Asparagus

Varieties of Asparagus Plants

Asparagus officinalis     Full Sun     Soil pH: 6.0 to 8.0


 

Recommended Varieties of Asparagus for Home Growers

Asparagus plants are either male or female. The female plants bear seeds, and sprout new seedlings which takes considerable energy from the plant and causes overcrowding in the bed. Male plants obviously do not. They put no energy into seeds and produce larger spears because of this. Male plants do not produce volunteer seedlings, which compete against the established plants and contribute to reduced yields. All-male hybrids are also more disease resistant than older varieties.

The following are my personal favorites, you of course may prefer to scan any of the many online nurseries and seed catalogs.

All Male Varieties

Jersey King

All male--yields twice what male/female asparagus types do. Bears bigger, more tender spears, too. No "volunteers" to draw insects. Resists fusarium wilt, root rot and rust.

Jersey Knight

Prolific all-male strain should please even the most ardent asparagus fan! Spear tips stay tight past the harvest- green, sweet and tender. Rust resistant.













Mixed Varieties

Mary Washington

Tightly budded stalks hold at peak quality and flavor over an extra-long cutting period. Rich emerald-green spears are extremely uniform in size, with delicate taste steamed or blanched.

Purple Passion

Larger, sweeter and tastier spears than the more common green types. Produces for years. Stalks turn green when cooked.


White Asparagus:

Used primarily in Europe, White asparagus is produced by the deprivation of light. Dirt is kept mounded around the emerging stalk. The plant won't produce adequate chlorophyll without sun light, therefore no green color goes to the stalks.

See: Albino Asparagus Planting Guide

Purple Asparagus:

Found in the British Isles and Italy, Purple Asparagus has a very thick stalk. It has a higher sugar content than other varieties and is naturally sweeter. It also contains higher levels of Anthocyanins a Cancer fighting compound.





 

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