Technically, all asparagus varieties can be blanched to produce white spears, but Voltaire has been bred specifically for the job. It is widely used by European growers to achieve the stark white spears known as spargel. White asparagus is more tender than green, with a milder, almost nutty flavour. Traditional growers pile soil or sand up around the spears as they emerge in spring, but black mulch can also be used. It may be simpler to use some kind of wooden box or inverted trash can to keep the spears in the dark as they grow. Left unblanched, Voltaire will produce tasty green spears.
Voltaire is a clonal hybrid that produces vigorous, tall, all male plants. It is early yielding (once established), and adapted to temperate climates. It boasts a high resistance to Purple Spot, and intermediate resistance to Rust.
Planting asparagus seeds is an exercise in patience, but one of the most rewarding of all garden tasks. Asparagus Seeds germinate slowly, and the crowns take three seasons before they can handle being harvested. However the grower’s patience is generously rewarded by early season harvests of asparagus with a flavour you will not find on store shelves anywhere. You will wish you had planted a bigger asparagus bed!