A Stock of Stalks: 4 Asparagus Varieties

Asparagus is the crop that keeps on giving. Try out one of these varieties in your garden.
Purple Passion Asparagus

Purple Passion Asparagus

Purple Passion Asparagus is so sweet and tender you might forget about its original green relative.

©2013, Image courtesy of Burpee Seeds and Plants

2013, Image courtesy of Burpee Seeds and Plants

Purple Passion Asparagus is so sweet and tender you might forget about its original green relative.

Did you know that, once planted, asparagus can bring you many years of harvests with very little fuss? This plant takes a little extra care to get in the ground, but since it’s a perennial, it’ll come back year after year.

The first thing to decide is whether to plant asparagus from seeds or crowns. Planting from seeds is cheaper, but you’ll have to wait a season before you get a harvest. Planting from crowns, or roots, is a lot more expensive, but you’ll have results much faster. 

Either way, once those plants are in the ground you can expect many years’ worth of crops (often twenty or more) without having to replant.

Although the grocery store tends to always stock the same green stalks, asparagus comes in a variety of colors and sizes to try. Here are a few favorites:

Precoce D’Argenteuil

This heirloom variety has a long history and is prized in Europe for its delicious stems and bright, purplish buds. Does well in a variety of climates. Buy seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds: www.rareseeds.com.

Purple Passion

Wow! This deep purple, wide-stemmed asparagus boasts a mild, nutty flavor and a show-stopping hue that will make it a hit in a salad or just by itself. Purchase crowns from Burpee Seeds: www.burpee.com.

Jersey Knight

This hybrid variety is bred to be all-male, which increases yield. This variety is rust-resistant and is a good choice for heavier soils. Crowns are available at Johnny’s Selected Seeds: www.johnnyseeds.com.

Mary Washington

Originating in 1919, this favorite offers a high yield and a classic look and flavor. Purchase seeds from Eden Brothers: www.edenbrothers.com.

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