One of the most rewarding perennial vegetables to grow, asparagus produces tenders spears in the springtime for years. Asparagus plants can live for 20 years or more. The key to successfully growing asparagus crowns is to properly prepare the asparagus bed in the fall before spring planting. Asparagus plants perform 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. Plant asparagus crowns in a trench in the spring. Wait to harvest spears until after the first year. 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.