Guelph Millennium

Guelph Millennium

SKU: AS109
This all male asparagus variety was bred at the University of Guelph. It is much loved for its cold tolerance, its productivity, and the solid green colour of its tasty spears. Read More

Exposure Full-sun

Season Cool season

Shipping & Returns

West Coast Seeds ships anywhere in North America. However, we are not able to ship garlic, potatoes, asparagus crowns, bulbs, onion sets, Mason bee cocoons, or nematodes outside of Canada. We regret, we cannot accept returns or damages for orders outside of Canada. The minimum shipping charge to the US is $6.99.

More details about Guelph Millennium

This all male asparagus variety was bred at the University of Guelph. It is much loved for its cold tolerance, its productivity, and the solid green colour of its tasty spears. The foliage is robust and attractive. The purple bracts of Jersey Knight are caused by the presence of anthocyanins, which are only "moderately present" in Guelph Millennium. Choose Guelph Millennium asparagus seeds when planning the asparagus bed for your organic vegetable garden. Growing asparagus from seeds takes several years, but asparagus fresh from the garden is worth all the effort. This is the premium choice for asparagus growers in Canada and the northern US. This variety is a winner of the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Hybrid seeds.

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All About Guelph Millennium

Latin

Latin
Asparagus officinalis.
Family: Asparagaceae

Difficulty

Difficulty
Moderately difficult. Requires patience!

Season:

Season: Cool season.
Exposure: Full-sun.
Zone: Hardy to Zone 2

Timing

Timing
Start seeds indoors during winter through spring under bright lights. There will be no harvest from these these long-lived perennials until 3 years after transplanting, so be patient. Soil temperature for germination: 21–30ºC (70–85ºF).

Starting

Starting
Soak seeds for 2 hours. Plant 1 seed per 5cm (2″) pot, 1cm (½”) deep. Keep in a warm place. Be patient: they can take 2-8 weeks to sprout depending on soil temperature. 

Growing

Growing
Transplant when seedlings are 10-12 weeks old and danger of frost has passed. Space 45cm (18″) apart in rows 1-2m (3-6′) apart. Transplant each plant in a hole 10cm (4") deep and gradually cover the crown with soil as it grows. For thicker spears, space 30-35cm (12-14″) apart and set buds 15-20cm (6-8″) in the hole. For thinner spears, space 20-25cm (8-10″) with the buds 10cm (4″) deep.Fertilize after harvest and again in the spring with 1-2 cups of complete organic fertilizer per 3m (10′) of row, worked in lightly. Asparagus needs 2cm (1″) of water per week. In late fall, trim ferns down to 5cm (2″) and dispose of cuttings to avoid future disease and insect problems.

Harvest

Harvest
It’s important to not harvest until the third year so that plants can become established and strong. Then harvest over a 2-3 week period. Cut the fattest spears off at ground level when they are 15-20cm (6-10″) long. When thinner spears begin to emerge let them to grow into big fronds to nourish the roots. With each successive year the harvest lengthens to a maximum of 6-8 weeks. Store in the refrigerator wrapped in a damp paper towel.

Seed Info

Seed Info
In optimum conditions at least 75% of seeds should germinate. Usual seed life: 2 years.

Diseases & Pests

Diseases & Pests
Rust, fusarium wilt, and fusarium stem and crown rot can all be problems. Using seed started in sterile soil instead of purchased plants, and planting in soil that has no history of disease will keep asparagus plants healthy.

Asparagus beetles can defoliate the ferns of the asparagus plant. They overwinter in the top growth, so thorough removal of the fronds in the fall (after they have died) is vital. In a small garden, simply hand-pick the voracious insects.

Encouraging beneficials like ladybugs reduces aphids. Aphids are usually found together on growing tips (look for the sooty blotches they leave behind).

Companion Planting

Companion Planting
Companion planting is a cornerstone of organic gardening. Carefully choose companions to reduce your need for pesticides. Plant asparagus seeds or crowns with asters, basil, cilantro, dill, cilantro, marigolds, nasturtiums, oregano, parsley, peppers, sage, and thyme. Asparagus repels nematodes that attack tomatoes, and tomatoes repel asparagus beetles. We have a full list of companions to consider.

How to Grow Asparagus

Step 1: Timing

Start seeds indoors February to May under bright lights. There will be no harvest from these these long-lived perennials until 3 years after transplanting, so be patient!

Step 2: Starting

Soak seeds for 2 hours. Plant 1 seed per 5cm (2”) pot, 1cm (1⁄2”) deep. Keep in a warm place. Be patient: seeds can take 2-8 weeks to sprout depending on soil temperature.

Step 3: Growing

Ideal pH: 6.5-7.0

Transplant when seedlings are 10-12 weeks old and danger of frost has passed. Prepare beds by digging deeply in well-drained soil. Add a lot of compost or manure, and a handful of complete organic fertilizer for each plant. Space plants
45cm (18”) apart in rows 120cm (48”) apart..

Step 4: Germination

In optimum conditions at least 75% of seeds should germinate.

Usual seed life: 2-3 years.

Step 5: Harvest

It’s important to not harvest until the third year so that plants can become established and strong. Then harvest over a 2-3 week period. Cut the fattest spears off at ground level when they are 15-20cm (6-10″) long. When thinner spears begin to emerge let them to grow into big fronds to nourish the roots. With each successive year the harvest lengthens to a maximum of 6-8 weeks. Store in the refrigerator wrapped in a damp paper towel.

Tips!

Diseases & Pests: Rust, fusarium wilt, and fusarium stem and crown rot can all be problems. Using seed started in sterile soil instead of purchased plants, and planting in soil that has no history of disease will keep asparagus plants healthy.

Asparagus beetles can defoliate the ferns of the asparagus plant. They overwinter in the top growth, so thorough removal of the fronds in the fall (after they have died) is vital. In a small garden, simply hand-pick the voracious insects.

Encouraging beneficials like ladybugs reduces aphids. Aphids are usually found together on growing tips (look for the sooty blotches they leave behind).

Companion planting: Carefully choose companions to reduce your need for pesticides. Plant asparagus seeds or crowns with asters, basil, cilantro, dill, cilantro, marigolds, nasturtiums, oregano, parsley, peppers, sage, and thyme. Asparagus repels nematodes that attack tomatoes, and tomatoes repel asparagus beetles. Here is our full list of companions to consider!

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