Asparagus is a delicious vegetable that you can harvest in early summer. You can use it as a side dish or an ingredient to add a delicate taste to your meals (it tastes deliciously grilled or in risottos!). However, the plant can be fussy and requires space and commitment.
With asparagus, you also have to be patient: you won’t be able to harvest its spears before the first couple of years. However, the result will be worth the wait (and your efforts). Luckily, if you provide them with what they need to survive, these plants are easy to maintain and will come back to your garden for as long as 20 years. That’s quite the payoff!
These plants need direct sunlight and well-draining soil to thrive. You must add plenty of organic matter to increase water retention and improve the nutrient content around your asparagus.
But can you grow asparagus in Florida? The answer depends on where you live. Indeed, you won’t be able to harvest this delicious vegetable in south and central Florida. However, if you live in North Florida, you might have better luck. But that doesn’t mean you will be successful. To get prosperous and healthy harvests, you will have to take good care of your plants. Also, you must pay attention to when you plant them to make sure they can grow properly.
To learn ìn more about growing asparagus in Florida, keep reading. Here, we put together our favorite tips to have a go at producing these perennials from the comfort of your garden. Mind you: it won’t be easy. However, that doesn’t make it impossible!
Can You Grow Asparagus in Florida?
As mentioned, growing asparagus in Florida can be challenging. Indeed, this plant needs a dormancy period to grow delicious stalks. For that to happen, temperatures should be low enough. For this reason, in Northern Florida, gardeners will most probably have an easier time than those located in the central and southern areas.
Plant your asparagus in the early spring for best results. Because these plants can grow about two feet wide and four feet tall, you must ensure you give them enough space to thrive. If you have other plants around, make sure your asparagus won’t shade them or plant them next to companion plants.
What Varieties can Thrive in Florida
As with many vegetables, there are different varieties of asparagus you can choose to grow in your garden. Choose those more tolerant to heat that mature faster to grow in Florida’s climate. Consider planting the Apollo, Altas, or UC-157 species to improve your chances of getting healthy harvests. The UC-157 tolerates high temperatures and is resistant to most diseases that typically attack these plants.
Asparagus has a long growth cycle, so you’ll have to be patient with it.
As we mentioned earlier, asparagus needs rich and well-draining soil to thrive. Add mulch around your plants for better results. Locate them somewhere they will receive at least six hours of sunlight. Also, don’t forget to water your plants regularly, especially during the hottest months of the year. But don’t overdo it: soil too wet might cause roots to rot. Also, cut back on the frequency when temperatures start to decrease: during that period, asparagus enters dormancy and doesn’t need much water.
The good news is that if you can provide your plants with rich soil, you won’t have to fertilize them. Indeed, overfertilization might harm your asparagus and halt its growth.
Under ideal conditions, you can expect to harvest asparagus for at least a decade (if not more). While it might cause you some trouble at the beginning, you shouldn’t give up on this plant: all your efforts will be worth it in the end.
Can You Grow Asparagus in Florida: The Bottom Line
So, you can give growing asparagus in Florida a try. If you live in the Northern regions, you’ll probably be able to recreate optimal conditions for them to thrive. Otherwise, you might have a hard time finding the right spot for them and preventing them from drying. Without a dormancy period (which only happens when temperatures drop), your plants won’t develop stalks. However, wait for a couple of years before deciding whether or not you have been successful. If you fail, don’t worry: at least you have tried!
Related: Growing asparagus from cuttings.