There is nothing else to compare to freshly-picked asparagus as a harbinger of spring. Asparagus is a long-lived perennial, ready for harvest in the second or third year after planting. Sow indoors 12-14 weeks before last frost with a warm day (75 F) cool night (65 F) cycle about 3/4 inch deep. Transplant outdoors after frost in a 'W' shaped trench to keep the crown out of water in periods of heavy rain. Light root feeding while starting indoors is helpful, and remember to mulch and feed heavily with compost every fall, as asparagus is a heavy feeder.