Three New Asparagus Varieties for Spring 2020

Pomona Fruits Spring 2020 catalogue features three new asparagus varieties. The recent move towards greater ‘plant based’ diets and year round availability of asparagus in retail outlets for a modest price has fuelled greater popularity and demand for this versatile vegetable. British grown asparagus is traditionally harvested from the 23rd April (St George’s Day) until the 21st June (summer solstice) and is generally recognised to be the best in the world because of our climate which supports perfect growing conditions. It’s a great vegetable to grow at home because the plants can remain productive for up to 25 years.

‘Guelph Eclipse’ is the latest male dominant F1 hybrid to evolve via a breeding programme started at the University of Guelph in Canada in the 1980s. The objective from the start was to produce a hardy asparagus that is ideally suited to colder northern climates. The benefit can be seen in improved quality, high resistance to disease and greater yields of succulent green spears. ‘Guelph Eclipse’ is early to harvest and makes a perfect partner with the already established ‘Guelph Millennium’ which is a previous release from the same breeding program.

Asparagus ‘Guelph Eclipse’

‘Vittorio’ is a very heavy yielding new male dominant F1 hybrid, bred in the north of Italy and ideally suited to our climate. It produces spectacular yields of thick, disease resistant spears and can be harvested as either green or white asparagus. White asparagus is highly prized on the continent (particularly in France) and has a more delicate, nuttier flavour than green asparagus. The growing method for white asparagus differs from green asparagus in the following way. Earth or black plastic is used to completely cover the young spears so that sunlight is totally shut out and consequently no chlorophyll is produced which turns the spears green. ‘Vittorio’ crops early in the season.

Asparagus ‘Vittorio’

‘Burgundine’ is a new purple male dominant F1 hybrid that is particularly tender when eaten as it contains lower amounts of lignin, the fibrous part of asparagus. In its raw state it has an exceptionally sweet flavour and as such is a perfect addition to salads. If raw asparagus is not to your taste ‘Burgundine’ proves to be equally as popular when steamed or stir-fried. Yield can be exceptional and frequently greater than that of many green varieties.

Asparagus ‘Burgundine’

Claire Higgins
8th February 2020

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