D.E. Brock
Over the years, there has been a trend from low population plantings of asparagus, to higher numbers of plants per acre. This has been especially true in the traditional asparagus growing areas of northern California, where asparagus beds used to be six feet wide or wider, and only one line of plants (crowns) at a spacing or distance down the bed as much as three feet apart. The resulting population would be only 3000 plants or less per acre.
That trend is beginning to change to higher density plantings. In many areas, it is now more typical to see one line of plants at a spacing of 6-12 inches on a 42-inch bed. The obvious advantage is more production in the earlier years. The disadvantage is a decline of size in later years, and perhaps inadequate air circulation during the fern growing stage.
But changing economics dictate that a constant review of cultural techniques must take place on a regular basis. Time is money. One cannot afford to wait years before a sparsely planted field begins to “fill in”.
Based on a series of commercial trials/plantings, our analysis indicates the optimum plant population is somewhere between 25,000 to about 56,000 plants per acre.
Brock, D.E. (2012). HIGH DENSITY PLANTING OF ASPARAGUS . Acta Hortic. 950, 33-35
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.950.2
plants, crown, plant population, plants per acre, yield per acre, investment return

Acta Horticulturae