Here in a post that could encapsulate a long term commitment to Real Men Sow and my garden. For I am attempting to grow asparagus from seed. This is one of two growing projects that I will be blogging about in the next few days, both of which will take four or so years before I can call them successful.
I want to make these post dynamic, updating and adding as things happen. Of course, that might mean that the post dies with the seedlings, or it may be a glorious four year journey from seed to homegrown asparagus dinner.
Here goes nothing: the first update on How to Grow Asparagus From Seed.
May 9th 2013
Having sown my asparagus seeds 3-4 weeks ago, I’m now seeing some germination (pictured). To help with this, I soaked my seeds overnight, and sowed in modules of multipurpose compost the next morning.
Choosing a Variety
The best results come from all-male F1 hybrid cultivars, but I chose Connovers Colossal, a classic heritage variety. Non-hybrid seed like the Colossal produce female plants as well as male ones, and the female ones will need to be removed when I spot them as they will compete with the fellas.
Connovers Colossal seeds are supposed to be sown undercover between February and March, but I had to wait until the middle of April due to the unusually cold temperatures this year. The seeds needed temperatures upwards of 13 degrees Celsius to germinate.
I put two seeds in each of my 24 modules to improve my chances of germination. So far, I’ve got ferns poking up in 15 of the modules, but I have read that the times between the first and last asparagus seeds germinating can vary a great deal.
I have been watering a lot, as the compost has been drying out quickly.
Why Grow From Seed?
I have asked myself why am growing from seed when I could buy year old crowns, but having that extra time to decide where the asparagus bed will go is useful. Being my first season in a smaller space, I need to understand my space and not make too many enduring commitments.
For example, asparagus’s deep root system will play a big role in determining its final position, as will the heaviness of the soil and where the sun falls.
Cost is also a factor, but more so is a sudden enjoyment of taking things slower. Having my veg patch in my garden has bred a feeling of building something over time that is mine. I don’t mind starting from scratch and taking a while over growing my asparagus.
As it goes, I’m rather excited about the impending satisfaction of growing my very own asparagus from seed – even if that is 4 years away. ..