Sunday, March 6, 2011

Growing Asparagus from Seed

After a lot of dithering, I finally decided to go ahead and buy asparagus seeds instead of crowns this year.  Part of my reasoning was that I was truly hopeful of getting a job out in Colorado this fall, so planting crowns in the ground would have been an awful lot of work that would possibly have to be abandoned after a single, non-productive growing season.  I ordered one small package of Purple Passion from SESE.  I was supposed to plant it 60-90 days before my last frost, but even after cleaning out the shed last weekend I am still trying to figure out what happened to the rest of last season's potting soil, so I ended up having to wait until I could drag N out to buy more potting soil.  (I am just barely able to carry one of those 2 c.f. bags of potting soil when not pregnant, and it is a pretty awkward and dangerous activity.)

The planting instructions that came with the seeds were pretty good.  They suggested starting the seeds indoors in 3" peat pots and transplanting outdoors when they reach 6" tall, into a 4"-deep trench that you fill in as the plants grow.  Since I don't want to put my plants into the ground until I know my job situation for the fall, which may be several months from now, I put them in these large pots instead.  I left enough space in the pots to add 4" of soil later, planted them a quarter inch deep and covered them with seed starting soil.  (This is standard practice for me whenever I plant something directly in potting soil - the seed gets covered with light, fluffy, easy-push-aside seed starting mix.  Does it help?  Who knows?)

I only have 6 of these pots (that I can find), so that's how many I planted.  There are two seeds in each pot and I still only used half the smallest seed package they sell, which probably means this isn't nearly enough asparagus to be worth growing.  However, it is a learning experience, and if we do end up staying in our current house next year, this is about how many I will have room to grow anyway.

The packet says they germinate at 70-80 degrees F, which is probably warmer than my basement gets this time of year, so until they come up I have the pots sitting on newspaper in the corner of my kitchen.  My poor husband puts up with a lot.

1 comment:

  1. I did notice that your kitchen was quite full when I was visiting. You have a very patient spouse. I don't think I could handle that much stuff sitting around my house for weeks at a time.