Q: I’m interested in growing asparagus but have no experience. What do I need to do to grow it? I understand that Mary Washington is the preferred variety.
A: Asparagus is easy to grow. It is a perennial plant, so you don’t have to plant seed each year. Asparagus plants are either male or female. Female plants produce more but smaller spears than the male plants. Old-time varieties such as ‘Mary Washington’ or ‘Martha Washington’ are not nearly as productive as newer varieties like ‘Jersey Giant’, ‘Jersey Knight’, or ‘Jersey Prince’. They produce three times as much as older cultivars. Thoroughly till an area three feet square for every crown you plant. Start with a half-dozen crowns. Plant more if your family enjoys the vegetable. I have more details at http://www.walterreeves.com/food-gardening/asparagus/.