Asparagus

Over the past 25 or so years seeds from my Asparagus patch have blown over to various spots where conditions were right for them to germinate. Only one place has survived due to harsh conditions such as we have here in the desert. For places where enough rain falls and conditions are better than here, Asparagus should be in everyones garden. It's easy to grow. It can spread under favorable conditions. There have been times in past years when I've neglected it and it still thrived. It's cheap to purchase and comes in root crowns that are already several years old, so just plant and water. They don't seem to be able to get to much water, and once established can be drought resistant. This year I've put rock salt around the Asparagus to keep weeds and grass down and it seems to be working.
Still no rain yet and the temp is only 104 F today. The water well is running overtime. I relocated a little Hog nose snake down to the marsh earlier. Box turtles are staying close to the water. Bees are swarming the stock tank for water.
The watermelons are starting to blossom.
Desert West Texas
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Mysterious Traveler wrote:

I support growing your own asparagus. Fresh asparagus is so much better than canned and really fresh is so much better than supermarket "fresh".
David
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On 6/16/11 1:15 PM, Mysterious Traveler wrote:

I had asparagus growing in the same bed for about 30 years. Then early in 2005, we had record-breaking rains. The asparagus rotted in the ground.
In the spring, I noticed asapagus seedlings coming up. By this year, I hoped to harvest some for my wife and me. Yep, the rainfall this past winter was exceeded in recent years only by the rainfall in 2005.
Now I again see seedlings.
But we did indeed have artichokes from the back yard this year.
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On 06/16/2011 09:26 PM, David E. Ross wrote:

Rainfall??? Oh yeah, I remember hearing about that phenomenon.

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On 06/16/2011 09:26 PM, David E. Ross wrote:

After reading about artichokes on Wikipedia, I'm not sure they will grow in our climate, even the Northern Star variety which is supposed to be able to withstand cold better. Soil conditions here are probably to dry, I'm guessing. How much soil moisture do you usually have? How much do you usually water them? I've got enough to water now that with something that needs abundant water or care might perish. The sun is so intense here even plants that get enough water don't always survive.
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On 6/19/11 5:51 AM, Mysterious Traveler wrote:

I run my garden sprinklers once every three days, for about 10 minutes per valve. The 10 minutes is actually broken into two 5-minutes sessions to allow the water to penetrate the soil and not run off. In another month, I'll probably be doing 15 minutes per valve in three 5-minute sessions.
Yes, artichokes prefer a cool summer. Despite all the water and the fact that it's in part shade, mine goes dormant in July or August, dying down to the ground. It then resprouts in October, remaining in leaf through the winter. Buds -- the part you eat -- appear in early spring.
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According to "Vegetable Gardener' Bible" by Edward C. Smith. <(Amazon.com product link shortened) />/ 1580172121/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid06815454&sr=1-1> (Available at a library near you) artichokes can be grown in zones 8-11. Below 33F you probably should cover plants (cardboard box, poly tunnel, ect.), although they should be able to withstand temps down to 14F. In the desert, mulch (to retain water and feed the soil), and shrubs to small trees to give some mottled sunlight during the heat of the day.
See: <
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWFh6jWAEB0

<http://www.phoenixtropicals.com/vegetables.html
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In article

If your USDA zone is 6 - 7, you may have to grow artichokes as annuals. To get artichoke buds the first year, gardeners in cooler climates must start with seeds and grow artichokes as annuals. The key is to trick the artichoke into behaving as if it has already made it through its first winter by exposing the young plants to a period of cool temperatures. That subterfuge is called vernalization. Start seedlings indoors 12 weeks before the last frost. Place the seedlings in a cold frame about 6 weeks before the last frost (the temperature should remain below 50 during these 6 weeks, so open the lid of the cold frame as needed to keep the temperature cool).
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