asparagus crown storage
How long can asparagus crowns be stored before they must be planted? Can they be stored for an entire year? Must any special requirements be met to store them or can they just be put in the refrigerator?
We would not recommend trying to store them for a year. They will probably dry up or rot in that length of time.
If planting is delayed, store crowns at 40° F and 85%-90% humidity. Do not let free water accumulate on them, but it is important not to let them dry out. If refrigeration is not available, store the crowns in a cool place out of the sun. Dip crowns in a recommended fungicide solution before planting.
If you cannot prepare the bed where you intend to grow them, plant them temporarily just to get them in the ground. You can plant them closer together than normal and transplant them into their permanent bed next spring.
No matter where you put them, they will sprout, so you might as well plant them temporarily while you prepare the permanent bed. Site your asparagus bed in a sunny area and amend the soil with aged-compost or other organic matter. The trenches for the roots need only to be 6"-8" deep and about 12" wide. Once you've dug the trenches, set the plants on small mounds of soil or compost so the roots can drape down naturally. Then top with about 2" of soil. In two weeks, add another 2" of soil. Continue adding soil every two weeks until the soil is slightly mounded above the surface of the surrounding soil, to allow for settling. If you need to move the crowns, do so in the late winter, or very early spring.
Here is our website profile on asparagus which may give you a few ideas on how to do this for a temporary bed: http://extension.umd.edu/growit/vegetable-profiles-asparagus