Asparagus Precoce de Argentuil is a French Heirloom variety. It has been grown from the 18th century variety Purple Dutch. In France they are grown under ground to bleach them. When un-bleached they are light green with some pink-purple with a delicious flavour and tender tips. Can be harvested entirely from the second year on.
Asparagus are very healthy and versatile. Asparagus contain a.o.: vitamin A, B1, B2,B3, B5, B6, B11, C, E and K. And the minerals: fluorine, phosphor, iron, iodine, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, sodium, selenium and zinc. They contain also very little calories and fat. U can cook, steam, stir-fry, cook them in the oven and use them after a short cooking in salad or as a snack. Leftover Asparagus are delicious in home-made Asparagus soup. Classical is the combination of Asparagus with ham and eggs. But Asparagus are also delicious with: cheese, pasta, honey, Balsamico, shrimp, ham, pinenuts, eggs, salmon, chicken, Parmesan cheese, lemon, garlic, potatoes, truffle, onions, goat cheese, soy sauce, oranges, nuts, rosemary, tyme, risotto, almonds and lobster. And with different other vegetables like: carrots, mais, spinach, mushrooms, rucola, lettuce, tomatoes, sugar peas, sweet pepper, leek and courgettes. Semi-hardy perennial.
Indoor sowing/outdoor sowing under glass: beginning of February - middle of March
Outdoor sowing: middle of March - beginning of April
Germination: 14 - 28 days
Germinationtemp.: 15 - 21 °C
Sowing depth: 1 - 1½ cm
Plant distance: 30 - 45 cm
Plant position: sunny - half shade
Harvest period: from the 2nd year end of April - middle of June
Soak the seeds approx. 24 hours before sowing in tepid water. Sow from the beginning of February indoors in seperate pots, filled with moist potting soil, 2 - 3 seeds per pot. Cover the seeds with approx. 1 - 1½ cm soil. Put the pots away in a warm room or a propagator. Keep the temperature as even as possible and don't let the temperature drop during the night. Cover the pots with clingfilm to retain the moisture. Keep moist during germination, but not too wet to prevent rotting of the seeds. Remove the clingfilm when the seedlings emerge. Thin the seedlings, when they're large enough to handle, to 1 strongest per pot. Sow outdoors under glass from the beginning of February. Soak the seeds about 24 hours before sowing in tepid water. Sow on a sunny plot with half shade. Keep 30 - 45 cm apart. Keep moist and weedfree. Cover the Asparagus with soil when the heads grow above the soil to prevent the Asparagus from chancing colour.
Harden the seedlings of by putting them outside for 10 - 14 days during the day from the beginning of May. Put the seedlings outdoors from the middle of May, when there's no longer any danger of frosts. Put them on a sunny plot with some shade and good drainage, in not very acid soil and keep them approx. 30 - 45 cm apart. Earth the Asparagus up to prevent the white Asparagus from turning green. Keep moist and weedfree. Feed the plants in August with fertilizer, because Asparagus are greedy plants.
Sow outdoors from the middle of March. Sow on a well manured and loose sowing bed with free drainage and (sandy) soil. Sow in rows about 10 cm apart, every 5 cm a seed. Cover the seeds with a layer of soil. Keep moist and weedfree. Put the plants from the second year after sowing on their definite spot. Put them on a sunny plot with half shade and good drainage. It's best to grow Asparagus on light (sandy) soil that's not too acidic. The plants stay for a very long time on the same plot (perennials). Give them a raised bed to make sure that your white Asparagus stay white. Keep the plants approx. 35 - 40 cm apart.
Harvest a very small amount of Asparagus in the 2nd year after sowing. You can harvest all Asparagus in the 3rd year after sowing. Dig the Asparagus up by using a pitchfork. Use the harvested Asparagus the same day. You can store your harvested Asparagus in a moist tea-towel in the fridge for a couple of days.