When to Plant Asparagus

Asparagus seedlings

Asparagus can be started from seeds or crowns. Plants grown from seed commonly produce a larger number of slightly bigger and more tender spears.

Set out seedlings 12-inch seedlings 4 weeks after the last frost. Sow seeds indoors 12 to 14 weeks before planting out. Soak seeds overnight in tepid water to improve germination.

Plant crowns 2 to 4 weeks after the date of the average last frost. Plant the largest one-year-old crowns you can find.

Set seedlings and crowns in trenches 6 to 10 inches deep. Cover crowns with 2 inches of soil; mound soil around the base of seedlings. As shoots grow, add soil until the trench is filled to ground level.

Asparagus is a long-lived plant; it can produce spears for 15 to 25 years. Plant asparagus in a bed you can dedicate to their growth for several years.

Asparagus seedlings in greenhouse
Asparagus seedlings being grown from seed in a polytunnel

Asparagus seedling transplant dates*

* Sow seeds indoors 12-14 weeks before planting out

(These dates are for the Northern Hemisphere)

Average date of the last frostPlanting dates
Jan. 20 
Feb. 8 
Feb. 18 
Feb. 28 
Mar. 10Jan. 1-Mar. 1
Mar. 20Feb. 1-Mar. 10
Mar. 30Feb. 15-Mar. 20
Apr. 10Mar. 10-Apr. 10
Apr. 20Mar. 15-Apr. 15
Apr. 30Mar. 20-Apr. 20
May 10Mar. 30-Apr. 30
May 20Apr. 20-May 15
May 30May 1-June 1
June 10May 15-June 1
Asparagus sprout grown from seeds
Asparagus sprout grown from seeds

Asparagus planting details

  • Sowing depth: ½ inch (1.2 cm)
  • Space between plants after thinning: 12-18 inches (30-45cm)
  • Days to sprout: 7-14
  • Days to harvest: 3 years
  • Storage period: 3-4 weeks
  • Seeds per 100 row feet: 1 ounce (14 grams)
  • Yield per 100 row feet: 30 pounds
  • Suggested varieties: Viking, Waltham, Washington

Related articles of interest:

How to Grow Asparagus

Asparagus Plant Starting Tips

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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