Guelph Eclipse Asparagus
Asparagus officinalis. High yields, high quality! Those who love asparagus say Eclipse is the best on the market. This early season, male dominant, hybrid variety is well suited for cool climates. High yields of medium to large spears can be expected in three to four years after planting. The spears are thicker than standard varieties and stand up well in poor weather conditions. Great for both fresh and main markets. Seed Count: Approx. 15 seeds/pkg. No. 1 size Roots: 5/pkg.
Roots Spring Shipping: this product will be shipped late April through May according to your hardiness zone. For quotes on larger quantities, please contact us before March 20th at 1-800-363-7333.
Asparagus Seed Planting:
Sow indoors 8 weeks before last frost, 1⁄4 inches deep at 25 degrees C. Germination will occur in 10-14 days. Sow outdoors, 3 weeks before last frost, 1⁄4-1⁄2 inches deep and 1 inch apart. Thin or space plants to 12-18 inches apart in trenches 8-12 inches deep. As the seedlings grow, fill the trench back in.
Asparagus Roots Planting:
Asparagus roots can be planted as soon as your soil can be worked. If you must keep them for a short period, wrap them immediately in slightly damp sphagnum moss. If you do not have sphagnum moss you can wrap the roots in wet paper towel, put in a bag and store in the fridge. You must keep the roots moist. Choose an area of your garden that drains well. Start by digging in a generous amount of compost, then dig a trench 10" deep. Form mounds of soil at the bottom of the trench about 12-18" apart. Set each crown on top of a mound and drape the roots over the mound, like a wig over a head. This enables the roots to establish themselves faster, as they will get even moisture and nutrients. The crowns should be at least 2-3" below the soil surface. Fill in the trench and support with more soil as the stalks begin to grow.
Choose a sunny location with a fertile, deep, well-drained soil. Soil pH should be between 6.5-6.7. Asparagus is a heavy feeder and needs regular fertilizing with well-rotted manure, compost or a well-balanced synthetic fertilizer worked into the surface of the soil. Asparagus needs to send energy to the roots during the first couple of years, so don't harvest any spears until the third year. Mulch heavily each year around the spears after they come up to prevent weeds and hold in moisture. Let the tops (ferns) grow and do not prune in the fall. Each spring, cut the old ferns that have died over the winter, pull off the mulch and add more fertilizer or compost. Mulch again when plants have emerged.
Plants from seeds will take 4 years before you can harvest spring spears. In early spring, cut or snap spears when they are 6-8 inches high, before the heads separate.
Asparagus from roots can take three growing seasons to harvest, though you may be able to lightly harvest during the second year.
Check your plant every other day for harvest-ready spears. Spears grow quickly and may become too woody before you know it! Once an asparagus spear starts to open and have foliage, it’s too tough for eating. Harvest spears at 6 to 8 inches tall and at least ½ inch thick, cutting the spears off with a knife or scissors at the soil line. Stop harvesting spears when the diameter of the spears decreases to the size of a pencil. After harvest, allow the ferns to grow; this replenishes the nutrients for next year’s spear production. Always leave one or two spears.
Cut back asparagus after the foliage has died back and turned brown or yellow. This is usually in the fall after frost. Cut back to the ground.
Pests & Diseases:
Rust is a common disease in Asparagus. Use a sulfur spray at the first sign of infection. Growing strong healthy plants or resistant cultivars helps prevent the onset of this disease.
Basil, calendula, parsley, tomato.