Wednesday, 20 April 2011


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.

For related articles click onto:
Feeding plants
How to grow broccoli from seed
How to grow cauliflower from seed
How to build a cold frame
How to Grow Agave from Seed
How to grow beetroot from seed
How to grow cabbage from seed
How to grow carrots from seed
How to grow cucumbers from seed
How to grow french beans from seed
How to grow leeks from seed
How to grow lettuce from seed
How to grow onions from seed
How to grow peas
How to grow runner beans from seed
How to grow seeds indoors
How to grow strawberries from seed
How to grow tomatoes
How to grow tomatoes from seed

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