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Asparagus from wild seed???

 
Craig Dobbelyu
pollinator
Posts: 1221
Location: Maine (zone 5)
61
forest garden hugelkultur
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My son and I were out today enjoying a warmish Maine day when he noticed some dead wild asparagus plants from last year that still had a few berries on them. We collected a couple hand-fulls of berries and then separated the black seeds out and rinsed them. We ended up with about 130 seeds. What could I expect if I planted them in a flat of seedling mix? Would they be at all similar at all to the parent plants?
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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Hard to say exactly what you would get, but I would bet that it would be similar to the quality of the wild asparagus in the area. I've never noticed much variation in size, flavor or tenderness from different spots when picking wild asparagus in Michigan, but it may vary across regions.

I've got some Mary Washington asparagus seeds started in flats this year. First time I've grown asparagus from seed. So far, so good!
http://wellheeledhills.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/asparagus-seedlings-6/

http://wellheeledhills.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/asparagus-seedlings-are-growing-up/
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
12
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they need cold stratification, meaning they need to go through cold periods before warm to grow. i usually toss or plant my asparagus in the fall, and see seedling around this time of year.

i have a patch that is male and female and it produces tons of seed. which i gladly toss all over to encourage wild asparagus on my property.
 
Craig Dobbelyu
pollinator
Posts: 1221
Location: Maine (zone 5)
61
forest garden hugelkultur
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Kay: I started some Jersey knight asparagus from seed about 2 weeks ago. I have about 60% of them germinated and hoping to see at least a few more pop up. Mine look a lot like yours do. I started them in peat pellets that I had leftover from a few years ago. They already have taproots poking out of the bottom so I transplanted into large cups until they can go out.

I read that you can fill soil around the base of the plant as it grows to help establish it. Does anyone know more about that?

Jordan: Is it a safe bet that being out in a northern winter with little snow protection in open fields is enough to entice them to grow? My plan was to plant all the seed in a few flats and see what happens. If they grow then I'll make a home for them in my field. If not... no harm done.
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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Craig - glad to hear you are having good luck with your seed, as well. I'm up to 58 plants up out of the 100 seeds that I planted, so I'm pretty happy. One or two more have been coming up each day, but if I can hit 60%, I'll be very satisfied with them this year.

Yes, I think it is pretty standard to place the young plants or crowns in to a deep or shallow trench and then backfill with rich soil to both stabilize the topgrowth and to end up with the roots being deeper in to the soil bed. When I transplant my seedlings to a nursery bed in a month or so, it will be in to a shallow ~6" trench of enriched soil and then I will backfill the trench to a level surface. Since this won't be their final setting, I'll place one every square foot or so. If they grow well, I'll move them to their final place this fall once the cool season returns.
 
Adi Kadim
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I planted myself asparagus few days ago and now I hope it will sprout how long does it take?And I am thinking about buying Anatolian Wild Asparagus seeds any tips how to grow wild asparagus in general are there any tricks ?
 
Craig Dobbelyu
pollinator
Posts: 1221
Location: Maine (zone 5)
61
forest garden hugelkultur
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Are you talking about crowns or seeds?

seed germination rates are around 50-70 percent if you're lucky. You should see some tiny seedlings within about 3 weeks. Some may be earlier, some later. Once established they usually produce for up to 20 years if you keep them mulched well and weed free.
You can pick spears from usually the third season.

I started mine indoors in January to get a good start. They are about 12 inches tall and many plants have more that 3 fronds. Every time a new shoot sprouts, it's slightly larger in thickness than the previous ones. As long as they do well after transplanting I should be able to harvest something from them next year.

Best of luck to you.
 
Heath Gilbert
Posts: 19
Location: Missouri
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Can you "trick" the seeds by taking them now, throw them in the freezer for a period of time and then planting or broadcasting them?
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