My asparagus has red berries. Is there any reason I shouldn't plant them? If I just put them in the ground will they grow or do I need to put them in potting soil and baby them.
Are your mother plants hybrids or O-P varieties?
Dorothy or someone else who has raised asparagus from seed can answer you questions about growing it from seed. I've only grown it from purchased roots, not from seed.
Helen, I have a hybrid stand of asparagus that I raised from seed over 25 years ago and it has been making babies ever since. Even though the plants are hybrids--UC157, mostly male plants--I've transplanted many of the seedlings and given away many. There is not the uniformity of the original stand, but it is all good asparagus. Some of the plants produce bigger spears than others.
I have always just let the seeds fall to the ground where they overwinter and sprout the following spring, but you can pick them when they turn red and dry on the plant. Then you can either mimic nature and plant them now or wait until early spring and plant them and keep them well watered. Good luck with it.
I started my original plantings in spring in a ground bed amended only a little with compost.
I imagine you could scatter the berries and they'd sprout come spring. I've only ever started them in soil mix, and then transplanted. However, I've had the volunteer and do well. Even hybrid asparagus will produce good seed. One just can't predict some characteristics. For instance, I planted seed from a purple hybrid, and only one seedling had purple stalks.
Thank you everyone.
Dh wants me to tell you not to plant the seeds too thickly, because the roots grow fast and long and can get really tangled. We first planted them 2" apart in rows about 6" apart. A year later when we went to transplant them we had to soak all the dirt off and gently untangle the roots. The next batch I planted I put much further apart, and they were a lot easier to move. I could move them with some dirt.
Thanks I hadn't thought that far ahead. My concern was would they grow at all and if somehow seedlings would be inferior to purchased plants. I buy a few plants each year but I have thin rocky soil and the last two years have been bad. I have some of the Mary Washington and some that are various male plants - Jersey something. I think those have thicker stalks but the Mary Washington tastes better to me. Some I have is mild and I like strong. I don't have many plants so in spring I have asparagus for breakfast as soon as I find some I eat it.