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Selecting Asparagus Cultivar and Planting Location

Nothing beats the flavor of fresh-from-the-garden vegetables and that includes asparagus. Once established, this vegetable provides decades of tasty spears.

Select one of the more productive and disease resistant hybrids like Jersey Giant, Jersey Knight and Jersey Prince that have much higher yields. Rutgers University recently introduced a new variety, NJ1113 that has good disease resistance and yields up to 30 percent more than other cultivars on the market.

Purchase one- or two-year-old disease-free crowns from reliable sources. Each crown will eventually produce about a ½ pound of asparagus spears.

Select a sunny well-draining location for your asparagus bed. Or if space is limited, plant them in the back of a perennial garden. The ferny growth adds nice texture to any ornamental garden.

A bit more information: The Jersey cultivars are usually available in garden centers and mail order garden catalogues. It may be a few years before the NJ1113 variety becomes more widely available.

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