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Mary Washington Asparagus Seeds

Asparagus officinalis

  • HOW TO GROW
  • FAST FACTS
  • REVIEWS

HOW TO GROW

Sowing: Soak Mary Washington asparagus seeds overnight to weaken the hard outer layer, then plant 1/4" deep and 2" apart in a temporary nursery bed. Keep the temperature at 70-80 degrees F, and germination should begin in 10-14 days. For direct sowing, plant the seeds after the last frost of spring. For greater garden benefits, plant your perennial asparagus and tomatoes in close proximity; these two greatly benefit each other.

Growing: About 10-12 weeks after planting, transplant the seedlings outdoors. Digging a trench is not necessary; simply place the plants 12" apart in rows 3-4' apart. Sandy, well drained soil, and full sun are ideal. Keep the soil moist, and apply mulch to discourage weeds. Asparagus greatly benefits from regular additions of compost and other organic matter.

Harvesting: Perennial asparagus can be harvested in the second year, but healthier roots develop when serious harvesting begins in the third year. Spears may be harvested as soon as they appear in the spring until early summer; a height of 8" is usually the optimum size. Rather than cutting the spears, bending them until they break gives you only the tender part of the spear. When the weather gets hot, it is best to let the spears fully develop with ferny tops to ensure a healthy crop the next year.

Seed Saving: Though a well established plot of asparagus will last for 20 years or more, the seeds can be saved if necessary. The stalks should be allowed to reach their mature state, when they are tall and fern-like. When the berries of the female plant turn red, pick them and squeeze out the seeds into a container of water; carefully clean off any remaining pulp. Lay the Mary Washington asparagus seeds out to dry for several weeks before storing them. Keep them in a cool, dry place for up to three years.

FAST FACTS

Latin Name: Asparagus officinalis

Species Origin: Heirloom from 1935

Type: Open Pollinated, Heirloom, Cool Season|Warm Season

Life Cycle: Perennial

USDA Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

US Regions: California, Mountain, Arid/Desert, Plains/Texas, Midwest, Northern, Northeast, Southeast

Seeds per Ounce: 600

Planting Method: From Transplant

Height: 60 Inches

Size Price Quantity
XL Mylar Packet (~120 Seeds) $2.50 -+
1/4 Oz Mylar (7.09g) $4.80 -+
1 Oz Mylar (28.4g) $5.40 -+
1/4 Lb Mylar (113g) $8.00 -+
1 Lb Mylar (454g) $28.80 -+
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DESCRIPTION

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Mary Washington asparagus seeds are a perennial asparagus that is an old favorite U.S. variety used in the truck garden and commercial market. Early, long, straight, dark-green spears with tight purpling tips are noted for uniform size! Delicious!. Cutting season can last up to 60 days. Resistant to some rusts and blight.
This member of the lily family originated in the Mediterranean countries; the ancient Greeks and Romans greatly favored it. According to legend, Julius Caesar required his asparagus to be served with melted butter. By the 16th century, the kings of England and France had claimed it as their special delicacy, causing the vegetable to be nicknamed the "food of kings." Louis XIV of France had his own supply growing year round in greenhouses, since he greatly enjoyed it. In the Renaissance, asparagus was considered an elegant vegetable and often found at the tables of the wealthy. Asparagus came to America with the colonists, and has since grown wild all over the United States.

HOW TO GROW

Sowing: Soak Mary Washington asparagus seeds overnight to weaken the hard outer layer, then plant 1/4" deep and 2" apart in a temporary nursery bed. Keep the temperature at 70-80 degrees F, and germination should begin in 10-14 days. For direct sowing, plant the seeds after the last frost of spring. For greater garden benefits, plant your perennial asparagus and tomatoes in close proximity; these two greatly benefit each other.

Growing: About 10-12 weeks after planting, transplant the seedlings outdoors. Digging a trench is not necessary; simply place the plants 12" apart in rows 3-4' apart. Sandy, well drained soil, and full sun are ideal. Keep the soil moist, and apply mulch to discourage weeds. Asparagus greatly benefits from regular additions of compost and other organic matter.

Harvesting: Perennial asparagus can be harvested in the second year, but healthier roots develop when serious harvesting begins in the third year. Spears may be harvested as soon as they appear in the spring until early summer; a height of 8" is usually the optimum size. Rather than cutting the spears, bending them until they break gives you only the tender part of the spear. When the weather gets hot, it is best to let the spears fully develop with ferny tops to ensure a healthy crop the next year.

Seed Saving: Though a well established plot of asparagus will last for 20 years or more, the seeds can be saved if necessary. The stalks should be allowed to reach their mature state, when they are tall and fern-like. When the berries of the female plant turn red, pick them and squeeze out the seeds into a container of water; carefully clean off any remaining pulp. Lay the Mary Washington asparagus seeds out to dry for several weeks before storing them. Keep them in a cool, dry place for up to three years.

FAST FACTS

Latin Name: Asparagus officinalis

Species Origin: Heirloom from 1935

Type: Open Pollinated, Heirloom, Cool Season|Warm Season

Life Cycle: Perennial

USDA Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

US Regions: California, Mountain, Arid/Desert, Plains/Texas, Midwest, Northern, Northeast, Southeast

Seeds per Ounce: 600

Planting Method: From Transplant

Height: 60 Inches

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