Asparagus not producing

Asked September 2, 2018, 4:49 AM EDT

I had to plant asparagus on the west side of my attached house so it's not from the start the best place. I built up the soil with compost and sand so it would drain at the end of a concrete patio. I didn't cut the asparagus for the first three years. Last year it grow one big stalk from each crown in June and the stalks were about 5 or 6 feet tall. This year there were spaghetti sized stalks on only half the crowns until August when two sent up the large stalks, again, one per plant. I left them since I didn't want the plants to starve. What can I do to get my plants producing spears in the spring and early summer when they are supposed to be producing. The two that didn't produce really big stalks produced bushy things. I could put two plants on a 9" x 3' piece of ground between a sidewalk and wall if they would grow in such conditions. I tried that with smaller plants the first year and they died.

Washington County Maryland

1 Response

Sounds like a site issue. Asaparagus needs deep, well-drained soil high in organic matter. There may be an insufficient volume of soil for the plants to grow in- hence the disappointing growth. Also, asparagus requires a full sun location.

In the future do not add sand to soils with moderate to high levels of clay. Adding compost is the best way to improve soil structure and fertility. You will probably get better results planting asparagus crowns in a raised bed (18 in. deep) and filled with a 50:50 topsoil/compost mix. jt