Asparagus Plants

Asked March 29, 2016, 3:21 AM EDT

I bought 8 crowns of Mary Washington Asparagus. They are about 5 weeks and all have come up. However most of them are spindly and have little green berries.

Are these female plants?
Should I pull them up and start over hoping to get more male plants?
Could you send me a picture of a young female and male plant?
What kind of asparagus has the most male plants?

Calhoun County Alabama

1 Response

Hi,
Your Mary Washington Asparagus is a open-pollinated "heirloom" variety will reproduce from female flowers in your growing bed making more plants over the years. Your soil pH is below 6.0, lime should be added to correct pH. Each year you need to check your pH. The first year your asparagus begins to grow, gradually fill in the furrow with soil. (Be careful not to cover any of the asparagus foliage.) The furrows should be filled to ground level by the end of the first growing season. Add organic fertilizer (about 1/4 cup per plant of granular) spreading the fertilizer on each side of the asparagus and cultivate it lightly into the soil. Good soil moisture is important during the first growing season. Irrigate or water your asparagus enough to wet the soil 8 inches deep every week . DO NOT harvest the asparagus spears that grow from 1 year crowns during their first season as that will decrease the production of next year's harvest. Allow all of them to grow into brush which looks like dill or a ferny bush. Late in the fall of the first growing season, after the brush has turned completely brown, remove the brush (old stalks) and any weeds. In your second growing season early next spring, broadcast lime as needed to maintain the proper soil pH. Add compost and organic fertilizer again. Thorough watering (2 to 3 inches of water) slowly applied every two weeks during dry weather is sufficient. Remove the brush each succeeding fall after it has turned brown. Each succeeding spring, before the asparagus emerges, broadcast lime if needed and add compost and organic fertilizer. Rake the fertilizer and lime into the soil gently, 1 to 2 inches deep. Take care not to damage the asparagus crowns.
As you can see your plants are fine just don't plan on eating Asparagus this year. I didn't get a good harvest until my 3rd season. Good luck. A