Soil pH is crucial for planting asparagus seeds. Traditionalists often plant them in trenches 18 inches deep. However, germination rates and soil pH will vary between varieties. Regardless of how you plant your seeds, you need to follow some basic rules of thumb. Read on for helpful information on how to plant asparagus. And, be sure to use a soil test kit when planting your seeds! Once the seeds germinate, it’s time to plant them in their permanent spot!
Mary Washington Asparagus seeds
When you buy Mary Washington asparagus seeds, you are getting a long-term crop. When left to grow wild, this type of asparagus can grow up to seven feet tall! Those who have tried growing it from seed can attest to the long-term benefits of this plant. To grow this asparagus, start by soaking the seeds. Then, spread them around your garden. Once you have established a strong bed for the plants, you can remove the dead ones to harvest them later.
To grow asparagus from seed, soak them overnight. Plant them about half an inch deep and two inches apart. Plant them in the spring one year before your permanent asparagus bed. After the soil temperature reaches sixty-six degrees Fahrenheit, transplant them into their permanent location. Once the crowns are well-established, they can yield as much as four pounds of asparagus. This variety grows quickly and is resistant to asparagus rust. It also prefers full sun to thrive.
Mary Washington Asparagus is an heirloom variety that produces high yields over several years. This rhizome crown is disease resistant and will produce spears for several years. Sow seeds in a well-drained soil in full or partial sun. Alternatively, you can start the seeds indoors by soaking them in water for about a week. Once the seeds are germinated, plant them 1/2 inch deep in the ground.
Traditionalists plant asparagus in deep trenches
Asparagus grows best in warm weather, and you can plant your spears in the fall or spring. If you choose to plant in the fall, make sure you fill the trench by the end of the first year. Asparagus crowns can be stored in the refrigerator or in sawdust. In colder regions, you can store the crowns in root cellars for the winter. To plant the asparagus, dig a deep trench 6 to 18 inches deep. The depth should be about four to six inches deep and wide.
Soak the crowns for 15 to 20 minutes prior to planting. Plant the crowns on a ridge in the soil, ensuring that the roots grow downward. Cover the crowns with compost or soil. The asparagus crowns will be covered with soil in the first few weeks. Do not harvest asparagus the first year, as it will take several weeks for the crowns to reach the top soil. If you plan to harvest asparagus after the first year, you should wait at least a month.
Asparagus seeds are best planted in sandy soils. A layer of compost will help raise the organic matter level of the soil. Manure is also beneficial. If you don’t have compost on hand, buy some. Apply the compost around the base of the crowns of the asparagus plants. The compost will work slowly into the soil, providing fresh nutrients for the spring harvest. Asparagus beds are easy to maintain and produce amazing crops every year.
Asparagus seeds should be kept at 71 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit while they are germinating. Lower temperatures can slow the growth of the seedlings. Transplant the seedlings when they reach a height of two to three inches. The best time to transplant your seedlings is when they are about 10 to 12 weeks old. If possible, plant them in full sun. The light intensity can be gradually increased as the plant grows.
Asparagus seeds can be purchased at flower stores, or prepared yourself by ripening the berries on adult asparagus. Asparagus seeds retain good germination for several years. After harvest, store them in a dry place and soak them in warm water for two days. Warm water reawakens the seeds and promotes faster germination. No growth stimulants are needed. If you wish to harvest young plants, be sure to harvest them at the beginning of spring.
Once your seedlings germinate, you can begin harvesting the first few spears. You can begin harvesting when the asparagus has reached a thickness of a pencil. Asparagus plants will not need to be divided every few years and the crowns will not need to be split. Splitting the crowns is a good way to increase the size of your asparagus patch and share your harvest with friends. And when your asparagus has started to produce new spears, you can simply plant another seedling and wait for it to grow back.
Soil pH for asparagus seeds is 6.5 to 7.0. A pH below that level is unsuitable for the long-lived perennial. Asparagus is best planted in areas where the soil is free from weeds and large stones. It should drain well, and should be away from plants that prefer a low pH level. However, you don’t have to amend the soil with lime and compost. Asparagus seeds can easily be purchased in the garden center or online.
Asparagus will grow in a wide variety of soil types, but it prefers sandy, deep loam soil. In addition to sandy soil, asparagus plants prefer slightly acidic soil. Soils with a pH of 6.0 to 6.7 work well. To find the proper soil pH for asparagus seeds, consult Extension Fact Sheet HLA-6036. OSU’s Soil Testing Lab can provide crop-specific recommendations.
Arrange your rows north and south to promote faster drying and to reduce the chance of Cercospora blight. Lastly, try to cultivate your asparagus plants in a dedicated bed. For better results, cultivate in the spring. However, be sure to do this only when it is necessary. Asparagus grows well in most soils, but it is important to cultivate in the spring only if you notice that it is susceptible to weeds. It is most effective in controlling small annual and perennial weed seedlings.
Pests and diseases
Asparagus plants can be affected by several pests and diseases. For example, Fusarium can cause crown rot. Phytophthora asparagi is another common pest and cause crown rot. Fortunately, there is an effective solution to prevent crown rot. Controlling weeds and pests is essential for the health of your asparagus plants. If you’re not sure which pests to avoid, visit your local county extension agent.
Asparagus beetles are a common pest of asparagus. This insect is about six to 9.5 mm long, has soft bodies, and four-segmented tarsi. Their larvae feed on the meaty parts of the plant above the ground. They leave behind brown scars on the asparagus buds. Spotted asparagus beetles have tan, red, or orange bodies with six black spots on their wing covers.
Fusarium wilt fungus is a soil-borne disease that attacks young plants. Symptoms of fusarium wilt include stunted growth and brown, wiling stalks. Fungicides can help prevent fusarium wilt. This fungus is most common in sandy soil. Luckily, it can be controlled by treating the asparagus seeds before planting.
Proper watering and air circulation are crucial for the health of your asparagus plants. But even with the best care, you can still encounter diseases and pests during different stages of growth. However, this disease can affect your plants and require specialized treatment. To treat Fusarium crown rot, apply fungicides to the soil before planting them. If you’re planting fresh asparagus seeds, remember to harvest them annually.
After the season has ended, it is important to mulch the beds, and cultivate them lightly. Fertilize your beds with 50 pounds of nitrogen per acre, or 1.2 pounds of nitrogen per thousand square feet. Allow the asparagus plants to grow after harvesting, as this helps them to rejuvenate their rootstock and produce more spears next year. Remove any dried plant material from the beds, which can harbor pests. Here are some helpful tips for harvesting asparagus from seed.
Asparagus grows from seed or from crowns. Growing from seeds is easier and more successful, with a quicker harvest. Asparagus crowns are the roots of a one or two-year-old plant, and they produce a smaller crop than seed. While you can’t keep the beds weed-free the first year, you’ll be rewarded with early season harvests. The key is to remember to remove the weeds from the beds. Weeds compete with the asparagus for nutrients, and the results are smaller yields.
Asparagus plants can take two or three years to reach full production. They begin to produce stems and buds from the crown. As the plant matures, it manufactures food from the stalks and stores it in the underground crown. This energy is stored for spear production the following year. To ensure a successful harvest, it’s recommended to test the soil before planting asparagus seeds. This will help to ensure your plants are growing well and gaining a head start.