Which Seed Variety?
Asparagus plants are either female or male. The female
plants produce berries whereas the males don't. Producing berries
requires extra effort from the plant and the crop from a female plant is therefore not as good as the crop from a male plant.
Some varieties of seed produce male and female
asparagus, whereas some produce only males. A good all-male variety is
Jersey Knight Improved. A good more traditional female and male variety
is Martha Washington. We would opt for the all-male seeds.
Prepare the Seed Bed
Asparagus is raised in a seed bed for one year and then
transplanted to their final position the next year. For the seed bed,
the soil must be free-draining, preferably in full sun and not in a
September, dig the soil to a spade's
depth and incorporate as much well-rotted compost as possible, remove
any weeds. The time to sow the seeds is
mid-April. Soak the seeds in water for 2 hours before sowing, this will help the
germination process considerably. Sow the seed thinly in rows to a depth
of about 5cm (2in). The rows should be 30cm (12in) apart. Water well if
the conditions are dry.
The seedlings will emerge in
about 3 weeks time. As soon as they are large enough, thin the seedlings
to about 5cm (2in) apart. When the seedlings reach 15cm (6in) high thin
them to 30cm (1ft) apart. For the rest of the year keep the plants weeded
If you have bought seed with female and
male plants, remove any female ones as soon as you see them produce
mid-April the plants should be carefully dug up and transplanted to their final
positions. See the main article for how to plant and
grow one year old
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