Growing & using Green UC157 F2 Asparagus
We sell both green and Sweet Purple Asparagus seedlings. These plants are seeded in the winter and sold in the spring. The advantage to a seedling versus a traditional crown is that they are available for planting throughout the growing season.
Our green asparagus is Asparagus UC157 F2. Not a catchy name but an important name because this is the gold standard for Asparagus. Developed at the University of California at Riverside in 1978, UC157 has been grown commercially for over 20 years worldwide. F2 implies an update to the original hybrid UC157 F1 and we are pleased to be able to offer this as an organic plant. UC157 F2 has greater yields than UC157 F1 and is resistant to rust and fusarium wilt.
To get your Asparagus bed started you will want to select an area of your garden that can be left alone for many years. Because, unlike most other vegetables, Asparagus plants can live a long, long time. Asparagus should be planted in soil that is deep with organic matter. Plants should be 12 to 18 inches apart in rows that are 3 feet apart. Plant the potted plants at ground level and not in a trench like you would a bareroot crown. Asparagus plants will spread horizontally along the ground as the years go by. If you plant them too close together they will crowd each other out.
As the plants get older the spears will get thicker. It will be the third year before you get any kind of real harvest. Only harvest about half the first few years so the plant can produce energy to spread. No spears, no spreading!
Spears should be harvested by bending near the ground and snapping. This is the best way to avoid damaging other spears not yet ready for harvest. Be sure to keep your Asparagus bed weed free and fertilized well. In the fall, cut all ferns back to the ground and clean up fallen debris. You may remove any plants that make berries (pretty rare), but these will also make useful spears. Apply a 2 to 3 inch layer of compost over the bed. This will help to suppress weeds that germinate in the spring. A mature asparagus plant can produce between 1/2 to 3/4 of a pound of spears. One person who really likes asparagus can use about 20 plants all their own!