I like to place my asparagus roots in jars of water to trick the spears into sprouting right before I plant them. Then, I do the following:
- Dig a trench approximately 12 inches deep. Add 6 inches of aged manure or compost and an inch or so of soil dug up from the trench. Mix everything together.
- Create small mounds at the bottom of the trench about 1 foot apart, and about 4 inches below the soil surface.
- Set 1 asparagus crown on top of a mound and drape its roots down around the mound.
- Fill the trench with soil to cover the asparagus crowns up to 2 inches. Once the spears begin to emerge, fill the trench in with a little more soil to give the stalks exra support.
- Mulch the spears after they puncture the soil and let the plants grow through the summer and fall. Do not cut the shoots or ferns. In the spring of the second year, clear out the old growth, mulch and fertilize, but leave the plants to grow again through the summer and fall. By the third year, cut away the old growth. Leave the spears that are spindly, but harvest the rest as they emerge (by cutting below the soil surface) for the first 6(ish) weeks of spring.