Asparagus: features of growing seedlings and other methods of reproduction

Asparagus is a perennial herbaceous plant of the asparagus family. From ancient times, the culture was grown as a medicine, and a little later, tender sprouts began to be eaten. This delicious vegetable has long been intended for the nobility, so gentle and pleasant its taste. It is possible that this is why asparagus was dubbed royal.

Asparagus Description

The value of asparagus lies not only in the content of a large number of vitamins and useful macro- and microelements, but also in the fact that it is an early vegetable crop. Young asparagus sprouts are the first to appear in our gardens, and this usually happens already in April. Shoots of milk ripeness taste like green peas. Asparagus is boiled, baked, steamed or added to salads - it is good in any form.

In early spring, asparagus sprouts first appear on the beds

In addition to practical benefits, asparagus is also a decorative plant. Tall bushes with strongly dissected leaves resemble Christmas trees and are sometimes planted by gardeners not in special beds, but in flower beds. Florists use beautiful asparagus panicles in the preparation of bouquets - openwork greens go well with flowers and keep a fresh look for a long time.

Planted on a flowerbed among flowers, asparagus enlivens the composition

On sale there are asparagus sprouts of green, white and burgundy flowers. The point is not in the varieties, as it may seem, but in the timing of collection and methods of cultivation. If asparagus grows on a regular bed, we get green sprouts. In order to grow white or purple shoots, asparagus spud, depriving it of sunlight, but in the first case they do it right away, and in the second when the sprouts are slightly extended and turn green.

Using various cultivation methods, you can get asparagus sprouts of different colors

Cultivation methods

Asparagus is usually grown from seeds - in this case, the first crop can be obtained in the third year. When planting ready-made seedlings or root layers, the terms are significantly reduced, and the first sprouts will appear next spring.

Sowing seeds for seedlings

Before sowing, asparagus seeds are soaked for two days in a solution of Epin or another biostimulant. Given the stiffness of seeds, this measure will not be superfluous. You can start sowing at the end of March or in April. The soil for asparagus should be light and breathable. You can use shop soil for seedlings by adding sand and vermiculite to it in a ratio of 5: 1: 1. Instead of vermiculite, a coconut substrate is often used.

Sowing seeds in a container:

  1. Fill the landing container with prepared soil and lightly compact.
  2. Spread the seeds on the surface at a distance of 3-4 cm from each other.
  3. Sprinkle the seeds with a layer of soil no more than 1 cm and gently squeeze.
  4. Moisten the soil with a spray bottle.
  5. Cover the container with foil and put in a bright warm place.

The main conditions for germination are heat and humidity. Condensation will accumulate on the film, so you need to ventilate the container with seeds every day. At an air temperature of at least 25 ° C, seedlings will appear in about a month and a half.

Six weeks after sowing, asparagus openwork shoots appear

Planting seedlings in open ground

For asparagus choose a sunny, unsinkable place with fertile light soils. Compost or manure is preliminarily applied to poor soils (one bucket per 1 m2) and complex mineral fertilizers. If the soil on the site is heavy, clay, sand is added for digging. All these activities are desirable to carry out in the fall.

If you plan to plant asparagus seedlings in the fall, then instead of complex mineral fertilizers, phosphorus-potash or nutrient mixtures with the mark “autumn” are introduced. The fact is that the nitrogen contained in complex fertilizers stimulates the growth of shoots, and in the fall it is undesirable. At this time, the shoots should ripen, and the root system should be strengthened, so phosphorus and potassium are what you need.

You can plant seedlings in open ground from the second half of June. By this time, the soil has time to warm up, and the possibility of return frosts is unlikely. The fertilized deoxidized area is well dug up, removing lumps of soil and weed roots.

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The grown asparagus bushes are ready for planting in the open ground

It is more convenient to plant seedlings in trenches at least 30 cm deep. Asparagus grows in one place for about 20 years, growing at the same time both in height and in width. Therefore, if in the future it is not intended to transplant grown plants, then the seedlings are located 35–40 cm from each other. The distance between the rows is 1 m or more.

Landing Rules:

  1. Mounds of fertile land are poured into the dug trench.
  2. The roots of the seedling are spread on the knoll so that they are directed downward, without bends. Long roots shorten, leaving 4-5 cm.
  3. Sprinkle the roots with soil and squeeze slightly.
  4. They pour a trench with water and mulch the planting with peat or rotted sawdust.

Sowing seeds in the open ground in spring

Asparagus can also be grown by direct sowing in open ground. The bed is planted the same way as for planting seedlings, but instead of trenches, grooves are made 4–5 cm deep. At the end of May, seeds are soaked for a quick and reliable germination for a day in a biostimulator. Sowing is carried out in a prepared bed, laying the seeds in grooves. If there are a lot of seeds, it is advisable to sow them more densely, since not all of them will sprout, and the extra ones can later be cut with scissors. Sprinkle grooves with a small layer of soil, compact and water. After the water is absorbed, mulch the bed. Asparagus seeds sprout for a long time, so it is advisable to cover the garden bed with agrofibre - this will prevent moisture loss and accelerate the emergence of seedlings.

Video: sow asparagus for seedlings

Reproduction by dividing the bush

The easiest way is to multiply asparagus by dividing the bush. This procedure can be carried out both in the spring, and in the fall, and even in the summer if there is no strong heat. The dug bush is divided into parts so that each division has one sprout. This is usually done with your hands or, if it does not work, use a sharp knife. Separated plants are planted in trenches in the same way as seedlings obtained from seeds - at the same time and in the same way.

A preferred method for propagating asparagus is to divide the bush

By the same principle, asparagus is propagated by dividing the rhizome. This is usually done in the spring, before the growth of new shoots. Dig a root and divide into parts so that each had a kidney. Dividens are planted in the described manner - in trenches on the hills.

Portions of Asparagus Rhizomes Planted on a Hill

Outdoor Asparagus Care

Planted plants need to be moistened, especially at first. When the seedlings take root and get stronger, watering can be reduced, but the drying of the earth should not be allowed. Mulch will help keep the soil moist. In addition, the mulched area does not need to be loosened, and the weeding is purely symbolic in nature - to remove individual crawled grass blades.

In the first year before autumn, it is undesirable to cut off asparagus shoots so as not to interfere with the full development of the bush. The first edible sprouts in small quantities will appear next spring, and already in the third year you can harvest.

If you do not cut asparagus shoots in the year of planting, then by next summer it will be adult beautiful bushes

Feeding

If during planting asparagus the bed was well fertilized, then in the first year, top dressing is not needed. Young plants begin to feed from the second year. In early spring, dry nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium mixtures are scattered between plants in dry form and the soil is well loosened. Then, until mid-summer, every two weeks they are fed green fertilizer or mullein infusion. At the end of summer, they are fertilized with autumn mineral fertilizer, which can be applied dry or prepared as an aqueous solution according to the instructions.

Preparing the plant for winter

To protect the asparagus from freezing, the garden bed must be properly prepared for winter. In the fall, all the stems of the plant are cut short and this must be done before frost. Then the plants spud - the harsher the winter, the higher the hill should be. Sprinkle the crest with peat or compost.

I planted my first asparagus about 20 years ago. We didn’t have Internet then and I, as a beginning gardener, didn’t know anything about this plant. I saw the seeds of something new on sale and bought it. There is a minimum of information on the bag - I only found out that edible sprouts will appear in the second third year. She sowed seeds right away in the garden, without any tricks - one row, and that’s it. For a long time no seedlings appeared, and I managed to safely forget that I had such seeds. Closer to mid-summer, I saw a row of slender Christmas trees of pale green color and began to think that it could be - I had not had to see asparagus shoots before. I remembered when the bushes grew, at the same time it became clear with what greenery grandmothers are making simple bouquets of their gladioli. By autumn, the bushes grew and were already about a meter high, with shoots of 5-6 each. In the autumn I cut all the greens and in the winter my asparagus left without any hilling and warming. No frosts had any effect on my plants, and in the spring we plucked the first shoots. The first time I tried this plant from my own garden, before that I did not even know the taste. Pleasant, tender greens - we didn’t prepare any dishes, we just ate fresh, slightly sweet, sprouts like green peas. Since then, asparagus has not been translated in our garden and this is the very first plant that we collect in the spring.

Growing asparagus does not require special knowledge, and does not cause difficulties even for beginners. The only problem is waiting for the harvest. It’s more common for us to plant seeds in spring and to get our vegetables in summer. Asparagus must be grown for three years, but it does not need to be planted annually. With minimal care, the plant will delight the eye and enrich the owner’s menu for many years. This is the advantage of a long-standing culture.

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