Guelph Eclipse Asparagus – 2018 Season Update

Guelph Eclipse, the latest commercial asparagus hybrid from Fox Seeds in Canada, is performing at an extremely high level this spring in test and commercial blocks on a range of sites across Europe. We have been busy on our travels all over the Continent to get a closer look at Guelph Eclipse in a number of countries. These plantations vary in age and establishment method, but we are pleased to report that the variety is offering improvements over industry standard types in some very challenging growing conditions.

The 2018 asparagus harvest season has been characterised by extremes in climatic conditions, from minus temperatures up to 28C in a period of little more than a week. Early on in 2018, there was a lot of rain in a number of growing locations and since then, it has been incredibly dry. It is in seasons like this where asparagus varieties are really put through their paces and the strong rise up in comparison to weaker hybrids.

We are pleased to report that Guelph Eclipse is performing with commercial growers to the same high standards that it displayed when initially being tested and selected in Ontario, Canada. The headlines on the asparagus hybrid are listed below:

  • High yields – medium to thick diameter spears and a high number of them make it a high yielding asparagus cultivar.
  • Early season – a high percentage of the spear production is concentrated early in the season to help the harvest get off to a great start.
  • Exceptional spear quality – the head of the asparagus spears stay closed even at longer than commercial lengths, very important in hot weather conditions during harvest. This means that the percentage of wasted spears is negligible.
  • Robust fern growth – vigorous, self-supporting fern stands make Guelph Eclipse a winner for growers and lower its disease susceptibility.

The combination of the above factors make Guelph Eclipse a winner for growers of green asparagus in cool and temperate climates.

Already, our nursery customers are reporting that they are almost sold out of crowns for delivery in spring 2019, so the demand from growers is plain to see. However, we will have additional seed available next season to increase availability for asparagus nurseries and growers alike.

We’re looking forward to a visit to Ontario later this week to see more of Guelph Eclipse and indeed, other new hybrids coming from the breeding program.

Stay tuned!

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