Want to start asparagus seeds in your survival garden? Angee can help you get started.
How to Start Asparagus From Seed
Asparagus is a perennial vegetable that can be challenging to grow. You will want to start asparagus from seed indoors 12-14 weeks before your last frost date. Soak the seeds for 24 hours prior to sowing because they have a tough seed coat. A heat mat will also help with germination. It can take up to 8 weeks for asparagus to germinate so be patient!
Harden off seedlings for a week before transplanting outdoors. Plant seedlings 12 inches apart in well-drained soil. Do not expect plants to produce asparagus spears in the first year. You will get some in the 2nd year, but it takes 3 years for the plants to really reach their full potential.
Why Grow Asparagus?
Asparagus is an ideal survival garden vegetable, so it’s worth the wait.
- Asparagus is super healthy. It’s probably not a surprise that asparagus is chock full of good things, including vitamins A, C, E, and K, plus folate and fiber. It’s also rich in prebiotics that feed the healthy bacteria in your gut.
- Asparagus plants are low maintenance: Once your asparagus becomes established, they’re really easy to care for. It’s generally cold hardy and can handle a wide range of conditions.
- Asparagus is an early spring vegetable. You know it’s really spring when asparagus shoots emerge from the ground. The shoots start emerging when soil temperatures reach 50°F in spring. That fresh flavor is a welcome change after the cold of winter. The tender spring shoots are also the most robust and full of flavor.
- Asparagus is widely adapted. Asparagus can be grown in most of the USA. It can be grown in Zones 2-11, and it really thrives in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-8.
- You’ll have a long harvest season. You can enjoy between 6 to 8 weeks of harvest (around 20-24 total pickings), depending on your growing conditions. As the season progresses, they’ll get smaller and smaller. When about 75% of your harvest is very small, you can let the shoots develop into full-grown plants for next year, reinforcing the health of your asparagus patch.
- Asparagus plants are perennial. Planting a bed of asparagus is investing in the future. An asparagus bed can produce for a long time - up to 20 years! Make sure you save some seeds each year and share them with your friends. Once your asparagus starts producing, you may never have to buy it at the store again.
- Add to your long-term food stores. Asparagus is delicious when fresh, but it also is great for canning, pickling, dehydrating, and freezing.
- Asparagus plants are beautiful. After the harvest season, you’ll still enjoy having these plants around. They develop fern-like foliage that’s feathery and bright green. It can make a lovely backdrop mixed with other plants. The plants also produce pretty white to pink flowers and later small red berries that add some color to the garden. They’re an attractive choice for edible landscaping.
We hope you enjoyed the video and are ready to grow your own asparagus!