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Growing Good Food at Home

The Right Sunlight for Your Asparagus Plants

Asparagus (with ferns ) in full sunlight

Asparagus (with ferns ) in full sunlight

Asparagus plants thrive and fully fruit when they get lots of sunshine, at least six hours—and preferably eight—of full daily sun exposure. You’ll need to plant according to the sun’s daily patterns if you’ve planted in open land or in raised beds. With containers or pots, you’ll need to move your plants around to optimize the sun exposure for your plants.

Asparagus plants need a lot of sun because they transform sunlight into the energy they need to vibrantly grow, bloom, and bear delicious spears. Sunlight also helps minimize fungal issues with your plants. Asparagus can tolerate partial shade and grow successfully, but they will not produce as much yield.

One variety of asparagus that doesn’t thrive on light is white asparagus. White asparagus is simply green asparagus (or some varieties of purple asparagus, such as Pacific Purple) that has been deprived of light. Gardeners cover the shoots the moment they appear, either by adding soil on top as the shoots grow or by covering with a black tarp that lets in water but not light. Many people—especially Europeans—prefer the nutty flavor that develops in white asparagus.

How do you ensure that your asparagus get the right amount of sunlight? Have you tried growing white asparagus? Please tell us how you handle sunlight for your asparagus.

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