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Asparagus, 'Purple Passion'
Item AS151

Asparagus is extremely nutritious and has many health benefits! 'Purple Passion' has many similar characteristics to green asparagus but offers something new for the asparagus connoisseur. It is a unique asparagus variety especially suited to the asparagus enthusiast, whether home gardener or commercial grower. The spears produced have several qualities which make it quite different than common green asparagus. The deep-burgundy coloration produced in these spears is most striking. This variety has a 20% higher sugar content and is often eaten raw. Provides excellent purple color if added to salads raw, but turns green when cooked. Some upscale restaurants garnish salads with Purple Passion. When cooked, the sweetness gives this asparagus a mild, nutty flavor. The spears are generally larger and much more tender than its green counterpart. The vascular bundles have less lignin per spear which makes the spears less stringy. This also allows the cook to use the whole spear and not waste the bottom. Purple Passion is truly a unique new vegetable which has exceptional qualities that put it in a class by itself. It should pique the imagination of any world-class chef as well as the ordinary consumer who just wants to add something special to the dinner plate. Grows well throughout the Midwest. Purple Passion has productive yields. For best performance, plant spacing for Purple Passion is 6-8 inches apart in the row instead of the usual 12-inch spacing. Purple Passion is an excellent addition to any asparagus planting. This cultivar has some resistance to rust, root/crown rot and fusarium.

Asparagus get top dollar at the supermarket, but commercially grown spears never measure up to the delicate sweet flavor of homegrown. Asparagus is a hardy perennial. Asparagus is a highly productive vegetable. Grown for the stems or spears, a well tended planting yields 8 to 10 pounds or more per 100 square feet of bed or 24 to 30 pounds per 100 feet of row. For most home gardeners, one row is adequate. An asparagus planting lasts 15 to 25 years without replanting if it is well cared for and the climate is suitable. It does not do well if summers are extremely hot and long and winters are mild.
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Size: 2 Yr · Hardiness: Zones 3-10 · Spears: Purple

Harvest: Spring · Botanical: Asparagus officinalis

Height: 3-4 Feet · Spacing: 18" · Exposure: Full Sun

Pests: Asparagus beetles are commonly found in home plantings. If numerous, they may be controlled by a suggested insecticide or by handpicking. Asparagus rust can be a problem in the Midwest. Moisture left on the plant for 10 hours can help to spread the disease. Plant resistant varieties.

Notes: Asparagus is a hardy perennial. It is the only common vegetable that grows wild along roadsides and railroad tracks over a large part of the country. Although establishing a good asparagus bed requires considerable work, your efforts will be rewarded. A well-planned bed can last from 15 to 25 years. For this reason, asparagus should be planted at the side or end of the garden, where it will not be disturbed by normal garden cultivation. Asparagus is one of the first vegetables ready to harvest in the spring. Asparagus is native to the Mediterranean and was eaten by the ancient Greeks.

Easy to grow:
1. Dig a trench 6" deep
2. Place the roots in the trench, spreading the roots so they remain flat.
3. Cover with 3" of dirt and once growth begins, fill in the additional 3" of soil.

Planting instructions: Plant in early spring in a sunny location of sandy loam with good drainage. Do not harvest the first year and harvesting may continue until June 1 the second year. Every season, when cuttings are over, apply a fertilizer to supply nitrogen for good regrowth of the plants. Approximately 10 lbs. per 100 foot of row for fertilizer similar to 10-10-10 (500 lbs. per acre) is sufficient. WATER PLANTS WELL AFTER PLANTING. After harvest, asparagus must be completely dormant before mowing. Mow late winter or early spring.

When to Plant Outdoors
Plant in the spring, after the ground warms to about 50ยบ F.


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