growing asparagus in Florida

kawaiineko_gardener(5a)November 14, 2011

Please don't say 'look in the search box'. I've tried that; it's just been about whether or not it's possible to grow asparagus in general.

What I'm asking about is varieties of asparagus that have been bred for hot and dry climates, so it's not the same thing as just growing asparagus in general.

I know that for southern states, it's not a good idea to try and grow asparagus. Namely because they require overwintering periods of being dormant; temperatures in any part of Florida (or throughout the south) just don't become low enough.

However I've found some varieties of heat tolerant asparagus, bred for being grown in hot and dry climates.

Since an asparagus patch has a long 'shelf life' once established, I'm wondering if the varieties of asparagus designed for hot, dry climates would produce a viable asparagus patch for a long period of time?

I ask this and bring it up because if asparagus is grown in Florida (or any southern state/climate) and is successful, it only lasts for a couple of seasons.

I'm trying to avoid this. Here are the varieties I found

Apollo

UC-157

Does anybody know of any other varieties that are suitable for hot and dry climates? These are the only ones I've managed to find.

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corar4gw(JAX9A)

not knowing any better, I planted Martha Washington asparagus - and they did quite well. Until my son mowed them all down, thinking they were weeds. They never fully recovered and the people who bought our house couldn't have cared less.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 6:20PM
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johnjsr(9A DeLand)

We had a friend who had a small farm west of Gainesville. He grew apples, blueberries and grapes. For his own use he also grew asparagus which he loved. That's in zone 8. Can't ask what variety, he's been gone 11 years. Seems to me there is a big difference in what one can grow in zone 8 and zone 9 where I live.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 12:33AM
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westhamutd

I am currently growing the UC157 variety,as that was the only heat tolerant variety I could find seed for.I started it from seed late last year & planted it out in January.I have not harvested any spears & won't for another couple of Years,but some of the spears are already 3/8" in diameter,so this variety definately seems to be doing well in my zone.I'm not sure how well it will do further south,but it was not even phased by the summer heat & we hit 100+ for a couple of weeks this year.It is just now starting to die back & hopefully go dormant.I will then cut all the old growth down,shred it & apply it as a mulch for the winter.Hope this info helps & good luck

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 9:03AM
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gatormomx2(9a)

From the UF link:
Good asparagus spear production is dependent upon a dormant period. Dormancy is usually brought about by cold weather or drought, and since Florida has neither, growth is more or less continuous resulting in weak spindly spears. Asparagus beds in north and central Florida often yield good quality spears for 4-5 years before regressing.

Search on solutionsforyourlife.com and you will find plenty of info about Florida gardening.

Here is a link that might be useful: Asparagus

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 6:45AM
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northflagardener

I'm afraid this won't be much help, but my grandmother grew a large asparagus patch in Naples for many years back in the 50's and 60's. So, it certainly is possible to grow asparagus in Florida, regardless of what the "experts" say. Unfortunately, I have no idea what variety it was. You may just have to experiment and see which variety does best.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 3:42PM
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nickpcb

I live in the panhandle about 1 block from the gulf where my Mary Washington has done just fine for the last 4 or 5 years. It shoots up in March and dies back in November. I've seen a few shoots at weird times like late summer or in december/january but for the most part it grows like it's supposed to.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 10:50AM
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