Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

Essential Tools and Equipment for Growing and Enjoying Asparagus

A vegetable peeler removes the woody stems at the base of asparagus

A vegetable peeler removes the woody stems at the base of asparagus

Working your asparagus garden means having the right tools to do the job! And you need the right tools in the kitchen, too, for being able to prepare asparagus for your eating enjoyment!

Below is a list of items to consider. If you don’t already have some of these items, please check our Resources section at the end of this collection for recommended suppliers for acquiring the right tools and equipment.

Asparagus-specific tools and equipment:

Asparagus knife: This long-handled tool allows you to cut asparagus stalks off at the base of the plant cleanly, without awkward bending. The sharp, forked blade also makes quick work of weeds.

Asparagus steamer: To gently cook asparagus without bending or cutting the spears, gourmet cooks use a tall pot with a removable steamer basket. The shape of the pot allows you to cook the spears upright and pull them out all at once when they are tender-crisp.

Vegetable peeler: To easily remove the tough, woody stems at the base of some asparagus spears, a sturdy, comfortable vegetable peeler is essential.

For the High-Tech Asparagus Gardener

Here are some items that are more than just “equipment”—they’re not needed for you to be an awesome asparagus gardener, but they can help simplify the growing process and take your garden to a whole new level!

Greenhouse

Asparagus can be grown in a greenhouse, especially if you’re starting your plants from seed. With a greenhouse, you’ll have plenty of semi-indoor space and a more controlled environment for getting a bigger and more diverse garden launched. Because asparagus are perennials that can produce up to 20 to 30 years, you will probably want to transplant the crowns to outdoor beds or grow them in containers.

A greenhouse would also allow you to think about making extra income from your garden. You can sell excess asparagus crowns from your home or from a table at the local farmer’s market, or even just gift them to gardening friends and family.

Greenhouse styles include pre-fabricated or handmade—or you can design one that includes both. A greenhouse is a big investment, but can provide you with more asparagus-gardening options and allow you to expand your overall garden and extend the asparagus season.

Hydroponic Irrigation System

Hydroponic gardening has been growing in popularity in recent years—who knew that you can grow asparagus without soil? And while hydroponic gardening is a science in a lot of ways, as with all things gardening, there’s also an art to it.

Most hydroponic gardeners swear that asparagus grown hydroponically taste just as good as soil-grown vegetables. So, this can be a great solution for anyone who doesn’t have easy access to land and soil. Plus, because you can control the air temperature indoors, you can extend the asparagus growing season.

General gardening tools and equipment:

Containers and Pots

If you want to start plants indoors before the outdoor growing season commences, you can try several environmentally friendly and free ways to begin with materials you probably already have:

  • Newspaper or brown-paper pots
  • Egg cartons
  • Toilet-paper rolls (yes, these work great!)
  • Random containers, kitchen pans, or baking sheets (you might need holes drilled into the bottom for drainage)—if you have aging or rusting kitchen pans that you’re looking to replace, they make for great “starter pots” for getting your garden launched inside
  • Starter trays and peat pots

Garden Gloves

Using a pair of garden gloves—and wearing long sleeves—when you’re tending to your plants is a good way to avoid skin irritation and to protect your fingers, hands, and arms. Get a comfortable pair of gloves that fit well, so you still have full dexterity in your garden.

Garden Trowel

A useful garden tool, the garden trowel is handy when filling your containers and when mixing compost and worm castings. Avoid cheap versions that can have flimsy handles that are prone to break. Even inferior metal trowels can bend in hard clay or rocky soil. Invest in a higher quality trowel, and you’ll have it for years!

Irrigation Equipment

Many plants thrive when watered slowly and deeply. While tedious and even sometimes difficult to do with a watering can, you might want to consider an irrigation method for keeping your plants slowly and deeply watered.

A standard sprinkler system is not the best solution—while easy to set up, the wide-ranging water coverage of a sprinkler can lead to wet plant leaves that promote diseases and can encourage weeds.

A drip-watering irrigation system that operates on a timer is one of the best irrigation solutions for watering plants. This type of system better controls how much water you use, minimizes water lost to evaporation, and more exactly directs water to where you want to soak your soil. While more expensive than a simple watering can, an investment in an irrigation system can pay off—specially to ensure proper watering when you’re at work or on vacation!

Pruners or Snippers

Wear your garden gloves while pruning, and be sure to get a set of pruners or snippers that are comfortable in your hand when cutting. Don’t skimp on this—you need something that cuts well and will endure through many seasons.

Rain Barrel

Some areas of the country experience drought conditions in the spring and summer, and some municipalities may impose watering bans; that means hand watering only. If you collect rainwater, you can put it to good use when it comes time to tend your plants. Some communities offer rain barrels at a special discount to encourage water conservation.

Spade

Every gardener—no matter what plants you’re tending—needs a spade, or even several of different sizes. Use your spade to move around compost, dig soil for your initial plant hole, and to keep your garden soil tidy.

Spray Pump or Bottle

To control the emergence or spread of plant diseases and pests, get a dedicated spray bottle for your potion to do the job. This is one thing you can go basic on—no need for anything fancy, as a simple plastic spray bottle is fine.

Watering Can

Watering cans allow you to better control exactly where the water is directed in your garden. Plant leaves and fruit don’t need water, the roots in the soil do. Get yourself a good-sized watering can, and have some fun finding a watering can with an interesting design that fits your personality. Also, you want one that has a comfortable grip.

Wheelbarrow

A wheelbarrow makes it easy for you to move soil and mulch from plant to plant; and it works as an excellent mixing bowl when you’re combining the perfect soil blend. If you feel like a wheelbarrow is just a little over the top for your gardening needs, a 5-gallon bucket may suffice. Just make sure you have a good trowel to mix with.

Do you have any essential gardening tools you use that aren’t listed here? Please tell us which items you absolutely need for your gardening.

Do you have any essential gardening tools you use that aren’t listed here? Please tell us which items you absolutely need for your asparagus gardening.

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