Asparagus is a perennial, meaning it will come up each year. However, in the case of asparagus, it takes a few years before you can harvest. To start from seed, plant in early spring, about 3 weeks before last frost date. Plant seeds in a trench 6-8 inches deep in rows about a foot apart. Cut back each fall. In their third or fourth year you can harvest the spears that develop.
Alternatively, purchase "crowns" (asparagus plant starts) which can be harvested the second year.
To harvest, cut the spears in the spring when they are 6-8 inches high and before the heads separate.
Gently wash under cold water, and trim cut ends. Put about an inch of water in a flat skillet and bring to a boil; add the asparagus in a single layer and position the pan on the burner so that stems are over heat and the heads are not, if possible. Boil until slightly tender, but still crisp (about 5 minutes).
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