If you enjoy asparagus, there’s a high chance you’d like to grow some in your yard. When planting asparagus, many gardeners purchase existing bare rootstock, but can you grow asparagus from seeds? If that’s the case, how can you produce asparagus from seed, and what other asparagus seed propagation knowledge would be useful?
Tips For Growing Asparagus From Seed
Asparagus (Asparagus Officinalis) is a tough perennial native to western Europe that grows in USDA zones 2 to 8. Because this perennial can live for 10 to 20 years, it’s important to pick a good spot for it in your garden. Asparagus grows best in fertile, well-draining soil with a pH of 7.0 to 7.2.
So, what’s the best way to start planting asparagus seeds? There is no secret to growing asparagus from seeds; all you need is patience. Starting asparagus seeds inside or in a greenhouse under good lighting from mid-February to May is ideal. For seed germination, soil temperatures should be around 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (21-29 C.).
Soak the seeds for a few hours before planting them in individual 2 inches (5 cm) pots 12 inches (1 cm) deep in hygienic soil. From the time you plant asparagus seeds, they should develop in two to eight weeks.
When seedlings are 10 to 12 weeks old and all threat of frost has gone in your location, they are fit to transplant. In rows, 3 to 6 inches (8-15 cm) apart, arrange the transplants 18 inches (46 cm). If you want thinner spears, place the plant 4 inches (10 cm) deep and arrange the transplants 8 to 10 inches (20-25 cm) apart.
Place them 12 to 14 inches (30-36 cm) apart and 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm) deep if you prefer thicker spears. Plant your new asparagus babies next to your tomatoes. Tomato nematodes are repelled by asparagus, while asparagus beetles are repelled by tomatoes. Indeed, it’s a mutual association.
Cover the crown with soil as the plant grows, and keep it wet with 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water every week. Apply 1 to 2 cups (250-473 mL) of full organic fertilizer per 10 foot (3 m) of a row in the spring and carefully dig it in. Enable the firm to set ferns and transfer its energy back into the plant by not harvesting them until its third year.
In the late fall, chop the ferns down to 2 inches (5 cm) tall. After the plant has reached its third year, you can start gathering the spears regularly. The season lasts between 8 to 12 weeks on average. Using a sharp knife or asparagus harvesting equipment, trim the asparagus spears 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5 cm) underneath the soil and at least 2 inches (5 cm) over the crown.
Can You Grow Asparagus from Seeds?
Asparagus is frequently produced from crowns of bare rootstock. This is because cultivating asparagus necessitates patience. Growing Asparagus from Crowns requires three seasons to mature before they can be harvested! Even so, this is a lot quicker than trying to grow asparagus from seeds.
Yes, asparagus seed propagation is doable and slightly less expensive than purchasing crowns. Asparagus seeds, often known as berries, turn a beautiful red color in the autumn. Once the tops have fallen over, collect them and hang them upside-down in a warm, dry spot to mature for about a week.
Keep a dish beneath the seeds once they’ve totally dried, or carefully knot a brown paper bag over the tips when hanging. After that, the seeds can be used to plant asparagus. You can also get them from trusted vendors.
How To Harvest Asparagus
During the first two years that the plants are in the fixed bed, don’t harvest any asparagus spears since they need to focus their energy on developing deep roots. Pick the spears throughout four weeks during the third season, and by the fourth year, expand the harvest to eight weeks.
Harvest Asparagus spears every third or fourth day in early spring; when the weather warms, you may need to select your asparagus twice a day to keep up with the output. To harvest, trim asparagus spears with a sharp knife or snap them off with your fingers at, or just below, the soil surface.