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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. 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.

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Kate M.
United States

So far, so good!

These seeds sprouted very quickly! I planted four in each pot and, on average, two per pot sprouted (so far). I’ve had them outside since the weather got nice and they’ve held up very well to the wind and rain. I know it will be a while before I can eat them, so I can’t comment on taste yet, but I love them so far!


Surprised Me

I live in Central Florida, and thought I would give asparagus a try. Even if I got one fresh spear, I thought it would be worth it - bring back childhood memories from growing up in New England. Well, several of the plants I grew from seed over 5 years ago are still growing, and that's despite unavoidable neglect due to other demands on my time. Of the 2 varieties I've tried, the Mary Washington seems the toughest. I had no idea they would do that well here, under such harsh conditions. What a pleasant surprise.