Latin Name – Asparagus officinalis
Sowing Instructions – Sow indoors in Late Winter to Spring
Soak the seeds in water overnight. Sow seeds singly into modules at a depth of 1.25cm (½in).
They will germinate in 2 to 8 weeks depending on soil temperature. The optimum germination temperature is 20 to 28°C (60 to 85°F). After 12 to 14 weeks, they will be ready to be transplanted outdoors, do this no earlier than four weeks after the last spring frosts.
Fork over the prepared area and dig a trench 30cm (12in) wide and 20cm (8in) deep. Work in well-rotted manure in the bottom, cover with 5cm (2in) of the excavated soil and make a 10cm-high (4in) ridge down the centre of the trench. Place the crowns on top, spacing them 30 to 45cm (12 to 18in) apart (right). Leave 45cm (18in) between rows and stagger the plants. Spread the roots evenly and fill in the trench, leaving the bud tips just visible. Water in and mulch with 5cm (2in) of well-rotted manure.
Hints and Tips – The main pests to affect asparagus are slugs and snails, and the larvae and adults of the asparagus beetle. Thin spindly shoots may be due to inadequate moisture, especially with young crowns. In established beds the cause is more likely to be overcropping or competition from weeds.
Seeds – Average 10 seeds