In every season, Texas gardeners plan their menus around certain reliable home-grown crops: lettuce in…
February Food Garden: Time for Potatoes and Asparagus
This post was originally published in February 2014. For up-to-date varieties currently in stock, please call the store at 214-363-5316.
Wonder why February is one of our favorite months in the vegetable garden? Because it is the time we plant favorites like potatoes and asparagus! As with all edibles, timing is everything. We only have these transplants available for the short period of time that it is recommended to plant here in the Dallas-Ft.Worth area. Once they’re gone, they’ll be gone until next year.
Eating organic is always a good thing; but if you have to choose just a few veggies that are grown organically, potatoes should be high on your list. Their thin skin allows the tubers to absorb chemicals that are applied in conventional production. Growing your own potatoes organically can be a healthier choice. Several varieties of seed potatoes are available in-store now. ‘Yukon Gold’ is our favorite for creamy mashed potatoes, but we also have ‘Viking Purple’, ‘Russian Banana’ fingerlings and ‘Dark Red Norland’. Why not plant some of each?
Seed potatoes should be planted in February in loose well-amended soil. Be sure to pick up dusting sulfur (great for preventing fungal spread) and straw to keep the soil mix light and fluffy in your potato beds. You can also grow them in large containers or our handy lightweight fiber planters called “Dirt Pots.” They provide good air circulation for the potatoes and are easily moved anywhere in the garden. Speak to a garden advisor for a tutorial on planting your potatoes and check out our Potato Planting Project List.
Aspire to Asparagus
Growing your own asparagus might require a little patience, but this long-lived crop is certainly worth the wait. If you love asparagus, then the idea of harvesting it fresh from your own garden is almost irresistible. Not only is asparagus delicious, but also it’s also quite nutritious and high in Vitamins A and K.
Asparagus can be planted through the month of February. As it does not tolerate competition from other plants very well, be sure to dedicate a separate area or raised bed solely for your asparagus. Typically, you need to wait four years after planting before you first harvest your asparagus. To speed things up for you a bit, we carry 2-year old crowns. That means you’ll only have to wait two years to begin harvesting.
Each spring, you’ll have about six weeks to harvest fresh asparagus sprouts that are about the thickness of your index finger. Then, you’ll allow plants to grow undisturbed through summer and fall. The feathery foliage can reach up to 5-feet tall. Plants will die down after the first hard frost, then re-emerge the following spring. Take a look at our info sheet on Growing Asparagus. Crowns sell fast. Choose soon!
Questions about growing these delicious foods? Ask us in-store or on Facebook.
Read more about winter gardening:
Year-round Vegetable Gardening in North Texas
Homegrown Gourmet: Asparagus How-To
February Food Garden: Grow Rhubarb and Horseradish
Originally published February 2014