Seeds - Asparagus, Mary Washington OG (SGH)


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Description: Growing asparagus from seed is long, but very worthy project! It takes 2-3 years before first harvest, but the payoff is decades of home-grown asparagus harvests once your plants are established. Mary Washington is an heirloom variety from approximately 1900, selected for disease resistance and productivity. 

Pack Size: ~ 30 seeds

Latin Name: Asparagus officinalis
Main Uses: Vegetable

Zone Hardiness: Zone 3                                                                                

Days to maturity: Asparagus seedlings requires a minimum of three years before first harvest... and then produce for decades! 
Exposure: Full sun
Height: 90 cm (3 feet)
Flower Color: Insignificant - but the red berries are cool
Flowering Time: Late summer
Certified Organic: USDA Certified Organic

Germination: 2 - 8 weeks at 21˚C
Sowing: Asparagus is usually started indoors approximately 12 weeks before the local safe planting out date. Many gardeners soak seeds in warm water for 12 hours before sowing. Sow 2 seeds per starter pot or plug cell. 
Planting Depth: 0.6 cm (1/2 inch)
Spacing: 30 - 45 cm (12 - 16 inches)
Planting Out: Asparagus requires soil rich in organic material, with excellent drainage but the capacity to slow-release moisture to the plants. Plant seedlings after local last frost date. Asparagus has deep roots, so be sure beds have capacity for this. Avoid locations that tend to pool water. Don't over look the fact that asparagus will last decades in the garden... so plan for a long-term location. 
Growing Tips: As asparagus develops, hill soil up around the plants.

Pruning: Asparagus should be cut back to the ground, later in the season, once plants have become yellowed. 

Harvesting: Once plants are bearing pencil-thick spears, the first selective harvests can begin (2 - 3 years after sowing). As plants mature, stalks will become thicker and more will be available to harvest. The harvest season in Manitoba is late May into June, lasting 4 - 8 weeks, depending on temperatures. The ideal height for harvest is spears 15 - 25 cm (6 - 10 inches) tall. Each plant can be harvested every few days when in season, and a mature asparagus yields about ten quality spears per year. 

Fruiting: N/A

Growing in Containers: Asparagus cannot be grown effectively in pots, in cold climates. 

Fertilizing (Containers): N/A

Watering (Containers): N/A

Growing in Mixed Planters: N/A

Fertilizing (Garden): Add quality compost to your garden bed before planting.

Watering (Garden): Water young plants daily to get them established, then water only as required.

Garden Companions:

  • Vegetable Companions: Tomatoes, basil, beets, lettuce, cilantro and dill.
  • Avoid: Planting near alliums and potatoes.

Special Requirements for Cold Climate Gardeners: Asparagus is very winter hardy, but unexpected late spring frosts can damage early spears; avoid planting in low lying areas. 

Pest/Disease Issues: Generally resilient when grown in a home garden.

Suitability for Indoors: Not suited for indoors.

What about Grow Lights? N/A

General Indoor Care: N/A

Indoor Container Suggestions: N/A

Winter Fertilizing: N/A

Winter Watering: N/A

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