Asparagus initially takes a bit of work and patience, but it's well worth it. One of nature's perfect foods, Asparagus could be the foodie icon of spring. Just wait until you've tasted your own freshly harvested spears: unadulterated Asparagus ambrosia, whether you prefer them thin and snapped, or thick and shaved with a vegetable peeler; and raw, steamed, sautéed, roasted or grilled. No other spear will ever come close: once cut, they start to lose their innate sweet succulence. Fresh Asparagus is a guilty pleasure plain, anointed with Hollandaise Sauce, topped with butter and chopped medium-boiled eggs, or incorporated into novel pasta dishes, stir-fries and soups. Fresh Asparagus deserves your finest table setting. It's a celebration of the garden's rebirth.
Seed should be sown in a temporary nursery bed, then transplanted to a permanent patch after one season. Once in its permanent spot, it's easy to grow in horticultural zones 4 to 8. It can take up to 4 years to produce spears for harvest without damaging the rootstock for future crops, but you can sneak a few spears for special dinners after 3 years. How could you resist? Deer-resistant.
Average seed life: 3 years.