Perennial vegetables like artichokes and asparagus belong in every garden because they come back every year.
Artichokes don’t tolerate frigid winters, so they’re annuals in colder regions. Asparagus, on the other hand, will grow anywhere and is extremely cold-hardy.
How to Plant Artichokes:
Most plants sold are two years old, so they’re mature enough to produce artichoke buds for up to 5 years.
- Find a spot with room to spread, since older plants reach 3-4’ tall and up to 4’ wide. Artichokes thrive in full sun to partial shade in hot regions.
- Prepare the soil by working 5” of compost into a trench 8″ deep and wide. Light, fertile, well-drained soil — sandy or loam — is ideal.
- Space artichokes 4’ apart and plant.
Make an Asparagus Patch:
Asparagus plants produce for 20 years or more, so it’s important to give the plants an excellent start.
- Choose a site with good drainage and full sun. Tall asparagus ferns may shade other plants, so plan accordingly.
- Prepare the bed with additions of compost, bone meal and rotted leaves.
- Dig shallow trenches 12” wide, with 2-3’ between trenches in the bed.
- Mix removed soil with more compost, and spread about 2” of this mixture in the bottom of each trench.
- Set asparagus plants 15-18” apart, mounding the soil under each plant so that it is slightly above the roots.
- Spread the roots out over the mound of soil and cover the crown with 2-3” of soil. Firm soil.