Asparagus 'Sweet Purple'
Purple asparagus originated in Italy and has gained popularity worldwide for its sweet, vibrantly coloured spears. Less fibrous than green varieties, purple spears have been selected for colour, diameter and flavour.
Whilst asparagus is available as crowns, you can also grow your own easily from seed. Asparagus seed should be soaked for a couple of hours prior to sowing. Sow in punnets with individual cells, placing around 3 seeds per cell at a depth of 1cm. Seed should germinate in a moist soil in 15-20 days, although this can take up to 40 days. Once seedlings emerge, and set a little foliage on top and roots emerge from the base of the punnet, plants can be transplanted into a larger pot filled with good quality potting mix. Do not separate the plants, instead allow them to grow as they have in the punnet. Water regularly. Plants can be transplanted out into the garden once they are around 12 weeks old, but wait until all likelihood of frost has passed. Ideally, it is best to sow 12-14 weeks before planting out. A long term crop (asparagus can keep producing for 20+ years), plant in a permanent position in a soil enriched with organic matter.