CLICK HERE FOR THE NEW GARDEN OF EADEN WEBSITE AND SEED SHOP
When buying new asparagus plants, most plant retailers will only offer a small range of one or two year old plants. Although they will always look healthy in the pots, there is always a risk of failure when it comes to transplanting. This can be as much as 10%-15% for one year old stock and as high as 20% for 2 year old stock! When paying full retail prices - particularly with regards to 2 year old stock - this can end up being an expensive lesson. Growing asparagus from seed - either in pots or directly into the beds – will not only give you the best viability - with a survival rate of around 100% - it is also the cheapest way to obtain new stock. In addition, with direct sowing there is no transplanting or root shock to delay valuable root development.
The best time to sow asparagus seeds outside is around mid-April when the ground is warm enough to initiate germination. However, you can begin germinating asparagus seed as early as late February if you sow them under the protection of a warm windowsill or green house. However, they will need to be hardened off before they are planted outside in to their final position.
Some asparagus varieties like the popular 'Connovers Colossal' are best sown indoors and as mentioned, this can be done any time between February and March. A good tip is to soak the seeds in water for a couple of hours before planting as this will help to speed up the germination process considerably. When ready, plant the prepared asparagus seed into individual pots containing moist John Innes seed compost. These can now be placed in a warm room at approximately 15-18 degrees Celsius. Once the new asparagus seedlings begin to germinated, they will need to be moved to a cool, light area such as a windowsill, but keep them out of direct sunlight. Once the threat of frosts are over they will need to be gradually accustomed to conditions outside - this known as 'hardening off' and can take between 2-3 weeks. Once they are ready to be moved out into the asparagus bed proper, they can to be planted fairly deeply leaving a couple of inches of soil above the level of the compost. Keep them nicely watered over the summer period and - as always - keep the bed free of weeds, especially perennial weeds which will compete with your seedlings roots for nutrients.
Growing your own plants can delay establishment of your bed by an additional year, but it does ensure that you are starting with new crowns that have not lost any of their vigour through being lifted, stored and shipped. However, not only will you have a larger selection of varieties available to you, if you choose your varieties wisely you will still be able to harvest in their second year.
For more information click onto:
Growing Asparagus from Seed
How do you Harden off Seedlings?
How to Collect and Prepare Butternut Squash Seeds for propagation
How to Germinate and Grow Cucumbers from Seed
How to Germinate and Grow Melon Plants from Seed
How to Germinate and Grow Okra from Seed Indoors
How to Grow Asparagus Plants
How to Grow Asparagus from Seed Outside
How to Grow Aubergines From Seed
How to Grow Beetroot from Seed
How to Grow Brassicas from Seed
How to Grow Brussels Sprouts from Seed
How to Grow Butternut Squash from Seed
How to Grow Cabbage from Seed
How to Grow Carrots from Seed
How to Grow Chinese Spinach from Seed
How to Grow Cucumbers from Seed
How to Grow Eggplants from Seed
How to Grow Giant Onions
How to Grow Okra from Seed Outdoors
How to Grow Radish from Seed
How to Grow Rocket from Seed
How to Grow Red Kidney Beans from Dried Seed
How to Grow Spinach from Seed
How to Grow Sweet Corn from Seed
How to Grow Sweet Corn
How to Grow Sweet Potatoes in Pots or Containers
How to Grow Tomatoes?
How to Grow Tomatoes from Seed
How to Make an Asparagus Bed
How to Plant Asparagus Crowns
How to Propagate and Grow Sweet Peppers from Seed
How to Make and Prepare an Asparagus Bed
How to Sow and Grow Courgettes from Seed Indoors
How to Sow and Grow Courgettes from Seed Outdoors
How to Sow and Grow Spring Onions from Seed
How to Take Cuttings from Sweet Potatoes
Organic Control of Asparagus Rust
Recipe for Asparagus Quiche
The 'Garden of Eaden' Seed Shop
Which Vegetable Seeds can be Sown in January? Photographs care of The Green Blog and Paradise Garden