One of the most popular perennial vegetables, asparagus produces tenders spears in the springtime for years. Because it can live for 20 years or more, carefully choose where you want to plant your asparagus and prepare the asparagus beds in the fall. The plants grow best in full sun (six or more hours of direct sunlight daily) and in well-drained, sandy soil. Mixing compost into your soil can improve your soil's drainage. In the springtime, dig a trench for your asparagus crowns. Do not harvest spears during the first year after planting. This allows the plants to develop a strong root system. A light harvest can be taken the second year—and then you can enjoy asparagus spears for years.