If you’re thinking of starting an asparagus farm, here in this post, we’ve provided detailed info on growing asparagus commercially or at home.
Asparagus is an expensive vegetable. Hence, it provides a great financial benefit to farmers. But, asparagus growing requires careful planning. You should make a detailed plan before starting your farm.
Asparagus Officinalis (Latin) is an herbaceous and perennial plant belonging to the lily family. Its common names include spear bean, garden pea, green asparagus, green vegetable, spring onion, and green onion. A variety of cultivated forms exist, including ornamental plants grown for their colorful foliage and flowers.
Asparagus has both male and female plants, each producing berries. Generally, cooler climates are best for asparagus production. Worldwide, major asparagus growers include China, Peru, Mexico, and Germany. In India, Himachal Pradesh produces the highest volume of asparagus.
Economic Importance Of Asparagus Farming
Asparaguses are a very precious veggie. They’re an early-season crop. And you can mix them with other veggies to maximize your profits. If you’re growing asparagus in less than one acre of land, then focus on the retail market. But if you’ve got bigger quantities, you can sell to wholesalers too.
Asparagus also contains nutrients. Therefore, several manufacturers purchase asparagus. Generally speaking, manufacturers are not interested in buying small acreages. Furthermore, this crop has also good export potential.
Health Benefits Of Asparagus
- Folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and potassium are some of the nutrients found in asparagus.
- Asparagus is an excellent antioxidant food.
- Asparagus has been used for centuries to help relieve symptoms of urinary tract infections. It works by increasing urine production and helping to flush out toxins from the kidneys.
- Eating asparagus might help prevent some types of cancer, including bladder, cervical, esophageal, gastric, liver, oral cavity, pancreatic, prostate, rectum, stomach, thyroid, uterine, and vaginal cancers.
- Fiber and water help to keep your digestive system working properly.
- Asparagus ranks among the highest 20 foods for its nutrient density; this measure shows us which foods contain the most nutrients per calorie.
Things To Consider in Asparagus Farming
You need to consider the climate conditions of your location when growing asparagus. It thrives best at cooler temperatures.
You should first determine how much land you have available for farming. Then, you should create a detailed plan for your farm.
You need to ensure there is adequate drainage. Go take a look at it.
Make sure you know what hand tools you need for growing asparagus. Arranging them properly will help you grow better asparagus.
Asparagus requires time to grow. It takes at least two years for the first crop.
Best Varieties for Asparagus farming
Different sorts of asparagus can be found worldwide. And certainly, the variety greatly differs according to the location. Even most of the enhanced sort are also immune to two common asparaguses:
Fusarium infection and asparagus rusting. Asparagus crown is generally available only once per year in early spring. Therefore, prepare ahead. Here we provide a list of sorts available in India.
- A selection from the French green type.
- Argenteuil Late – Dutch type.
- A connoisseur’s colossus – an American light green variety.
- Martha Washington – a type of marijuana with rounded buds.
- Palmetto – Argentevil type greenish-blue in color.
- Sutton’s Giant Fresh – Argenteuil type with stout buds.
Agroclimatic Condition for Asparagus Farming
Asparagus likes light and medium loamy soils, well-supplied with organic materials. Soil should be rich in humus, well-drained, and fertile. Asparagus needs good drainage; if water stands around roots for too long, they rot. In addition, the soil must be kept moist, not wet. To avoid disease problems, do not fertilize your plants with nitrogen.
Asparagus needs an optimal range of acidity (p H) from 6.0 to 6.7. You can even grow them on soil, which contains too much sodium for most other plants.
Here are the 8 Steps to Start Asparagus Farming
1. Procure The Crowns or Seeds
You can grow asparagus in two ways. Either you can grow it from seed or from crowns directly. You can procure the crowns from the local growers or neuro payers. Even asparagus seeds and crowns are available fo online buying too.
Generally, you have got to procure 8-10kg of seeds for a hectarage of land. You can plant the seeds in the early Spring or during Winter. And it takes 3-4weeeks to germinate and 10-12weeeksto produce a ‘Crown’. The rows should be sown at about 1.5to2metresand45 to 60cmdistanceis maintained within rows.
2. Soil Preparation
Asparagus likes acidic soils, so add lime (calcium carbonate) to your garden if your site doesn’t naturally contain enough acidity.
You can also apply sulfur to help create an alkaline environment. Apply 1/2 cup of gypsum per 100 square feet every three months during spring and summer. Once you start seeing shoots emerging, thin them out to about one inch apart.
Read: How to start a soil testing service business
3. Sowing & Transplanting
Plant the seeds in groups of three, placing them in a circle around the middle of each mound. Watering deeply after planting ensures good germination.
If the soil test results show that you’re deficient in any nutrient, you’ll need to create an appropriate fertilization plan. And it heavily relies on the PH level and the availability of nutrients.
During the springtime, the crops need watering every week. From late June through September, keep the beds well-watered, but don’t let them get too wet.
6. Plant Protection
You need to be aware of weed management. You can use herbicides to manage weeds. There are several pre-and postemergence herbicide options for asparagus, dependent upon the type of weed issue and the season.
You should also keep an eye out for any signs of insects attacking your plants. If you see any, be sure to take immediate action by removing them.
7. Harvesting & Yield
If you want to harvest bananas, you need to plant banana plants at least three years before they’re ready for harvest. However, if the plantations are vigorous, you can begin cutting them off when they’re two years old. Furthermore, you must finish the first harvests within two to three weeks.
You can expect a harvest from an average of 3500 to 4500 kilograms per hectare each year
Pack asparagus vertically with damp absorbent pads underneath the stems. Asparagus stalks will naturally curve towards the top, so if they’re arranged horizontally, they’ll be noticeable.
Asparagi can be stored at room temperature for up to three months. It turns limp and dull green after ten days at 32 degrees Fahrenheit (F).
Read: Most Profitable Cash Crops to Grow
Asparagus is an extremely lucrative vegetable. Farming asparagus is therefore one of the most profitable vegetables growing opportunities even for small farmers.
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