Here is a post that could encapsulate a long term commitment to Real Men Sow and my garden. 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.
Why Should You Grow Asparagus Plant 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.
To Save Money
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.
Choosing a Variety of Asparagus Seeds
The best results come from all-male F1 hybrid cultivars, but I chose Connovers Colossal, a classic heritage variety. Non-hybrid seeds 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.
Plant Your Asparagus Seed the Right Way
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.
Time to See the Germination on Asparagus Seeds
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.
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…