Mary Washington Asparagus (Heirloom)
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. The Mary Washington Asparagus is a selection from Martha and is earlier and more robust.” Zone 3-8.
Germination: 10- 30 days
Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 70-80ºF
Seed Sowing Depth: 1/2" deep
Sowing Indoors: 12-14 weeks before last frost date. Soaking seeds in water overnight aids germination. Sow 2-3 seeds per cell/pot. Provide 70-85ºF soil temperature. Transplant after last frost in a 4-6” deep trench, 10-15" apart. Fill in the trench as the seedlings grow.
Sowing Outdoors: We recommend starting them indoors then transplanting out. Sow after last frost when soil temperature is over 70ºF. Sow 2-3 seeds every 10-15", thin to the strongest seedling.
Harvest: Ready for harvest in 3-4 years, may selectively pick a few spears during the second-third year.
Tips: The Mary Washington Asparagus should be planted in fertile soil, amended with compost or well rotted manure and kept well watered. 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.