ASPARAGUS VARIETIES

The different types of asparagus are generally classified by colour - White / Green, Green and Purple

White /green asparagus

Gijnlim - early season
Marte - mid season
Eros - mid season
Backlim - late season
Ercole - late season

Green asparagus

Jersey Giant - early
Ariane - early season
Pacific 2000 - mid
Jersey Knight - late
Guelph Tiessen - late season
Guelph Millennium - late season

Purple asparagus

Pacific Purple
Crimson Pacific
Stewarts Purple
-
- all mid season

SOCIETIES

ASPARAGUS

photo of asparagus tipsAsparagus is an expensive vegetable to buy, but economical to grow since plants will continue to provide crops from the same plant year after year.

Asparagus plants are grown in a permanent bed and can remain there for 20 years.

This delicious vegetable - was once grown in special raised beds and was considered difficult to grow.

Now with new strains from selected male and female parents making the pedigree of asparagus uniform, fat juicy crops can be grown with relative ease.

A mature asparagus plant will give a crop for about six weeks. You do not even have to divide them to provide new growth.

HOW AND WHERE TO GROW ASPARAGUS?

Asparagus roots or crowns are thick and succulent and need good drainage.

Asparagus plants will grow on most soil types but prefer a sandy soil or sandy loam as these warm up quickly in the spring because of their low moisture content.

This warmth causes the plants to be stimulated into growth and the asparagus stems to be cut early.

Provided the drainage is good you could grow asparagus on heavy clay but this crop will be two weeks later than one grown on a sandy loam .

PREPARING THE SOIL FOR PLANTING ASPARAGUS

well rotted horse manure on an allotmentPrepare the ground in the autumn by digging to a spade depth and burying one bucket of well rotted manure or garden compost to the square meter.

Leave the ground rough over winter and in the following end of February beginning of March fork over the soil 7.5 or 10cm deep to leave a fine tilth for planting.

Then apply a general fertilizer such as Growmore.

Apply a similar dressing every year at the same time until the asparagus bed is exhausted, which could be 20 years later.

In October each year provide a top dressing of well rotted manure or garden compost. Allow one bucketful per meter run and do not dig it in.

PLANTING ASPARAGUS CROWNS

spears of fresh asparagus

Plant asparagus crowns in late March or early April.

One-year-old crowns are less liable to be damaged in transplanting and are cheaper to buy although they may take a little longer to crop.

A good soaking of asparagus plants for a day after you receive them is advised.

You should protect the asparagus crowns with damp sacks so the roots are not exposed to the air more than necessary.

Plant as soon as possible - as soon as the soil is dry. Do not plant when the soil is sticky and wet.

Prepare a trench 30cm (1ft) wide and 20cm (8in)deep and make each row 30cm(1ft) apart and each asparagus plant 30cm apart.

Allow for a path 75cm wide between each set of three rows.

Mix some gritty sand into the excavated soil. Then replace this soil in the bottom of the trench to make a mound ridge 8cm in height so that the top is 12cm below ground level.

Plant the crowns on top of the mound ridge with their roots spread out on either side 30cm apart.

Lightly cover the asparagus crowns with soil so that the roots do not show but do not fill in the trench.

As growth develops later in the season draw a little more soil over the roots to keep them covered every time you hoe. This will form a ridge that will force the asparagus roots to grow deeply and establish themselves.

HOW TO GROW ASPARAGUS FROM SEED?

Thinly sow in a seed bed in March or April in drills just over 1 cm deep and 30cm apart.

Thin the asparagus seedlings to 15cm .apart. Plant out the same way as crowns the following March or April



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How to grow Asparagus plants in a vegetable garden from crowns or seed. Different varieties to provide purple, white or green asparagus crops on most soil types.