Mary Washington Asparagus -

(Asparagus 'Mary Washington')

Vegetables


Other Common Names: Hybrid Asparagus
Family: Asparagaceae. Genus: Asparagus Cultivar: 'Mary Washington'
Mary Washington Asparagus
Gardenality.com Planted · 8 years ago
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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Mary Washington Asparagus is a strong grower with large spears produced in spring that have excellent taste. It is good for cooking, canning or fresh eating. Is reliable and resistance to rust. The shoots (called "spears") are tender, thick, heavy and straight and are of a rich dark green color with a purple tinge. They are uniform in size, about 10 inches in length. They have a delicate, delicious flavor when cooked. On average, a productive bed of asparagus can last for 10 years but up to 15 years or longer. It needs well-drained, deep soil and plenty of sunlight; at least 8 hours daily.

Also, recently, I read somewhere that asparagus is good for hangovers, because it helps to detoxify the liver, or something like that. Folks who drink can eat it before or after to reduce the effects of a hangover. So, even if you're like me and don't drink much alcohol at all, it might just have some good health benefits. Either way, I love asparagus...probably my favorite veggie, with okra coming in a close second:-)

8 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F · Comment About Pruning
If you purchased one-year old plants, do not harvest the asparagus spears during the planting year. Spears will be produced from expanded buds on the crown. As the spears elongate and reach a height of about 8 to 9 inches, the tips will open. The spear will become woody to support the small branchlets that become ferns. The ferns produce food for the plant and then move it down to the crown for next year's spear production.

Contrary to what some folks say, the year after planting, asparagus can be harvested several times throughout a three-week period, depending on air temperatures. Research shows there is no need to wait two years after planting before harvesting. In fact, harvesting the year after planting will stimulate more bud production on the crown and provide greater yields in future years, as compared with waiting two years before harvesting. When it comes to harvesting, harvest asparagus by snapping 7 to 9 inch spears with tight tips. There is no need to cut asparagus below the soil with a knife. This may injure other buds on the crown that will send up new spears. The small stub that is left in the soil after snapping, dries up and disintegrates. A new spear does not come up at the same spot, but comes up from another bud that enlarges on another part of the crown.

Keep in mind that Asparagus is very perishable and should be harvested in the morning when air temperatures are cool. After picking, immerse the spears in ice-cold water to remove the heat; then drain the water and place the spears in plastic bags. Store in the refrigerator at 38 to 40 degrees F. Asparagus will keep for 1 to 2 weeks with little loss of quality.

One of the best things about asparagus is it's a long-lived perennial you don't have to replant every year.

8 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F · Comment About Planting
You want to plant asparagus in early spring in a sunny location in sandy, loamy soil with good drainage. Dig a furrow no deeper than 5 to 6 inches. Research has shown that the deeper asparagus crowns are planted, the more the total yield is reduced. Apply about 1 lb. of 0-46-0 (triple superphosphate) or 2 lbs. of 0-20-0 (superphosphate) fertilizer per 50 feet of row in the bottom of the furrow before planting. This will make phosphorus immediately available to the crowns. Omitting this procedure will result in decreased yields and the spear production will not be as vigorous. Place the crowns into the furrow on top of the fertilizer. The fertilizer will not burn the crowns, and the plants will grow regardless of how they land so don't bother to spread the roots. Space the crowns 1-1/2 feet apart in the row. If more than one row is planted, space the rows five feet apart from center to center. Wide between-row spacing is necessary because the vigorously growing fern will fill in the space quickly. Wide spacing also promotes rapid drying of the fern to help prevent the onset of fungus diseases.

After planting, back fill the furrow to its original soil level. It isn't necessary to gradually cover the crowns with a few inches of soil until the furrow is filled in. However, do not compact the soil over the newly filled furrow or the emergence of the asparagus will be severely reduced. Spears should emerge within one week in moist soils.

Asparagus is very drought tolerant and can usually grow without supplemental watering because it seeks moisture deep in the soil. However, if rainfall is insufficient when planting or afterwards, it is beneficial to irrigate the crowns. Otherwise the plants will become stressed and vigorous growth will be impeded.

NOTE: Do not harvest the spears the first year. During the second year, harvesting can continue to June 1st.

8 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F · Comment About Feeding
When harvest is finished, snap all the spears off at ground level. Apply 1/2 lb. of ammonium nitrate fertilizer per 50 feet of row. If there are weeds growing around the plants, pull them at this time. After fertilizing, new spears will then emerge, fern out, and provide a large canopy to cover the space between the rows. Once a dense fern canopy is formed, weed growth will be shaded out.

8 years ago ·
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