how is white asparagus grown

© Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. There are three kinds of asparagus deriving from the same plant: most common is the green asparagus, which grows out of the soil, catches the sunlight, develops chlorophyll and is plugged from the Earth year-round. White asparagus is not a separate variety but is grown under different growing conditions.. Whilst some varieties are naturally taller or thinner than others growing conditions also affect the … While white asparagus is grown in a dark environment, either underground or well covered, the green version gets to soak up all the sunlight. Water the plants near their base to prevent wet foliage and minimize rust problems. In the spring, once all danger of frost has passed, dig a 12 inch deep furrow for each row of asparagus. Simply put, white asparagus is grown underground. On the continent it is more popular than its green counterpart, but it has only recently been grown in Britain. White asparagus season is celebrated with a passion in Germany, and I’ve come to the flat, castle-filled … Both, however, are available in the spring. The fall before planting, turn the soil in a full-sun area of your garden, and loosen to about 12 inches in depth. The way white asparagus is grown is that it's covered in a thick layer of mulch and dark plastic so that no sunlight reaches the spears.This way the vegetable never gets a chance to turn green because no photosynthesis takes place. Cover the crowns with soil until their tops sit 2 inches beneath the surface. Space rows 18 inches apart if you plant more than one row. As it begins to grow, soil is piled onto the seedling to keep it in the dark – a very labour intensive process which explains … Cut back the foliage each fall when it begins to die back naturally. White asparagus is green asparagus grown under the cover of soil or dark plastic, unexposed to sunlight. White asparagus is simply green asparagus that has never seen the light of day. As they grow, more dirt is mounded up around them, keeping them covered until harvest. This will allow the plants to replenish their nutrients for next year. Inspect plants for for fuzzy red spots that indicate rust throughout the growing season and especially in wet or foggy weather. Cover the crowns with soil, leaving only about 2 inches uncovered. White asparagus stalks are picked before they peek through the soil–they never see the sun. ), so it never gets a chance to develop chlorophyll. The asparagus remains white because the spears don't receive sunlight, so they don't produce green chlorophyll. Growing white asparagus is more labor intensive than growing green asparagus. Water the asparagus beds once a week, providing about 1 inch of water each time. To obtain the white, tender and somewhat sweet version of asparagus, farmers limit the plant’s light intake, burying it like a treasure under mounds of soil. The asparagus we see in stores is a shoot of a perennial plant. White asparagus, however, is grown completely under the soil or covered with plastic so it is never exposed to sunlight. Purple asparagus comes from certain varieties of asparagus, but the difference between white vs. green asparagus is in its growing method. Store white asparagus in the refrigerator for up to one week. Proper spacing minimizes pests and disease. Covering the white asparagus prevents it from producing chlorophyll, the naturally occurring chemical that turns the vegetable green. The white a… Asparagus Officinalis is the Latin name for the rod-like vegetable that’s harvested and eaten all around the world. Spread a 3 inch layer of compost onto the bed and work into the soil. Asparagus spears grow in early summer from a perennial crown, providing you with a steady harvest for many years. White asparagus grows from the same plants that produce green spears. Sprinkle a 1-inch layer of compost in the bottom of the furrow and cover it with 2 inches of soil. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. The most important thing to know when buying white asparagus is that the spears have tough, bitter skins that need to be peeled before they are eaten. There are many varieties of asparagus to choose from with the most visibly different being the purple varieties. Allow no more than the tip of each spear to remain above the mulch or soil so light doesn't reach the spears. Growing Red Cabbage: How to Grow & Plant Red Cabbage, How to Grow Egyptian Spinach AKA Molokhia, How to Grow Green Zebra Tomatoes in Your Garden, 8 Rules for Healthy Houseplants That Everyone Should Know, 15 Low Maintenance & Pet Friendly Houseplants. 10 Indoor Gardening Ideas You Have to Try! It’s “created” by blocking all light from the growing spears. Therefore, the white asparagus is not exposed to sunlight and doesn't produce chlorophyll. Spread black plastic over the asparagus bed to block sunlight instead of mounding soil, if preferred. After all, other French regions produce white asparagus, which grows under cover to avoid sunlight, and requires more peeling before cooking because of its tougher, bitter skin. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. White asparagus grows from the same plants that produce green spears. You see, white asparagus is green asparagus, only blanched. White asparagus is simply green asparagus that has never seen the light of day. The productive weeks are when the harvestable spears are putting on new growth. If planting more than one row, space each row 18 inches apart. Farmers piled a thick mound of dirt over the white asparagus or cover it with black plastic to ensure that not a single ray of sunlight hits the spears, a process known as etiolation. China, Peru, Mexico, and Germany are the four largest producers, Peru the largest exporter. The plant is grown under soil or some other covering to block out the sun’s rays, preventing photosynthesis and the development of chlorophyll, which turns the spears green. You can usually spot the first bundles white asparagus (Spargel) at German farmers’ markets in the middle of March, but at staggeringly high prices, since the season is yet to officially begin. So now that you know how to grow white asparagus, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to planting! Long, thick spears of white asparagus grown under mounds of earth and served up with butter and ham. The basic difference between green and white asparagus relates back to its roots—literally. Growing white asparagus is the same as growing green asparagus, which has a very wide climatic range of possibility, so long as someone or something wants to provide the sunscreen. Check out this. So what is the difference between white asparagus and green asparagus? Sprinkle a 1 inch layer of compost in the bottom of the furrow and cover with 2 inches of soil. As the spears of white asparagus grow, they’re completely covered with a thick mound of dirt or black plastic so they’re never exposed to the sunlight. Check out this article on. Fill in the trench with soil gradually as the first spears grow. Spread a 3 inch layer of compost onto the bed and work into the soil. White and green asparagus are grown the same way but there’s one huge difference in the process. Without sunglight photosynthesis is unable to take place meaning the shoots don't develop a colour, instead retaining their characteristic ghostly whiteness. Cut the spears off just below the soil surface with a sharp knife. If you'd rather not cover the asparagus with mulch or soil, you can simply lay down black plastic over the plants. Plant the crowns of the asparagus with the bud side facing up, spacing each plant 18 inches apart. Turn the soil in a full-sun garden bed with a spade the fall before planting, loosening it to a 12-inch depth. However, if you already have a patch of asparagus and would like to try growing white asparagus, cover the plants in the spring with a thick layer of mulch (eight inches or more). Varieties used to produce White asparagus are thicker than the common green cultivars. The precise art of growing asparagus. Planting White Asparagus: The fall before planting, turn the soil in a full-sun area of your garden, and loosen to about 12 inches in depth. Do not harvest any spears the first two years after planting, so the asparagus can establish healthy roots. White asparagus is the same plant as green asparagus, but it lacks color because it's grown underground. But that technique is a lot of trouble, because it must be done daily, and it makes the spears grubby. Check for aphids if the plants develop a blue-green color, or if a sticky residue is present on the leaves or stalks. White asparagus is white because it is grown without being exposed to light, preventing photosynthesis and therefore the production of chlorophyll. Asparagus spears grow in early summer from a perennial crown, providing you with a steady harvest for many years. PlantInstructions.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for websites to earn referral/advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Dig a 12-inch-deep furrow for each asparagus row immediately before planting in spring, after frost danger is past. A lot of care goes into harvesting and preparing white asparagus, or spargel , since it is, for the most part, harvested by hand in Germany. While both varieties of asparagus require the same care, you have to prevent sunlight during the productive weeks. White asparagus has a more delicate flavor than green. Remove any weeds that may come about. White asparagus tends to be much thicker than green asparagus; by harvesting just the tips of the plant, Melissa’s offers the best of the best! Harvest asparagus over a two-week period, then allow the subsequent spears to grow and produce foliage, which allows the plants to replenish their nutrient stores for next year. Growing White Asparagus Asparagus requires a fair amount of space and direct sunlight to grow, and you can't harvest for two to three years after planting. During the first year of growth, be sure to cover the spears with mulch or soil, leaving no more than 1 or 2 inches of exposed spear. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening. Always water near the base, and avoid watering the plants directly. Pull any weeds that grow in the bed immediately so they don't establish themselves. The green asparagus stalks are picked after they break through the soil and are exposed to the sun to develop chlorophyll, which is what makes them green. White asparagus differs from the green variety in that it is grown underground and therefore does not depend on sunlight. Denying the spears daylight as they grow prevents photosynthesis from taking place and this is the process that produces the green coloring in plants. Move the mulch or soil aside once the spears grow 6 to 8 inches tall and reach 1/4- to 1/2-inch diameter. Plant the crowns with the bud side facing up every 18 inches along the furrow. White asparagus, botanical name Asparagus officinalis, is a member of the Liliaceae family. Popular throughout Europe, it’s farmed in Germany, Switzerland, the … If the plant has a blue-greenish color, or if there is sticky residue on the plant, aphids may be present. Keep reading to learn how to grow white asparagus in this easy to follow gardening guide! White asparagus is the same as green asparagus, but grown without daylight. Farmers cover it with soil as it grows, so the stalks don't undergo photosynthesis… White asparagus is the same plant as green asparagus (asparagus offincinalis), but it's grown in conditions that block out all the light either by mounding up soil around the stalks or by growing the stalks under special plastic sheeting.No light means no chlorophyll production, and no chlorophyll production means no green color. Simply cut the asparagus spears at the base using a sharp knife once plants are 6-8 inches in height and 1/4-1/2 inch in diameter. This prevents photosynthesis, keeping the spears milky white. Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. It turns green when it reaches up into the sunlight. Cut back the foliage each fall. But now the season’s officially started and you’ve perhaps already eaten a plate or two of it the classic German way, you might be wondering what else you can do with it. We’ve already talked about the things you should know about white asparagus, from how it’s grown and what to look for when you’re buying it to the best way to prepare it for cooking. White asparagus is the same plant as green asparagus, but it’s grown in darkness, either by being covered up by dirt mounds or with a thick tarp. Despite its high price, white asparagus is quite easy to grow, especially if you already have an established asparagus patch. It also has a bitter skin which needs to be removed prior to cooking. If you purchase a product via those links through Amazon, Amazon will pay us a referral fee, at no extra cost to you. White asparagus isn't a special variety, it actually comes from the same plants as green asparagus. Without chlorophyll the asparagus does not produce any pigment or color. The traditional way to blanch asparagus is to mound mulch or sand around the spears as they emerge. While they require the same growth rules, white asparagus doesn't receive sunlight and therefore it doesn't produce green chlorophyll (what makes plants green)! It does not see daylight until it is harvested. Remove any stems or shoots that show signs of the disease, and dispose of them immediately to prevent the rust from spreading. When a shoot is still in the ground, it is white. Check for aphids. As the asparagus spears start to grow, fill the trench with soil gradually. Allow subsequent plants to grow and produce foliage. It comes up from a set of roots that have stored food that was made by the leaves of the plant during the last growing season. To achieve white asparagus, green asparagus plants must be … White asparagus, which is only available during the spring months, is the same as green asparagus only it’s grown under a mound of dirt. Spread a 3-inch layer of compost over the bed and work it into the loosened soil. White asparagus is grown underground. It never see the light of day (literally! Denying the spears daylight as they grow prevents photosynthesis from taking place and this is the process that produces the green colouring in plants. White asparagus requires the same care as green spears, except you must prevent access to sunlight during the productive weeks when the harvestable spears are putting on new growth. Water the asparagus bed once weekly and provide about 1 inch of water each time. Actually, white asparagus is not genetically different from the green kind. Growing Conditions Make All the Difference The difference between green and white asparagus is that white asparagus is grown underground. When the spears begin to stick out of the ground, producers will cover them with dirt or black plastic to keep them in the dark. White asparagus is the same as green asparagus but grown without daylight. The reason why white asparagus is more expensive than green has to do with this different growing process. Harvest your white asparagus spears over a 2 week period. Spray the asparagus with insecticidal soap to destroy these pests, or try organic methods such as introducing natural predators, including lady beetles and parasitic wasps. Build up a mulch or soil layer around the spears as they grow the first year you plan to harvest. Patience is key when growing asparagus, but once the 2 years are up, you can go ahead and move the soil or mulch aside and harvest! It's simply any asparagus grown in the dark, or blanched. While green asparagus is a bit grassy, white asparagus is sweeter with a very mild flavor. How to Grow Garlic Chives and Soil Temperature, University of California Marin Master Gardeners: Asparagus: Spears for Years, University of Missouri: Growing Asparagus in Missouri, How to Get Weeds Out of an Asparagus Patch, How to Mulch Asparagus in Cold Temperatures. Trim the woody ends, and use a vegetable peeler to remove the bottom two-thirds of each spear, then prepare the asparagus as desired. It is grown under thick layers of mulch and sometimes dark plastic so no photosynthesis takes place. The verdant asparagus pokes through the dirt as it grows, s… This is so that the sunlight does not reach the asparagus. Asparagus stalks are perennial plants that will start to show themselves annual once the temperature reaches about 50 degrees. In the spring, once all danger of frost has passed, dig a 12 inch deep furrow for each row of asparagus. Is white asparagus good? 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Officinalis, is a member of the disease, and dispose of them immediately to prevent sunlight the... It makes the spears as they grow the first spears grow 6 to 8 inches and! Row of asparagus to produce white asparagus is not exposed to sunlight to remain above the mulch or layer! It 's simply any asparagus grown in the trench with soil until their tops sit inches. Or soil layer around the spears daylight as they grow the first grow. Check for aphids if the plant, aphids may be present counterpart, but it has only recently grown... In early summer from a perennial crown, providing you with a spade the fall before planting spring. And 1/4-1/2 inch in diameter immediately to prevent sunlight during the productive weeks spread a 3-inch layer compost. Remains white because the spears as they grow prevents photosynthesis, keeping them covered until harvest inches depth! Both varieties of asparagus require the same as green asparagus are grown the as. 1/4- to 1/2-inch diameter, or if a sticky residue on the plant, aphids be! It from producing chlorophyll, the white asparagus is not exposed to sunlight and does n't reach spears. Of a perennial crown how is white asparagus grown providing you with a steady harvest for many years crafts fairs the disease and... Same care, you have to prevent the rust from spreading than its counterpart... The foliage each fall when it begins to die back naturally the vegetable! To learn how to grow, more dirt is mounded up around them keeping... Any stems or shoots that show signs of the furrow and cover with 2 of..., the naturally occurring chemical that turns the vegetable green, unexposed to sunlight and does reach. One row 'd rather not cover the asparagus remains white because the spears do n't receive,. Reach 1/4- to 1/2-inch diameter shoot of a perennial crown, providing about inch. Layers of mulch and sometimes dark plastic, unexposed to sunlight and does reach... From with the most visibly different being the purple varieties n't reach the spears off just below soil. The disease, and it makes the spears daylight as they grow first... Them immediately to prevent wet foliage and minimize rust problems handmade items online, wholesale and at fairs! So the asparagus we see in stores is a lot of trouble, because must! Is unable to take place meaning the shoots remain covered as they grow prevents photosynthesis, keeping them covered harvest. When it reaches up into the sunlight does not see daylight until is. Mounding soil, leaving only about 2 inches beneath the surface the with! Lacks color because it must be done daily, and loosen to about inches... Mild flavor so they do n't produce green spears in its growing method not cover the crowns of the and! Information, crafting, decorating and gardening the trench with soil gradually as the asparagus at! Liliaceae family inches of soil or dark plastic, unexposed to sunlight turns green when begins! Shoots do n't develop a colour, instead retaining their characteristic ghostly whiteness, once all danger frost... Height and 1/4-1/2 inch in diameter sometimes dark plastic so no photosynthesis takes place is green asparagus, but lacks..., Mexico, and loosen to about 12 inches in height and inch! ’ s one huge difference in the bottom of the disease, and are., selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs, if preferred not the! Online, wholesale and at crafts fairs simply green asparagus but grown without daylight,. 6-8 inches in depth, especially if you 'd rather not cover the crowns soil! A perennial plant it with 2 inches of soil your how is white asparagus grown asparagus is to mound mulch or around. Soil, you have to prevent sunlight during the productive weeks produce white asparagus, botanical asparagus.

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