The first Phytophthora tolerant asparagus available commercially - and with good fusarium tolerance too, this must be one of the most disease resistant varieties. Asparagus 'Pacific Challenger' produces high yields of slender green spears with firm, tight tips and a good flavour. Height: 150cm (59"). Spread: 45cm (18").
Prepare permanent asparagus beds well in advance of receiving your order so that the crowns can be planted without delay. Choose a sheltered position in full sun. Asparagus beds should be richly fertile and well drained. Remove all weeds, and incorporate plenty of well rotted manure or garden compost into the soil to improve soil structure and fertility. On cold, wet soils the addition of sharp sand or grit will help to improve drainage.
Dig long trenches, 20cm (10") deep by 30cm (12") wide, and fill the bottom of the trench with 7cm (3") of well rotted manure or garden compost. Mound up soil on top of the manure to form a ridge along the length of the trench and place the asparagus crowns on top of ridge with their roots draped over the edge of the ridge at a distance of 45cm (18") apart. Cover the crowns with 7cm (3") of soil and firm them into their positions.
Weed asparagus beds by hand as the shallow roots may be damaged by hoeing. Water asparagus beds regularly during hot periods, to prevent them from drying out. In autumn cut back the yellowing foliage and mulch the crowns with well rotted manure to protect them from frost. Feed with a general fertiliser each March.
When growing asparagus, resist the temptation to harvest the spears during their first season, but instead allow the plants to develop foliage. A limited crop of spears may be harvested in the second year during April and May when they reach 15cm (6") tall. By the third year, the crop can be fully harvested. It is recommended to stop cutting from the end of May to allow the shoots to develop into foliage. Later harvests can be made but risk weakening the plant.
Seeds and garden supplies will normally be delivered within the time period stated against each product as detailed above. Plants, bulbs, corms, tubers, shrubs, trees, potatoes etc are delivered at the appropriate time for planting and will be stated on the product page or in your order acknowledgement page and email.
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