Eight weeks ago, I started 30 Mary Washington asparagus seeds between two damp paper towels. Potted up, 12 of those became healthy little ferns, and now they’re continuously sending out new shoots, each one a little bigger in diameter than the last. (We might finally be up to a hair’s breadth!)
Since the apple trees were finishing up their blooming, it was time to get the asparagus plants to their permanent home: a bed I redug last week, adding extra compost and fertilizer in a strip down the middle. Asparagus like it fertile, so I’m doing my best. I progressively hardened off the plants, setting them outside for a couple more hours each day, and by April 3, they were ready to go. Take a look at them in their new home, planted 6″ apart in a 4′-wide bed and watered in with a generous dose of liquid fertilizer:
I have to admit, it can be difficult to plant out seedlings. For so long, they’ve been under your roof, protected by your watchful eye day and night, and then suddenly they’re out in the cold, dark world left to fend for themselves. The morning after planting out is always a little nerve-racking, as I make my way to the garden to see whether the plants have survived the night. So far, everything has. And the asparagus seem like a particularly hardy bunch of troopers. One of the stems broke off as I was planting, but I just stuck it back in the soil, and so far, it hasn’t wilted!