Asparagus - Seed & Crowns
Jersey Knight Asparagus
This predominately male variety yields the highest quality spears of the Jersey hybrids. Developed on the East Coast, Jersey Knight performs well all across the US. Jersey Knight is highly resistant to rust, Fusarium wilt, root rot, crown rot, and Cercospora. It is also hardy in cold winter climates where the soil freezes solid. Will overwinter to zone 3.
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Asparagus officinalis: This Mediterranean native is one of the first vegetables harvested in the spring. Asparagus is easy to start from seed, but you'll get an earlier harvest from our 1 year old crowns. Enjoy steamed, served with butter or lightly drizzled with hollandaise sauce.
CULTURE: Direct seeding is not recommended. Start transplants 60-90 days before your last frost. Sow seeds in sterile seedling mix. Fertilize transplants with an all purpose liquid fertilizer.
PREPARING THE BED: The key to good production is a well-prepared, deeply dug bed with lots of added organic matter. Prior to transplanting, work in 1-2 cups of our complete fertilizer per 10 row feet. After the danger of frost has passed, plant seedlings 10-15 inches apart in a 4 inch deep trench. Fill in the trench as the asparagus grows.
ASPARAGUS ROOT CROWNS: Plant the crowns 10-15 inches apart shortly after you receive them in mid-April. Complete instructions are included with your order.
MAINTAINING THE BED: Fertilize an established bed early in the spring and after harvest with 1-2 cups of our complete fertilizer per 10 row feet. Keep beds moist with about 1 inch of water per week. Stop harvesting when the stalks reduce in size to the diameter of a pencil. Let the smaller remaining spears grow. They may reach 5-7 feet tall and will become bushy. Cut off ferny growth to the ground after it turns yellow. Mulch with 2-3 inches of compost or well rotted manure in the fall.
DISEASE: The main diseases of asparagus are rust, Fusarium wilt, and Fusarium stem and crown rot. Control by starting seeds in sterile soil and maintaining good plant vigor.
INSECTS: Control asparagus beetles with an application of Pyrethrin. Slugs may also be troublesome in the early spring, so use traps or bait to keep their munching to a minimum.
HARVEST: A moderate 2-3 week harvest can be expected from crowns in 2-3 years. Harvest spears when they are 6-10 inches tall, breaking or cutting them off about 1 inch below the soil surface. With each successive year, your harvest window will lengthen to a maximum of 6-8 weeks. Harvested spears can be held for 10 days at 34°F and 100% relative humidity.
SEED SPECS: Minimum germination standard: 75%. Usual seed life: 3 years.