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Growing asparagus from seed

I started asparagus from seed about 3 years ago, but each year all that comes up is very fine, feathery,fern-like "greenery" which would look better in a vase with flowers!

What do I need so I can grow "real" asparagus? I live in zone 4.
Thanks for any help!

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Green Thumb
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Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:17 pm
Location: Western MA

If you're getting foliage, you're getting asparagus. It's just the stems harvested before they leaf out in the spring. Next spring, harvest some of the shoots when they've just emerged from the soil. Just make sure to leave enough for the plant to support itself for the rest of the year. Asparagus if more often grown from roots, so I'm not sure how old a plant from seed needs to be before it produces enough to harvest.

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Location: Clarksville,Arkansas

I never grown asparagus from seed,but when you buy two year roots you are supposed to wait two or three years before harvesting.This fall when the tops die,cut them off and add a thick layer of a mixture of compost/manure/high nitrogen fertilizer.

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Location: Mebane, NC

If you are growing asparagus at all, you will eventually also be growing it from seed. Those seeds on the ferns each year drop and produce seedlings. I tie survey tape around it before weeding it out around September, and am sure not to pull the tiny little fernlike plants up. I've wound up getting new asparagus plants from them in a period of years.

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Greener Thumb
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Location: N. California

I grow asparagus from seed every year, its a great way to get a ton of plants for free. like said it takes a few years before you can even get any asparagus to eat. around 4-5 years. the good thing is after that if well cared for they will produce for another 20. I start some every year and eventually you'll have way too much asparagus to eat. asparagus is a patient farmers crop. cant be in a rush.

I start them in 72 cell trays as soon as the berries are bright red, plant the whole berry about 1/2 inch. they will sprout the following spring. the next fall they go into the ground and then you wait for them to mature enough and harvest.

Super Green Thumb
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I'm assumming you are getting both male and female plants from seed?

I have a row of Jersery Knight asparagus. 99.5% male plants. So no spreading by seed. About two years for the first good spears.


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Super Green Thumb
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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

I too have the Male only (supposedly) plants. Jersey Knight. It seems that they must have slipped in a female too because I have little seedlings coming up this year. I will mark them and move them into a bed next spring.

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Greener Thumb
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Location: N. California

yes I have male and female plants. but I like it that way, I'm a seed freak. I was told by an old timer near by that seed plants are much more productive in the long run. and the commercial asparagus is good yielding for the first 5 years but declines after that. the seed plants are supposed to kick it up a notch after 3-4 years of production and keeps going for 20-40 with good care. and hes been growing asparagus for a LONG time, and his stuff is amazing so I trust him.

so far all seems to be true, I have one patch from a nursery (cant remember the variety) that is 6 years old from planting. I also have a patch from seed that is 6 years from planting. the seeds took longer to give me food of course, but it seems that the plants are far healthier and taste better, and only get better every year.

and since I start seed every year, I have patches that are 5 years, 4,3,2,1 and I just planted 200 seeds the other day that will sprout next spring.

EDIT: if you have berries at all, you have male and females.

Super Green Thumb
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Location: ohio

So, let me get this straight, you plant the berries....?what time?, they sprout in spring, they go in the ground in fall.

I noticed you're in California, would this time-span differ for someone in zone 5 with frost from Oct 15 to May 15?

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