Purple Asparagus Crowns

Purple Asparagus Crowns

SKUS: AS104A, AS104B, AS104C
Purple asparagus is sweeter and milder to most palates than the traditional green varieties. Plant the crowns in early spring, and do not harvest for the first year. Read More

Exposure Full sun

Season Cool season

*Please note, this product cannot be shipped to the USA.
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 Purple Asparagus Crowns

Purple asparagus is sweeter and milder to most palates than the traditional green varieties. It’s fun to incorporate some purple asparagus into the perennial vegetable garden. Plant the crowns in early spring, and do not harvest for the first year. Instead let the stalks and fern-like foliage grow so it can photosynthesize. Remember that asparagus beds are permanent, so they should should be deeply cultivated and enriched with lots of organic matter in the form of finished compost and/or well rotted manure. It's also a good idea to add some Glacial Rock Dust at planting time, just to incorporate some minerals. Purple asparagus turns green when cooked.

Seasonal item shipping: Items shipped at specific times of the year such as garlic, potatoes, onion sets, asparagus crowns, mason bee cocoons, nematodes and flower bulbs require special handling. They will be shipped separately as a new order with the applicable regional shipping charges applies. Whenever possible, we will combine you orders to minimize shipping charges. 

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Purple Asparagus Crowns

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All About Purple Asparagus Crowns

Latin

Latin
Asparagus officinalis
Liliaceae family.

Difficulty

Difficulty
Easy - requires patience!

Season & Zone

Season & Zone
Exposure: Full sun
Zone: Hardy to Zone 2

Starting

Starting
Asparagus crowns are the root systems of asparagus plants that are two years old. They are grown for the purposes of selling at the crown stage, which is much faster than starting from seed. They are very cold hardy, but they need to be planted soon after they are delivered. If they are delivered to a place where planting is impossible due to snow or frozen soil, plant them in a large container, in soil, and keep them in a cold but protected place like a garage or garden shed.

Asparagus is a perennial plant that will produce for ten years or more from the initial planting. Soil preparation is vital to long term productivity. Dig the planting area deeply and work in a large amount of organic matter in the form of compost or well rotted manure. Add a generous amount of Glacial Rock Dust to supply mineral content. In a raised bed, think in terms of dedicating five or more years of nutrients to the plants that will develop.

Spacing for asparagus crowns requires a minimum of 45-60cm (18-24") between plants. For farms, plant the rows 1.5m (5') apart.

Growing

Growing
The strategy with asparagus is to allow the plants to become well established before harvesting. When starting from seed, this means waiting two years until the first harvest. With asparagus crowns, harvesting begins one year after planting. For the first year, allow the plants to simply grow and photosynthesize, and become strong. Do not be tempted to harvest the stalks in the first year. Your patience will be rewarded in year two.

Harvest

Harvest
It’s important to not harvest until the second 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.

Diseases & Pests

Diseases & Pests
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 handpick the voracious insects.

Encouraging beneficials like ladybugs helps control 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 Crowns

Step 1: Timing

Plant your asparagus crowns in spring. There will be no harvest from these these long-lived perennials until 3 years after transplanting, so be patient!

Step 2: Starting

Prepare soil by digging in ample finished manure, fully rotted compost and glacial rock dust. Dig a round pit about 30cm (12”) and form a mound at the bottom. Set the crowns so that their roots are evenly spaced, pointing outward from the centre with the crowns 5-8cm (2-3”) below the soil’s surface.

Step 3: Growing

Ideal pH: 6.5-7.0

Each spring, when new growth is visible, top dress with balanced organic fertilizer. Mulch with straw in cold winters.

Step 4: Harvest

Harvest the spears sparingly in the first two years when they are 5” to 7” high and let the remainder grow into ferns to establish a strong root system. In year three, harvests can be as long as two months. Mature plants can be divided.

Tips!

• Asparagus beds are permanent, so they should should be deeply cultivated and enriched with lots of organic matter in the form of finished compost and/or well rotted manure. It's also a good idea to add some Glacial Rock Dust at planting time, just to incorporate some minerals.

• Purple asparagus turns green when cooked!

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