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Tip of the Week

Perennial vegetables like artichokes and asparagus need protection over the winter to help survive freezing temperatures. Artichokes are hardy down to zone 6, but they do need care before the cold winter temperatures set in. Cut back last years flower stocks to about 6” and tie up the remaining leaves with a piece of twine. Apply a thick layer of compost around the base of the plant and top off with about 8 inches of straw or leaves. Asparagus is hardy down to zone 4 and needs a little care in the fall. When the ferns start to turn yellow to brown, or after the first frost, cut them back to about 2 inch stubs. This will help cut down on disease setting in over the winter. Apply about 2–3” of compost around the remaining plants and cover with a mulch such as rice straw to a depth of about 4–6”.

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