GERM 10-30 DAYS
Heirloom - 1900
The Mary and Martha Washington varieties of asparagus were developed around 1900 for greater disease resistance. From the 1930 DM Ferry seed catalog: “A vigorous growing and productive asparagus bred to resist the disease known as Asparagus Rust. Mary is a selection from Martha and is earlier and more robust.” Zone 3-8. 25 seeds.
Indoors- 12-14 weeks before last frost date. Soak seed for 24 hours before planting 1/2” deep with soil temperature 70-80 degrees. Patience is required as germination can take 2-8 weeks. Transplant out after frost danger has passed, 10-15” apart in a 4-6” trench. Fill in the trench as the seedlings grow.
Outdoors- plant 1/2’ deep and 2-3” apart in late spring in rows or beds
Harvest- ready for harvest in 3-4 years, may selectively pick a few spears during the third year.
Tips- Plant into fertile soil with lots of organic matter and 1 inch of water per week. Keep weeded as asparagus doesn't compete well with weeds. Cut the fern- like growth to the ground when it becomes yellow and mulch with compost in fall.