Mary Washington Improved
Hardy and early! Mary Washington produces a good yield of uniform, medium green spears. Early, vigorous and resistant to rust. Excellent quality. Great for freezing. Asparagus is a perennial that once established will come back each spring. Plants grown from seed may take up to 4 years, so patience is needed. Your asparagus patch can be productive for up to 20 years, so it's well worth the wait. Approx. 200 seeds/pkg.
Sow indoors 8 weeks before last frost, 1⁄4 inches deep at 25 degreesC. Germination will occur in 10-14 days. Sow outdoors, 3 weeks before last frost, 1⁄4-1⁄2 inches deep and 1 inch apart. Thin or space plants to 18 inches apart in trenches 8-12 inches deep. As the seedlings grow, fill the trench back in.
Choose a sunny location with a fertile, deep, well-drained soil. Soil pH should be between 6.5-6.7. Asparagus is a heavy feeder and needs regular fertilizing with well-rotted manure, compost or a well-balanced synthetic fertilizer worked into the surface of the soil. Use straw mulch to control weeds and hold moisture.
Plants from seeds will take 4 years before you can harvest spring spears. In early spring, cut or snap spears when they are 6-8 inches high, before the heads separate.
Check your plant every other day for harvest-ready spears. Spears grow quickly and may become too woody before you know it! Once an asparagus spear starts to open and have foliage, it’s too tough for eating. Harvest spears at 6 to 8 inches tall and at least ½ inch thick, cutting the spears off with a knife or scissors at the soil line. Stop harvesting spears when the diameter of the spears decreases to the size of a pencil. After harvest, allow the ferns to grow; this replenishes the nutrients for next year’s spear production. Always leave one or two spears.
Cut back asparagus after the foliage has died back and turned brown or yellow. This is usually in the fall after frost. Cut back to the ground.
Pests & Diseases:
Rust is a common disease in Asparagus. Use a sulfur spray at the first sign of infection. Growing strong healthy plants or resistant cultivars helps prevent the onset of this disease.
Basil, calendula, parsley, tomato.