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Asparagus, male vs female, selection ?s Toplef10Asparagus, male vs female, selection ?s 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Asparagus, male vs female, selection ?s

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Post  igolfat8 Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:11 am

My 2nd year asparagus plants are coming up nicely now. Some of them have seeds which I think is an indicator of male & female plants? I thought I read that you should pull up one or the other so you only have all male or all female plants in the bed. Is this true and can someone advise which ones to get rid of and keep?
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Post  GWN Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:32 am

I would not pull up any of them. I would think you need both if you want more asparagus, mine have done some seeding and my bed grew this year and I have them in an area where they can continue to grow.... seed themselves.
be interested in what others say
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Post  J_in_HamiltonON Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:59 am

Some varieties are all male, and some would suggest removing female plants if you have the (male and female) variaties. the reason is that female plants put lots of energy into producing seeds, which means less energy is directed to the roots. The stored energy in the roots is what provides the crop in the following spring.

This is my second year with asparagus, which I started from seed last year (shich wasn't that bad, despite all the advice I read against doing such). I have both male and female plants. This spring I pulled off many flowers to prevent reproductive development. They are new plants, still building a root base, so I would liek to encourage that. In subsequent years I will just let them be. As is stands now, I will certainly have way more asparagus that I can possibly handle with even a moderate crop production.

Since our plants are new, you might consider removing the fruits to allow more root development.

Did you start the plants from seeds? Did you harvest any this year? My plants came up quite early but were not very edible. We took 1 shoot off a number of plants, but they were tall, thin and woody. This was before the local asparagus became available so I know I wasn't too late to harvest. I suspect the poor quality was either due to plant age or spacing / depth. I planted my starts 6" apart, expecting that many would not survive (nealy all did survive:D ). this fall I will transplant every other one to give 12" spacing, and will also bury them under more soild to encourage shorter fatter stems vs. taller thinner stems ( think I got that correct, deeper for shorter fatter stems, shallower for thinner). Now I just need to find a spot for 2 dozen tall long-lived perennial plants:scratch:
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Post  plantoid Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:19 pm

Getting rid of the female berry bearing plants and replacing them with males should give approximately 15 % more crop.

As has been said the female plant produces berries at the expense of prolific spears.



you can buy seed or crowns with almost 90% guarantee to be males

Three years ago I sowed 35 seeeds and grew them on to three year old crowns disposing of all the females ..ready for a bumper crop this year.. Some pratt inadvertantly hit them all with a watering can of weed killer Embarassed in April this year .

New crowns ordered , recieved and planted at the end of May and also 18 new plants sown from seed so I end up with males only in the 20 year living bed.
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Post  igolfat8 Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:57 pm

I started mine from Burpee plants and not from seeds. I did not harvest any this year and will only lightly harvest next spring. The third year should be good eatin' though Wink Burpee advertised them as MALE plants but obviously about 30% of mine are female though.
igolfat8
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