Asparagus might not be common, but growing it in Texas is possible. If you are interested in trying your hand in the gardening department or want to enjoy some homegrown asparagus this summer, take a look at these tips on how to grow asparagus in Texas.
Start by planting seeds planted between March and April, when the soil is warm enough. Keep them moist until they germinate and tap into the nutrients stored below the ground.
Keep the newly sprouted plants in full sun exposure for about two weeks before transferring them outside.
The best time to harvest asparagus is from mid-summer to mid-fall, between August and October. The soil should be tilled in the fall and not be too wet. If it is not kept moist, the shoots will become woody.
How To Grow Asparagus In Texas
The time to plant asparagus for maximum yields is between April and June in zones 7 and 8, which are the most common zones for growing it. If your garden soil has been warmed by spring, you can plant it earlier.
If you live in USDA zones 9-10 and have enough warm days in the winter, you can also plant them for a very early harvest.
If you plan to plant asparagus from seed, start them inside around six weeks before the last frost (or when the seedlings are 2-3 inches high). You need a soil temperature of at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit under a grow light (located 6 to 8 inches away) during this period.
You can also transplant the seedlings in pots or grow asparagus from cuttings when the soil is no longer frozen. Keep your asparagus bed at a warm temperature of around 60 degrees for at least six weeks after planting.
Temperature and light
For asparagus plants to grow well during the summer heat, they require moderate light and plenty of water with temperatures below 80 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
That means that you should keep your asparagus plant somewhere cool with a lot of light during the day, like in an east-facing window or under a grow light fixture where they receive plenty of natural sunlight.
It is critical to keep the temperature down at night because Asparagus plants can only survive in temperatures below 80 F. but prefer temperatures between 50 and 60 F. (11-15 C.).
If the temperature is above this, your asparagus plant will not grow. However, if it gets too cold, they will start to grow slower and look weak and unhealthy. Be sure that your plant will have enough water to maintain its health during the heat of summer!
If you hope to grow a healthy asparagus crop, getting the soil requirements right is crucial. Your soil needs to be nutrient-rich, moist, and well-drained. The pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5, perfect for asparagus.
You will need a generous dose of compost or well-rotted manure every year and plenty of grit. A little potash is also suitable for some crops and will help develop fine roots that can take up water quickly in the spring when there is often not enough rain.
One of the most commonly used fertilizer applications is a granular, liquid, or powdered fertilizer mixed with compost and applied directly to the soil surface. That provides nutrients to your garden and helps improve soil aeration and water retention.
However, it is more common that home gardeners use chemical fertilizers such as liquid or granular Epsom salts, sulfur, and urea (an animal by-product) for their asparagus beds.
These chemicals are applied before the plants go into the ground. These chemical fertilizers give the plants a quick boost of nutrients, but they do not provide any long-term consistency in your asparagus patch.
Many home gardeners and commercial growers report better asparagus growth rates when using organic fertilizers such as compost, manure, or fertilizer mixes.
Compost is the cheapest to purchase and is still a very effective organic fertilizer. A five-gallon bag of compost can be used once and replaced with something new every year because it breaks down in the soil over time.
Using only compost is more economical than synthetic chemicals because it can control pests increase soil aeration, water retention, and overall yield.
Common Diseases and How to Prevent Them
It is caused by bacteria called Pseudomonas syringae and manifests as rust-colored spots on leaves and wilted leaves near the crowns of the Asparagus plants. You should avoid overhead watering and remove any debris or fallen leaves.
A fungus called Fusarium causes this disease. Symptoms include wilting, yellowing, and die-back of the Asparagus plant. Good drainage can help you to avoid root rot. You should keep the soil pH at 6.0 – 7.0 for optimum growth.
You should also avoid fertilizers with high nitrogen content since they increase disease susceptibility.
Clean up from last year’s Asparagus crop should be done in the fall to help prevent new infections from occurring in the spring. Dig or rake soil away from roots and clean up and remove debris around the stem.
A fungus called Puccinia allii causes this disease. Infected plants grow slowly and produce fewer spears with discolored stripes or rings on the stalk where spores infect it.
Leaves may be blotchy and spotted, while the entire plant could wither and die in some cases. Gardeners must rotate their crops every year to help reduce the spread of diseases among plants.
Asparagus crown rot
It causes the crown and roots die-back on a vigorous crop, and leaves may be spotted. You can use several methods to prevent asparagus crown rot, including proper soil pH and good drainage when planting new seedlings.
When planting newly harvested seedlings, remove any decaying foliage from the crowns, roots, and soil, where you have planted the new seeds by hand or by using a garden rake or spade.
You should then cover the seeds with at least 2 inches of good soil so they still have access to good light while they develop.
How To Grow Asparagus In Texas: Conclusion
Asparagus is a plant that is grown for its edible buds and stem. It is also quite popular because it is relatively easy to grow, with one care requirement: warmth.
Asparagus needs to be planted in the ground during the spring or fall and left warm enough to compete with its natural environment, around 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
You should plant it in fertile soil that drains well and has plenty of nutrients, like good garden compost. The best time to plant asparagus depends on your zone of climate; this varies between different types of asparagus.