'UC-157 F2' Asparagus
Origin: Mediterranean (via California)
Improvement status: Breeding population
Seeds per packet: ~35
Germination tested 12/2022: 89%
Life cycle: Perennial
This is second generation seed of the most widely grown commercial asparagus variety, 'UC 157', which is a terribly boring name for such a great variety. Bred by two guys named Frank (Takatori and Southers) at the University of California - Riverside, it was released in 1978 and quickly became popular due to its vigor, productivity, tender and delicious spears, and resistance to diseases including rust and fusarium.
We're pleased to be offering this F2 seed to encourage growers to explore the diversity that comes out in the F2 generation and hopefully develop some more new asparagus varieties (there are only a few commonly available for sale). While the parent plant was bred for California, this generation should prove more widely adaptable. (But if you're in a very cold-winter area, we recommend you check out the 'White Hawk' asparagus seed we also offer.)
Asparagus grown from seed requires some patience (it shouldn't be harvested fully until its third spring), but it pays off over the long-run in resilience! It's the quintessential perennial vegetable and deserves a place in any garden or farm!
GROWING NOTES: First-year seedlings are very tiny. They should be kept in pots or well-weeded in their permanent positions. Once established, in three years usually, they can withstand significant weed pressure.
NOTE: We did not have our own in house photo of this variety but fortunately there was a good one on Wikimedia Commons. Special thanks to Idéalités for taking this photo.