Asparagus officinalis 'Mary Washington'
|Considered a delicacy by the ancient Greeks and today's gourmet, Asparagus are low in calories and high in flavor and vitamin A. With care, plants produce abundant spears for 25 years or more. But you have to wait until the third year for your first harvest. This gives plants the time to grow roots that will keep producing spears. Unharvested, their fern-like foliage grows 5 to 6 feet high and can be used as an ornamental summer screen or along a fence where there is sun. Female plants produce berries that turn bright red in late summer and fall. Foliage turns yellow in fall and brown in winter. A perennial vegetable, plant 1-year-old crowns -- clusters of buds and thick fleshy roots -- in spring. In warm parts of the Northwest and the South, and in California, use varieties recommended for mild winters. Let plants grow the first year. In the second year, snap or cut off a few spears per plant just above ground level. Choose spears thicker than a pencil and 7 to 10 inches long. Year 3 or later, harvest lasts 6 to 8 weeks, until spears are less than ¼ inch in diameter. After harvest, keep well-watered until fall. Fertilize in spring before spears appear and in early summer after harvest with high nitrogen formula. Watch for fusarium wilt, root rot, rust, thrips, beetles and aphids.
Popular and widely available, this variety is resistant to rust.
Attributes - Asparagus officinalis 'Mary Washington'
Plant Type: Vegetable
Height: 3 ft. to 5 ft.
Width: 3 ft.
Sunlight: Full Sun
Climate: Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Notes: Edible. Susceptible to Aphids, Beetles, Rust.