Asparagus is a perennial vegetable, which means it will come back from year to year without replanting. When the bed is properly prepared asparagus can last for 20-30 years. Because of this nature it is important to make sure the bed is well prepared before first planting it in your garden and make sure it has a place that won’t be disturbed from year to year.
As one of the most common
varieties of asparagus, Mary Washington is a delicious long-term crop well
worth the wait. It has been known to grow up to seven feet tall if left to grow
With excellent taste and
good production, this all-male hybrid out yields traditional varieties as
male plants is more productive and grows up to 5 feet tall.
Look to plant a hybrid like Jersey Giant for a higher initial yield and an heirloom variety such as Mary Washington (considered to be one of the best heirloom varieties for asparagus) for longevity. Make sure that the ground is loose, deep and fertile. Amending the soil with compost will help with fertility and adding sphagnum peat moss will help lighten heavier soils. Fertility is important because a less fertile soil could lead to more fibrous stalks. To shave a year off your wait for the tender spears plant your asparagus seeds indoors 10-12 weeks before the last frost date in seed trays. Germination takes a while so soak the seeds in water and use a seedling warmer to speed the process. Asparagus plants are male and female. If you don’t intend to keep seeds for future use it is a good idea to remove the female plants as soon as they are identified as they will put their energy into making seeds and not spears. Do not harvest first year of growth.