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DALLAS MORNING NEWS – FEBRUARY 12, 2019


Planting Asparagus, Potatoes and Onions

If you like asparagus, potatoes and onions, that’s good. It’s time to plant and they are easy to grow. If you haven’t tried yet, let’s give it a shot. If you have grown these plants before, I might have some tips that will make it easier and provide better production and flavor.

 
Vines and flowers of potatoes

The most important step

Bed prep is the most important step and I have learned the hard way that certain planting recommendations are not so good. All three of these wonderful vegetables should be planted in the same soil preparation.

To the existing soil (whether it is sandy or clayey) add ample amounts of compost, rock minerals and life agents. The amounts can vary depending on budget, but this is what I normally use – 4-6 inches of compost, 40-80 lbs. of lava sand and Azomite (those are the rock minerals that are the most helpful) and 20 lbs. of both dry molasses and whole ground cornmeal.

I call these two sugars life agents because they stimulate the life (microbes) in the soil. Why do I call cornmeal a sugar? It converts to sugar quickly and effectively, stimulating beneficial microbes, especially trichoderma fungus. This beneficial fungus is greatly effective at stopping disease pathogens. You can bring in soil mixes to create raised beds, but it is much easier to simply mix the above products into the existing soil.


Asparagus spears

How to plant

Now, plant away. For asparagus, forget digging a trench. Just dig holes in the new beds deep enough every 18- 24 inches to place the rhizome/fleshy roots about 4 inches in the ground - after they have been soaked in Garrett Juice for about 30 minutes. Water in well and cover the area with 2-3 inches of shredded native tree trimmings. 

You can cut the seed potatoes up into golf ball size pieces or leave them whole and them the same way you planted the asparagus. 


Onions growing in a field

All about onions

Onions are planted a little differently. The transplants are set out in a shallower manner – deep enough to stand up, but no deeper. The swallow planting seems to help the onions grow larger. A little trick with onions is to apply corn gluten meal to the beds before the mulch is applied. The onions will grow better and the weeds will be greatly reduced. This technique works for the asparagus and potatoes also. 

My techniques explained here are easier and work better.

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