Wednesday, 20 April 2011

HOW TO GROW ASPARAGUS FROM SEED


Click here for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop


Asparagus can take three years to produce a crop, so buying plants that are 1 or 2 years old can be expensive. The advantage of using seed is that there is no transplanting or root shock which can occur when transplanting young plants. There is a wide variety of asparagus seed available, with some varieties ready to harvest after 2 years. Once established, asparagus can produce up to 25 spears per plant each year for a 20 year period.


Asparagus can be grown from seed outside directly into the soil as soon as the ground is warm enough, usually end of April.  Seeds can be given a head start by sowing indoors in late February. Before sowing, soak the seeds in water for a couple of hours in order to break the dormancy period and speed up germination. Sow seeds into individual pots with John Innes 'seed' compost.  Water gently and place pots in a warm room which is approximately 15-18 degrees Celsius. When germination has taken place, move the pots to a windowsill but do not place in full sun. Before planting outside the seedlings will have to be hardened off.  Move the plants outside during the day over a period of 3 weeks after the threat of frost has passed.


Asparagus is a crop vegetable and is not grown on a rotation system. Prepare the bed by incorporating n plenty of humus and possibly some grit or sharp sand to open them up. Asparagus are best planted in raised, deep beds.  Plant 30-45 cm apart in rows, at a depth of 5cm below the level of the compost. Water throughout the summer and ensure weeds are removed as these will compete for nutrients within the soil.

Do not take a crop in the first year. Foliage forms from the spears, and this should be cut in the autumn to 5-10cm high when it starts to yellow. Cover the asparagus with 10cm soil in spring, incorporating a fertiliser. In year two remove a maximum of 8 spears per plant.  This can be doubled in year three.


Asparagus seedling photo care of http://asparaguslifeandtimes.blogspot.com/
Asparagus photo care of http://www.gardenharvestsupply.com/

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