In the Autumn I picked these berries:
They have been sitting in a corner of the airing-cupboard ever since, drying. Now, never having done this before I wasn't sure how to go about sowing Asparagus seed, but my opening gambit was simply to push a few of them into a pot of moist compost, because this is pretty much what would happen "in the wild" as it were.
But as I was handling one of them, it split open. I realised then that the dry red casing was really just a seed pod, and the actual seed was inside. I cracked a few open and found that each dry red berry contained one small seed, which looked very much like a Tomato seed:
|Seeds at bottom right|
|Why am I thinking of Sweet & Sour Pork Balls in batter...?|
So plan B was to extract a few of the seeds from their outer casings and sow them in moist compost too. As you can see in the next photo, I left the secondary casing intact- removing it would have been far too fiddly for my shaky eyesight to cope with!
After I took this photo I pushed the seeds further into the compost so that they were completely covered.
The last element of the job was to cover the pots with small plastic bags to help retain humidity, and then the tray of pots went back into the propagator (aka airing-cupboard).
You can hardly see it in the photo, but I put a red plastic bag-tie into the one pot which had the complete berries in it, so I can tell it apart from the two which had just seeds in. I don't know if any of them will germinate, but it's worth a go I reckon. (I just need ONE to germinate really. Of my original 10 plants, one died in the first year, and I could do with a replacement to fill that lonely gap!)
I'm already imagining this (although it's probably 3 months away still):
I live more in hope than in expectation!
I had NO idea asparagus would produce berries like that, fascinating!! Can't wait to see the progress. Thanks for sharing!!ReplyDelete
Excellent, hope the seeds come good. Asparagus isn't something I buy a lot of, and haven't even thought about growing it, I think maybe because the OH doesn't really like it. That maybe comes from him eating non British and out of season asparagus.ReplyDelete
Good luck. Be interested to see how things progress. I've never seen asparagus growing other than at the spear stage but it is one of my longer term plans too.ReplyDelete
well, it's snowing again here so its unlikely we'll be eating asparagus any time soon!... I love the stuff too... when I was working at Gunby Hall last year we had so much of the stuff I ate it nearly everyday for 2 weeks... divine!ReplyDelete
You won't know unless you experiment. How exciting, I wonder how soon you'll know?ReplyDelete
I planted some plants of an all male hybrid too and got 3 out of 16 plants that were female. Not very ALL male. I'm contemplating whether I will pull the out this spring or not. I had to get more to replace some that died so I have enough to replace those too.ReplyDelete
What an interesting experiment. I'll be interested to know what happens.ReplyDelete
How exciting! I just love asparagus too and eat so much of it when it is in season. I really hope you get a result with those seeds!ReplyDelete
I just love asparagus I can't wait till they start popping up in my garden. double yum...Hope you can do one of your lovely recipes on asparagus?ReplyDelete
reminds me of jeff goldbloom in jurassic park commenting on the all female bred dinosaurs. The chaos theory of how do you stop nature from evolving and finding a way.ReplyDelete
I am anxiously waiting to see if mine produce anything this year.ReplyDelete
You deserve success Mark if only for your patience.ReplyDelete
We're all so intrigued ~ Good Luck ;D
In Australia it is very much discouraged to grow anything other than male plants(which is why people are usually advised to buy crowns) as it is essentially a weed here. With that in mind there does seem to be a reasonably good chance these will work, what self respecting weed would fail to reproduce afterall?ReplyDelete
A fascinating experiment - I hope they germinate for you! Apparently growing from seed means you'll wait an extra year to harvest compared with buying in crowns but give a better survival rate. I read that 1 in 10 crowns die before reaching maturity - which is exactly what you've experienced.ReplyDelete
On the positive side - I'm sure that they will germinate. I've grown asparagus from the berries of one of our plants but only for the fern. I seem to remember that I just sowed the berries.ReplyDelete
On the other hand it will take quite a while to get anything like the size for cutting
isn't seed sowing and germination so much FUN?? Yesterday I saw the first shoots from my watermelon seeds and I was SO excited!ReplyDelete
People tell me that asparagus is almost impossible to grow here so rather than try my luck with seeds, I opted for the little "plugs" from Home Depot. If I can actually make it to the end and see something edible, I'll try next time to do it from seeds. (Planting the plugs seems like cheating to me..I hate doing it!)
Interesting - I love experiments!ReplyDelete
I hope your experiment succeeds. Asparagus is considered really fancy fare in my place. How I would love to grow them!ReplyDelete
? how long did it take them to sprout out in the dirt im wondering because i have a bunch of these seedsReplyDelete