Heirloom Asparagus Seed
- Germination: 14 – 18 days 70F – 80F
- Seed Life: Asparagus seeds will maintain 50 germination for five years if stored under ideal conditions.
- Soil Type: Plant asparagus in full sun; asparagus will tolerate partial shade. Asparagus needs well-drained soil with a pH over 6.0.
- Yield: Plant between 30 and 40 plants to feed 2 to 4 people several meals.
Planting Heirloom Asparagus Seed
Heirloom / Open Pollinated Asparagus is a garden perennial that is best adapted to sandy soils in moderate climates. For best production, Asparagus plants prefer a deeply dug, well-prepared bed, with lots of organic matter.
Heirloom Asparagus seeds can be started indoors 2-3 months before your last frost (for best results), or direct sow outdoors when the soil has warmed. Soak seeds in warm water for 24 hrs. before planting. Plant seeds ¼” deep in sterile seeding mix. Germination should occur in 14-21 days in soil 65-80°F. Set out Asparagus seedlings 10-18″ apart, in full sun.
Caring for Heirloom Asparagus
Keep asparagus moist but not wet when the spears are forming. Keeping asparagus beds well weeded is very important because competition from weeds will lower the yield. Cut plants back to 1 inch in fall and mulch with organic matter in cold-winter regions. Asparagus beetles may attack the asparagus, if you find any, pick them off and destroy them.
Harvesting Heirloom Asparagus
Harvesting Asparagus will begin in the 4th year when planted from seed. Cut spears cut spears slightly below soil level when they are 8 to 10 inches tall and at least the diameter of a pencil, not less. It is too late to eat them when buds begin to feather out. Harvest fourth year spears for 2 weeks and fifth year plants for 4 or more weeks.
Storing, preserving, and Cooking Heirloom Asparagus
Heirloom Asparagus will keep for 1 week when the asparagus spears are placed upright (cut stem down)in an inch or so of water and kept in the refrigerator. Heirloom Asparagus needs blanching before freezing. Asparagus spears taste the best when eaten as soon as possible after harvest. You can eat asparagus raw, parboiled, steamed, boiled, braised, baked, roasted, and grilled.
Varieties of Heirloom Asparagus we offer for sale:
- Mary Washington Imp. Asparagus 80-90 days
- Sweet Purple Asparagus 80-90 days
- UC-72 (a.k.a. Mary Washington UC-72) Asparagus 110-120 days