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Propagating asparagus plants

I planted young asparagus plants a couple of springs ago. This past fall, one of the plants produced fruits (small red balls like I’ve seen on Asparagus sprengeri.) I looked in my Hartman and Kester, but it did not mention means of using asparagus seeds to make more plants. Can this be done? If I left them on the plant outside all winter, are they still viable?

According to Franklin Herm Fitz in A Gardener’s Guide to Propagating Food Plants, it is possible to grow asparagus from seed, but possibly not if the seeds have been out in freezing weather:

“Collect the red berries from two-year-old or older female plants, harvesting before the first frost. Crush the berries and separate the seeds by hand (the seeds are large, shiny, and black) or by immersing them in water. The pulp will float as the seeds sink. Dry the seeds for 2 to 3 weeks. In the spring grow the new plants in deep, loose soil. After one season transplant them to a permanent bed (…) in early spring before growth resumes or in the fall after growth has ceased.”

Alternatively, as you probably know, asparagus roots may be divided and replanted, with the knowledge that each smaller root will take a year to become established so that it can produce a good crop.