Hello! I was wondering if I could plant asparagus plants now on the eastern...

Asked September 29, 2013, 8:49 PM EDT

Hello! I was wondering if I could plant asparagus plants now on the eastern shore of MD? I am moving and would love to transplant some from my established bed. Also, have some three year old roots being delivered. Thanks!

Kent County Maryland planting asparagus

1 Response

Asparagus are usually planted in early spring, about 4 weeks before our average last frost date. At this very moment, established plants are hard at work sending sugars to their roots so that they will be available to the plant next year. The problem with digging up crowns right now is that you will be disturbing that process and weaken the crowns.

However, having said that, since you are moving, you might as well give it a try. Whether it is worth the trouble of trying to dig up established plants and transplanting those, versus simply getting new crowns in February/March, that is up to you (it is going to be a tough job!).

How old are you currant asparagus? Say they are 10 years old and you are planning to be in your new home for the next 20 years. In that case, I would start with new plants. Asparagus plants will produce well for 15 - 20 years. If you start with older crowns, that will guarantee that sooner, rather than later, your plants will start to decline. However, if you start with young plants, you won't have to redo your asparagus bed.

If you are planning to live in your new home for just a few years, it might be worth the trouble of digging up your older plants.

However, do keep in mind that the crowns will take a set back from being transplanted, so I would be very careful not to harvest too much from them next spring. Maybe don't harvest at all and get them re-established first.

I would also cover your asparagus bed with quite a layer of mulch (straw) to protect the crowns from seriously freezing temperatures. The will be fine next winter, but they are going to need extra protection this winter.

Hope this help. Please let me know if you have any further questions.