Asparagus – Mary Washington
A heritage variety grown since the late 1940s, Mary Washington asparagus produces a vigorous, disease-resistant plant. Perennial plant with fine, wispy foliage about 1-1.5 meters tall. Allow 3 years before the first asparagus harvest; the plant will then produce for the next 15 to 20 years.
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- sowing depth: 1 cm (sow at 2 cm for direct seeding)
- optimal temperatures for germination: 21 to 29 ºC
- time for germination: 14 to 21 days
- soak seeds for 2 to 24 hours in warm water at room temperature to accelerate germination
When to sow:
- Indoor sowing 10 to 12 weeks before the last frost date in your area OR
- direct seeding when the soil can be worked in the spring or early fall
Sowing technique: in line
Draw a line in the ground (in a pot or in the ground), then sow the seeds in it.
Transplant outdoors (for seedlings started indoors):
- when the soil can be worked
Distance in the garden the 1st year:
- between plants: 15 to 30 cm
- between rows: 45 cm
Distance in the garden the 2nd year:
- between plants: 45 to 60 cm
- between rows: 90 cm
Plant height: 100 to 150 cm
Soil: deep, loose, well drained and rich
Exposure: full sun or light shade
Days to harvest: from the 3rd year
- Do not harvest the shoots before the 3rd year allows the plant to become well established. After the 3rd spring, cut the shoots daily when they reach 15-20 cm with a knife until they are thinner and thinner; they are then left in place until the next year to give energy to the plant.
- Asparagus likes phosphorus-rich soils, places sheltered from high winds and where snow accumulates. Cut back dead stems in the spring. Add compost annually.
- Mulch to avoid weeding and drought (optional)
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