aparagus from seed

Asked September 19, 2015, 9:01 PM EDT

I have 2 dozen asparagus plants from seeds I started this spring. They are in 1 gallon pots out on my deck. The seed package said that next spring I can set them out in their bed but what do I do with them until then? Are 1 gallon pots big enough? Do I bring them indoors when it gets too cold for the little darlings? When is too cold for them? If I start a few more seeds now could I put them out with the others next spring?

Lane County Oregon

1 Response

Asparagus is a long-lived perennial. Each winter the above ground portion will die back to the ground. The below ground portion, or crown, will be dormant during the winter months until early spring. In your situation, you will need to protect the crown in the pot from any deep freezes this winter until you can get it transplanted into a garden bed. Plants in containers are more susceptible to temperature swings because they don't have a large soil mass to insulate the roots. Once the foliage dies back later this fall you can store the entire pot in an insulated shed or garage. Then in early spring (Feb) you can transplant the crown into the prepared garden bed.

As far starting seeds now: this may be difficult. If you like to experiment, then why not try it. But, I have a hunch that growth won't be that successful during the winter months due to cooler temperatures and lower light conditions.

If you need additional or more personalized advice to your specific situation, please contact the OSU Extension Lane County Master Gardeners and they can provide more advice.

Hope this gets you headed in the right direction and thanks for using Ask An Expert!