Many wonder how asparagus is out so early in the spring and the simple answer is that it is a perennial plant that when well cared for grows for up to 20 years.
Each May, the tender stalks emerge from the ground and each spear is cut by hand. In fact, asparagus spears can grow up to six inches in 12 hours in good weather. Sometimes asparagus fields need to be cut twice on a single day to keep up with their growth!
Spears grow from crowns. An asparagus crown has the ability to shoot up 50 spears each season and they are harvested over approximately two months. After that time, growers stop harvesting, to allow the spears to continue to grow into tall ferns. This fern then serves to recharge the crown for the next season’s crop. When a field is initially planted, it is not harvested for several years to allow the crown to mature.
If you’re interested in learning more about Ontario asparagus, click to check out this interesting video from an Ontario asparagus grower!