Thursday, May 21, 2009

Purple is Darn Good

Due to some issues, I haven't been able to publish a post here for several weeks. However, everything is back on track.
This week we finally got some decent warm weather. Last week was cold and rainy with scattered frosts. But here on the top of the hill, it wasn't quite cold enough for Jack Frost, but the valleys and other low areas took a beating.
My purple asparagus spears finally showed on April 28. I planted a variety called “purple passion” from seeds three years ago. This variety is said to be sweeter and has a nutty flavor, according to the seed catalog. They were absolutely correct.
I opted to plant seeds for my home use instead of buying the more expensive roots, which are normally males plants. I am not a commercial grower. Next year, the crop should be plentiful and I will be able to harvest over a longer period of time.
Because I have both male and female plants, I also have seeds which will eventually sprout. To my way of thinking, that is an advantage because I want to plant another bed or two. Besides, I already have some people asking me for the young sprouts.
I originally started the seeds in peat pots inside and placed them outside when the weather warmed that year. I had just about a 100 percent success rate. I started a second bed last year but it is too early to say how they pulled through. From what I can see, it doesn't look like the success rate was quite as good.
Purple Passion asparagus can be grown anywhere in North America so it is fairly hardy and does add some unique colors in the vegetable garden. For variety, this spring I bought some Martha Washington asparagus seeds which I need to plant in the next week or so. For a good recipe, aparagus lasagna, click on the title.
In an unrelated matter, the woodland Jack-in-the Pulpits are growing nicely in the woods and will be the next post. I have some photos from last week, but the plants should be in full bloom color in the next few days.

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