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20 Purple Asparagus Seeds from My Garden

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20 Purple Asparagus Seeds from My Garden

20 Purple Asparagus seeds from my garden.

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Description/Taste
Purple asparagus is a similar in appearance and flavor to both white and green varieties as its original cultivar came from green asparagus. Its differentiated by its violet hued stems and conical crowned tips, however its feathery foliage is still green. Its attractive violet coloring is only skin deep as its flesh is pale green to creamy white. It is inherently less fibrous thus more tender than other asparagus types. Also, its preferred sweetness is due to its twenty percent higher sugar content than other asparagus varieties. Cooked purple asparagus develops flavor notes of artichoke, barley and almonds.

Seasons/Availability
Purple asparagus has a peak season from spring through early summer. The purple spares start out as purple and later turn green as they grow taller and sprout leaves.

Current Facts
Asparagus, botanical name Asparagus officinalis, is a member of the Liliaceae family. It is a perennial herb with an underground rhizome known as the plant#39;s crown. It is cultivated for its edible young stems, known as spears, which emerge in spring and summer.

Nutritional Value
Purple asparagus#39; colour comes from the high levels of anthocyanins in the spears. Anthocyanins are potent antioxidant flavonoids that have protective and preventative health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

Applications
Purple asparagus is tender enough to be eaten raw and if cooked, it will dull in color. Cooking should be done so over high and brief heat, whether grilled, sauteed or steamed. Little embellishment is needed to showcase purple asparagus#39; best qualities. Three ideal companion ingredients of purple asparagus are olive oil, lemon and sea salt. Spring ingredients such as morel mushrooms, green garlic, wild ramps, fennel, leeks, young lettuces and grapefruit are also quite suitable pairings. Other complimentary ingredients include aged nutty cheeses such as pecorino and alpine cheeses, bacon, proscuitto, cream, eggs, butter, shallots, herbs such as thyme and basil, yeasty breads like sourdough and wheat and grains such as brown rice, quinoa and farro. Asparagus will keep, dry and refrigerated, for up to a week. Purple asparagus will keep refrigerated for a week.

Planting
Asparagus is a hardy perennial suited to USDA zones 2-8. This perennial can remain viable for 10-20 years, so choose your garden site carefully. Asparagus needs a soil pH of between 7.0 and 7.2 in fertile, well-draining soil. It’s recommended that you start asparagus seeds indoors or in a greenhouse in mid-February to May under bright lighting. Soil temperatures for seed germination should be between 70-85 degrees F. (21-29 C.). Soak the seeds for a couple of hours, then plant each seed ½ inch (1 cm.) deep in sterile soil, in individual 2-inch (5 cm.) pots. They should sprout anywhere between 2-8 weeks from planting asparagus seeds. The seedlings will grow into a green colored plants with ferns. The purple spades come out during the second year, and only during a short period of time in spring. The spades change to green in color as they grow.

Seedlings are ready to transplant when they are 10-12 weeks old and all danger of frost in your area has passed. Space the transplants 18 inches (46 cm.) apart in rows set 3-6 inches (8-15 cm.) apart. If you want thinner spears, space the transplants 8-10 inches (20-25 cm.) apart, with the plant set 4 inches (10 cm.) deep. If you like thicker spears, plant them 12-14 inches (30-36 cm.) apart and set 6-8 inches (15-20 cm.) deep.

As the plant grows, cover the crown with soil and keep it moist (one inch of water per week). Fertilize in the spring with 1-2 cups (250-473 ml.) of complete organic fertilizer per 10 foot (3 m.) of row and dig in gently. Remember, don’t harvest the plant until its third year; allow the plant to set ferns and redirect its energy back into the plant. Cut the ferns down to 2 inches (5 cm.) tall in the late fall. In the plant’s third year, you can begin regularly harvesting the spears. The season usually lasts around 8-12 weeks. Cut the asparagus spears 1-2 inches (3-5 cm.) below the ground, and at least 2 inches (5 cm.) above the crown using a sharp knife.


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20 Purple Asparagus Seeds from My Garden


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