Flickr: Liz West

When and How Long is Asparagus Season?

When my family moved into a new house when I was a teenager, we were shocked to discover asparagus randomly growing in a forgotten garden plot in the yard. Having never grown the spring vegetable, we knew nothing about asparagus season, when a first harvest is ready, or how the green asparagus stalks even came to be. It's a delicious veggie you should definitely consider growing, so let's look at how to be better prepared for asparagus season.

When is Asparagus Season?

Technically, you can buy fairly fresh asparagus year-round, but it likely came from somewhere else if you're buying it in the United States and it's not at least vaguely springtime.

Generally, asparagus plants are harvested from late February to June, depending on where it's being grown. In the south, it may be available in the late winter or early spring. In other, more northern states, the harvest season is from mid to late spring. Late April is an extremely popular time where you might see new asparagus popping up in farmer's markets after a successful growing season.

?What Do I Need to Know About Growing Asparagus?

If you're growing asparagus from seeds, it will take about three years to harvest asparagus spears. On the third year, you should be able to reap the benefits of your hard work, but who has time to wait three years? If you're looking to harvest an asparagus bed next year and haven't even gotten started, you're out of luck with that method.

You could also try planting year-old crowns from bare plant roots without leaves. If you're lucky, you may have some asparagus ready that first year after you've planted them.

Asparagus plants like sunny plots and good soil moisture, so keep that in mind when planning your garden.

What Kind of Asparagus Can I Grow or Buy?

There are a few different asparagus varieties. Green asparagus is what you'll usually see if you're picking up store asparagus. White asparagus is available in some places, but pretty rare in the United States. There's also violet or purple asparagus.

What Can I Make With It?

Asparagus is great simply cooked up with olive oil, but you could also make an appetizer of roasted asparagus with parmesan. Black pepper also pairs well with many asparagus recipes. During the summer, grilling is extremely popular, and asparagus is an excellent addition to any grilled meal, particularly as a side dish when paired with steak. The best vegetables always come from your own garden, so start planning now to get ahead of asparagus season for some fresh asparagus in a couple of years!

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