spring we'd had.

    This week, (we live in Bath)  the first spears have just appeared so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I picked our first crop when they were 6-8 " high and about finger size. I've got "Gimjlyn" (not sure if I've spelt that right"). My son told me that before cooking them, you very gently bend them and when they snap, you discard the bottom bit,because it's chewy.

    I did read this week that asparagus were shallow rooted so I did wonder about tipping anor load of manure on top every year and whether they were sinking in the crate?Also, I've watered mine twice in case they were getting dry so that might help. I think like Enchantica said, it's a waiting game.

    Hope yours improve, they are wonderful when only ten minutes old!


  • Thank you for your advice.

    Ever optimistic!

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