Thursday, December 14, 2006

Asparagus Update

For the first time ever--I have raised asparagus from seeds. Here is a picture of them under the grow lights. I have long commercial fixtures with a cool bulb on one side and a warm bulb on the other---I rotate the plant boxes everyday so they get equal amounts of both sides. For these seeds I used the little pre done seed blocks. I do have a soil blocker for seeds and love it---well worth the money spent on it if you sprout a lot of seeds.
As you know from a previous post I ordered my seeds back on November 16th from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.
If I remember correctly I had them within a week and planted them a week or so later. Here are a few things I learned along the way about asparagus seeds.
1. Soak them for up to two days to soften the seed coat. I didn't do this since I read it after I planted my seeds---but I will try it next time since I still have many left to plant.
2. Make sure you plant the seed about 1/2 inch deep. I know it seems too deep since the seeds aren't that big --but they will "pop" their selves right out of the soil if you don't. I had two I didn't get deep enough and had to gently replant them.
3. It takes from 5 to 14 days average for sprouting and don't forget to use some sort of bottom heat---which will make sprouting quicker. We set ours on the stone over one of the radiators in our living room and it worked well. I have used heating pads before and they work well too--just keep them on low.
4. I also draped a towel over the mini greenhouse to facilitate darkness.
Good luck if you try growing your own!

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Wow, is that ever neat! I love asparagus, but don't have enough space to establish a nice sized patch. I'd be interested in following their progress, so keep us posted!