Can you grow asparagus in hydroponics? Contrary to popular belief, it's actually not as difficult as you may suspect.
If you are thinking about learning how to grow hydroponic asparagus, ignore the naysayers who say that it can’t be done.
A warm hydroponic garden indoors is the ideal environment for small-scale production.
In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know for an enjoyable process - and productive yields.
Can You Grow Asparagus In Hydroponics?
You not only can grow asparagus in hydroponics, but it’s one of the best ways to improve your yields and enjoy the hobby of indoor gardening.
In fact, a warm indoor hydroponics system is the perfect environment for small-scale asparagus production, since it will allow you to grow your plants easily in just about any growing medium.
Because asparagus is perennial, you can harvest it continuously when growing it indoors - provided that you give it the care it needs during both periods of active growth and during dormancy.
Why Grow Hydroponic Asparagus?
There are so many benefits to hydroponic growing - many of which are carried over to asparagus, too.
For one, you’ll be able to control all aspects of the environment when you grow indoors. You can keep your asparagus warm throughout the year so that it can grow and produce spears for you much longer than what you might find with other growing styles.
Plus, you will not have to worry about nearly as many pests or diseases as you would if you chose to grow your asparagus outdoors.
There’s a slight misconception out there that hydroponic asparagus is not as nutritious as soil-grown asparagus.
That is simply not the case. Your hydroponically grown asparagus will be just as nutritious as you want it to be - you’ll have control over the nutrients since you’ll be the one supplying the plant with what it needs to grow.
How To Start Your Hydroponic Asparagus Production
Ready to get started growing asparagus hydroponically? This starts with choosing the right system for your production.
Many people stress over this part, as there are so many options out there it can get a bit overwhelming. But, you don’t need to overthink this! We’ll help you choose one now.
What Type Of Hydroponics System Is Best For Asparagus?
You can grow asparagus in a variety of hydroponics systems. However, DWC, or deep water culture, tends to be one of the best options.
DWC - Deep Water Culture
Ideal for new growers, DWC is often considered the easiest system to use because it is low maintenance and provides plants with a fast growing time.
There are very few moving parts and while it can be challenging to get the nutrient levels right (it’s easy to overfeed or underfeed), once you get set-up and acclimated to the system’s demands, it’s more or less smooth sailing.
There are all kinds of DWC systems you can choose from. This SuperCloset SuperPonics System is ideal for growers who want a fast-growing, plug-and-play style system. It can hold up to eight plants at once and is available in several variations.
You might choose a bucket system instead - the Grow1 DWC Hydroponic System consists of a single bucket that can be used with all kinds of growing mediums, from perlite to rockwool, and requires minimal effort to get going.
And finally, the Current Culture UC Solo Pro 35 Gallon system is another great choice, available in two separate sizes so that you can grow large plants with minimal maintenance.
This system allows for custom plant spacing and is so reliable that you can even set up timers and take a vacation, knowing your plants will be fine!
Not sure that any of these options will fit the bill? Don’t worry - Hydrobuilder has an extensive collection of other DWC hydroponics systems and supplies you can choose from here.
Hydroponic Asparagus Propagation - Seeds vs Clones
Crowns are usually sold specifically as planting stock and consist of a developed root system and a centralized crown.
The crowns offer hydroponic growers a quicker timeline to harvest, but they are often more likely to carry on soilborne diseases that can affect your hydroponic garden.
The good news is that it is also quite easy to grow asparagus from seeds. You’ll just need to provide ample amounts of light and plenty of warmth. This is made easy with our extensive collection of seed starting supplies.
It can take about 10 to 12 months to get your plants from seed to harvest, which is faster than if you are growing outdoors (you will have to wait until the second year of production to harvest sears from outdoor-grown plants).
Asparagus plants can produce for decades if properly taken care of. Seeds generally germinate in less than two weeks in temperatures between 71-79 degrees. Consider growing in clay pellets or coco fiber for the best results.
When choosing seeds for your hydroponically grown asparagus, feel free to use any of the same favorite varieties you might use for outdoor planting.
Some good options include Jersey Knight, Jersey Giant, and Jersey Supreme. All three of these are “all-male” varieties, meaning they’ll produce higher yields for you than other varieties of asparagus, such as Mary Washington.
Feeding Your Hydroponic Asparagus Nutrients
Use a well-balanced nutrient solution for your asparagus, ideally one that will support your plants throughout the active growing stage.
Keep EC levels in the range of 2.4 to 3.0 and your pH between 6 and 6.8. Feed your plants regularly and change out the nutrient solution once every few days to keep things running smoothly.
A nutrient flush every seven to ten days can help protect your plants from unnecessary stress. While nitrogen is important early on in the growth of your asparagus plants, extra potassium and phosphorus are essential later on.
Caring For Your Hydroponic Asparagus
Once your seeds have germinated, you should continue to keep your plants warm - temperatures of around 75 to 86 degrees are ideal, as this will speed up the rate of development of both the foliage and the crown.
As your plants grow taller, you can raise your grow lights to accommodate them. Similarly, you’ll need to trellis & stake your plants as they grow to prevent toppling over. Staking will help provide support so the heavy spears don’t snap the plants in half.
How To Harvest Your Hydroponically Grown Asparagus
You can harvest asparagus at any time, but your best bet is to wait until a full growing season has passed.
In the second season, cut spears for no longer than one month. Removing too many spears at once or for too long can weaken your plant at a time when it is more focused on root development and growth.
After the third or fourth year, you can harvest spears as long as you want - often, for as long as eight to ten weeks.
Let the thinner spears remain on the plants so they can continue to develop and grow into foliage.
Wait until spears are about five to eight inches long, then remove them by snapping them off.
Final Thoughts On Hydroponic Asparagus
Can you grow asparagus in hydroponics? Absolutely. You just need the right equipment and know-how.
Now that you have learned the ropes of hydroponic asparagus production, it’s time to pick up all the supplies you need to get started.
Shop Hydrobuilder’s extensive supply of hydroponic growing equipment and you’ll have everything you could possibly need for a bountiful crop of hydroponically grown asparagus - all without stepping foot outside!