The Q&A Archives: Asparagus Variety Selection

Question: We are planning to start an asparagus plot this year. The Burpee Jersey Giant and UC157 yields interest us, but our Zone 7 location may be too cold for the UC157.<br>Also, our soil is sandy loam. What would you recommend?

Answer: You could grow either the 'Jersey Giant' or UC157 in your area. 'Jersey Giant' is the (relative) new kid on the block, and performs very well in many different climates. It was field-tested in Oklahoma, so I think you'll find it'll do well in your area. You could also grow the UC 157, but I would probably stick with Jersey Giant since it has experience in your state! Your soil is fine as asparagus actually prefer sandy loam. However, I would go ahead and add some organic material. Wherever you plant your asparagus will be it's permanent home as it is a perennial so now is the time to give it luxurious accomodations - it will reward you for it. Dig a lot of organic material such as composted cow manure into the bed, a 6" layer would be great. Asparagus likes loose, aerated soil so be sure to work it well before planting. I would also throw in a phosphorous source such as bone meal and a potassium source such as wood ash. Asparagus like a pH of around 6.0-7.0, if you feel like this may be off, have your soil tested and amend as recommended. By the way, National Gardening Magazine published an article on growing asparagus the easy way in Feb. '87.<br>

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