Do the words “winter” and “garden” ever cross your mind?
Asparagus and Artichoke are perfect for winter planting, and once established, are a long term relationship that will keep giving… With the right care, they will produce delicious vegetables for years to come! Read on for tips on planting and caring for these perennial beauties in your Bay Area landscape.
Asparagus Planting Tips
Cited from the Mercury News: “Asparagus, once established, can keep on giving for up to 20 years. Avoid varieties that have been bred for the hot and humid summers and extremely cold winters of the East Coast such as Mary Washington and Jersey Giant.
UC Davis has developed several hybrids that work well in our mild climate: UC 157 F1, Atlas F1, Apollo, Grande and Purple Passion.”
Make sure your asparagus will get full sun and well-drained soil! Too much moisture can lead to root rot and disease.
Plant asparagus crowns from your local nursery with the bud ends up, 12 to 18 inches apart, (rows should be at least four feet between) and cover with 2 inches of soil.
Remember the long term relationship I mentioned? Don’t plan to harvest your asparagus until the second year. By year four, you should be in good shape for an annual harvest.
How to Plant Artichokes
The artichoke is the lobster of vegetables! This large, gorgeous plant and takes time to cultivate, and to enjoy when it is time to eat. The time invested is worth the result! I like my artichokes best dipped in butter or oil with some salt and good conversation once it gets to my plate.
Before planting, it is important to amend the soil before planting. Talk to Bayscape before planting for tips to ensure a successful crop! You’ll need to purchase a part of the root (root division) from a nursery, as artichokes don’t produce from seed.
Artichokes spread up to six feet wide, and up to four feet tall. Make sure you create the space you will need for your ‘chokes to thrive. Check out this excellent article from Marin Master Gardeners for tips on Irrigating, Fertilizing, and more.
We hope you are enjoying the fall season in the Bay! There’s one more winter perennial that we’ll discuss in our next blog. (Hint, your grandmother may have made a sweet pie out of it… ).