Category Archives: Asparagus

Asparagus from Seeds

I have read ample articles of growing Asparagus up north (Washington, New Jersey & Massachusetts) with most gardeners attempting to grow them in Central Florida stating that they simply won’t tolerate our warm weather. Those growing them also claim that it would be best to start with ‘crowns’. My 1st attempt had my ‘crowns’ disappearing in the ground.

Well, in February last year, when I found packets of Asparagus seeds in Orlando’s mini-Vietnam, I decided to try planting this perennial green again, in my backyard. Having never seen an Asparagus ‘plant’ before, I wasn’t even sure if what grew in that allocated area were actual Asparagus seedlings or simply ferny-looking weeds.

Edible shoots will take about 3 years to appear ~ so growers say ~ but I took the gamble as they may provide me with seasonal greens for over a decade!

Asparagus “weed” of sort.

But they did produce some very pretty flowers, which unless one grows them, no one actually gets to see them.

Tiny Asparagus blooms.

Tiny but eye-catching.

15 months after my 2nd attempt, the “weed” patch is finally showing me that what I am growing, is actually Asparagus Officinalis.

The Proof.

They may presently be small and skinny, should be allowed to grow and preferably not harvested till year 3, but actually seeing real Asparagus shoots is such joy.

1st year’s growth ~ from seeds! ~ not too bad …

So now, these weedy looking greens will be pampered and carefully coddled in hope for many years of fresh Asparagus from the garden, to the kitchen, to the table.

Asparagus in Florida?

Trying to grow Asparagus in Florida is like trying to find pearls in supermarket oysters (improbable but not impossible) but trying it I am, again. I’ve tried growing them once before buying root-crowns from a nursery but nothing grew out of the soil ~ zilch ~ nada!  Then I read a Florida gardeners’ forum… success is rare.

Well, it’s been 4 months to date since I opened a packet of Asparagus seeds (bought in Orlando’s mini-Vietnam) to try growing them.

Something is growing ...

Something is growing …

Kinda weedy looking IMHO.

Kinda weedy looking IMHO.

I’m not sure if these are “strange” Asian asparagus or what, but they seem to be able to tolerate Florida weather so far (with global warming and all).  They have their own patch now & I’ve been told that edible shoots will take an average of 3 years to appear and if they do, I will have my personal supply for the next 15 – 18 years! (Long term investment eh?)

In the meantime, I’ve learned that basil and tomatoes are good companion plants for these slow growers so all is not lost, multi-planting will take place.

Asparagus ~ a trial run

I have tried growing asparagus once before, from root crowns, but they did not survive and I later learned: wrong variety, wrong climate zone.

In a little vegetable store in Orlando’s mini-Vietnam (yesterday) I saw packets of seeds ~ yes, I admit I’m a seedaholic, I could not resist getting some Asparagus seeds and trying to grow them again.
AsparagusIt says “Perennial” so OK, it’s experiment time since the temperature of air and soil is about right. Instruction states to soak seeds in warm water for 24 hours.

seeds

Done. So now the painful wait begins.
All advice from experienced Asparagus growers will be greatly appreciated.