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Ordering asparagus plants questions

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Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  NHGardener on 1/1/2013, 10:50 pm

It's that time to put together the spring order, and one thing I want is asparagus plants. Jersey Knights seem to be the standard asparagus, but Johnny's Seeds seems to only have them in seed form, otherwise they carry Jersey Supreme plants. But the Jersey Supreme are a male only, and I think that means they won't propogate?

Since this is a long term commitment, I want to make sure I get the right asparagus, preferably the standard green type, and preferably one that will spread on its own, and who wants to wait for seeds to grow...

Any thoughts on asparagus?
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Re: Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  bnoles on 1/2/2013, 6:26 am

From what I have learned, Jersey Knights are all male and will not propagate. I believe Mary Washington's are what you may need if you are wanting them to propagate.

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Re: Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  littlejo on 1/2/2013, 6:44 am

It really depends on what you want from your asparagus.
Do you plan on only a few squares? Buy only male plants. They will not seed new plants, and won't spread/produce more plants, but will have all their energy go to making lots of big spears.

If you have room for the plants to multiply, then get at least 1 female, so seeds can be made, and the bed will grow.

I'd suggest buying some of the all male plants, for good shoots soon, and buying a pack with at least 1 female, to enlarge the bed, if you have room.
I have a 4 x 8 dedicated to asparagus, and I had seeds coming up at the end of this yr. I will probably have enough to give some away this yr. I may remove some of the female plants to outside of my sfg, for the bed is getting full. By the way, asparagus loves SFG!
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Re: Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  camprn on 1/2/2013, 7:13 am

According to this site, all males should be OK, that the seedlings should be culled from the bed and that the best way to propagate asparagus is by crown division, probably every 5 to 7 years, depending on the fertility of the existing bed. It takes 3 years to get edible spears from seed.
http://www.uaex.edu/Other_Areas/publications/pdf/FSA-6002.pdf

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Re: Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  NHGardener on 1/2/2013, 8:05 am

Thank you, all! I guess it's okay to go with just males then. I had it in my mind that you planted them thinly (Mel says 1 to 4 per square, so say you're planting 1 per square) and let them fill in the spaces, kind of like strawberries. I may not be understanding asparagus, maybe they do send up several shoots per plant. They must. I was thinking - if you have just one stalk of asparagus per square, that's not enough. But now that I'm thinking about it, one crown does not mean one stalk, one crown means several stalks - right?
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Re: Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  Mike aka Gunny on 1/2/2013, 8:44 am

Sounds Yummy, Anyone know how much heat they can tolerate? I'm in the planning stages for my first SFG and my wife love asparagus. TNX for any info.
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Re: Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  littlejo on 1/2/2013, 9:08 am

Mike, I'm in SC and they love the heat, but they also grow in cold areas. If it is warm enough, I cut the fronds down in Aug. and can have a second cutting of spears in the fall. They also like salty soil, they grow by the beach very well, you can even put salt on the bed to kill the weeds and it won't hurt the asparagus.

NHgardener, I don't know if the male plants will divide at the crown or make new crowns like some types of strawberries. Each crown puts up several spears each, a few more as the crown ages.
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Re: Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  quiltbea on 1/2/2013, 12:28 pm

When I chose my asparagus, it was Jersey Knight because its very prolific, but also because its resistant to the wilts that often kill off the Washington series. You can't go wrong with 1-yr old crowns.
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Re: Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  NHGardener on 1/2/2013, 3:25 pm

Weird that Johnny's doesn't offer (at least right now) the Jersey Knights in the crown form, just in seeds. Altho the Jersey Supreme is probably close enough.
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Re: Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  quiltbea on 1/2/2013, 3:50 pm

I don't remember where I got my Jersey crowns, but I know it wasn't Johnny's. They didn't have crowns 3 years ago either.
All I remember is it was from a popular seed catalog.
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Re: Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  quiltbea on 1/2/2013, 4:03 pm

I looked it up in my crop variety notebook and it was from Wayside Gardens, 20 for $14.95 but they sent 21. All healthy and growing. I expect to get some good spears this year.
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Re: Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  camprn on 1/2/2013, 5:25 pm

Fedco in Maine has 1 yr crowns, 25 for $20.

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Re: Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  NHGardener on 1/2/2013, 7:30 pm

Wow. That's cheap.
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Re: Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  cheyannarach on 1/3/2013, 2:56 am

www.jungseed.com has plants as low as 10 for $10.95. I have some coming this spring that I got as a Christmas git from Territorial Seed and they were $30.95 for 25. My father in law has grown asparagus for years and his favorite is the purple passion!
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Re: Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  jmsieglaff on 1/3/2013, 9:14 am

I planted 18 Jersey Supreme crowns from Jung last March. They all came up and each crown had 8-14 stalks by the end of the summer. I made the mistake of not watering enough early in the season (drought), but watered more and that helped them a lot. Looking forward to having the first short harvest season this spring.
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Re: Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  NHGardener on 1/3/2013, 11:15 am

Oh, good! Glad to hear there can be 8-14 stalks per plant. I wasn't sure what to expect.
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Re: Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  quiltbea on 1/3/2013, 11:20 am

jmsieglaf.....I don't think you want to harvest any this first spring after planting. Next year you can harvest for only 2-4 weeks but only those that are pencil-size and larger.
They may last for 20 years, but they take some patience at the beginning.
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Re: Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  jmsieglaff on 1/3/2013, 9:22 pm

I found a couple sources suggesting a 3 week harvest period the first year after planting is not harmful to future yields. So I'm going for it!

The year after planting, asparagus can be harvested several times throughout a three-week period, depending on air temperatures. Research shows there is no need to wait two years after planting before harvesting. In fact, harvesting the year after planting will stimulate more bud production on the crown and provide greater yields in future years, as compared with waiting two years before harvesting.

http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1603.html

www.ozaukeemastergardeners.org/New_Folder/Asparagus.pdf
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Re: Ordering asparagus plants questions

Post  quiltbea on 1/4/2013, 2:05 pm

That's good news. Go for it.
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