Food & Entertaining - In Season

Stalking asparagus

Grow these sweet and tender spears in your garden.

Hybrid asparagus
Apart from kiwis, asparagus is one of the few crop plants I can think of that has separate male and female plants. In the past, females have always been preferred, but during the past decade the World of Asparagus has been turned upside down due largely to the work of Dr. Dave Wolyn at the University of Guelph (Ontario), and his superstar male hybrids. These rust-resistant varieties out-produce standard female strains by as much as 40 per cent in Canada, and have also been embraced in the UK where trials indicate that current levels of production (compared to the Dutch cultivars usually grown) could be boosted by more than half. ‘Guelph Millennium’ and ‘Guelph Tiessen’ are superseding traditional (and still garden worthy) strains such as the Jersey Series, the Washington Series, and the Canadian-bred Viking Series.

Asparagus is an attractive, low-maintenance perennial vegetable that deserves a sunny corner in every garden, and hollandaise sauce is far easier to make than cardiologists would have you believe!

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