Plants for next year

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Aquilis
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Plants for next year

Post by Aquilis » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:03 pm

Hey everyone, hope you are having a successful growing year so far!

For me this year has mostly been trying a small number of plants in different areas to see what does well and what becomes slightly pricy compost.

Was just wondering if anyone has grown sunchokes here? I know they are classified as invasive in Japan but there seems to be no regulations on it.
I am also planning to start an asparagus patch next spring, but since the plant can tollerate shade I was thinking about growing it under my sugar snap a frame. Has anyone tried anything similar?

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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Plants for next year

Post by Zasso Nouka » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:03 am

Ah the glorious Fartichoke or キクイモ should be arriving in michi no eki across the land in autumn. Easy to grow and by that I mean it will spread out and go mental fairly quickly. Best way to control it is to eat lots of them during autumn and winter, my favourite way is to wrap them in foil and pop a few into the maki stove. They don't seem to get affected by and diseases and most insects don't seem interested either, give them a good sunny spot and they'll happily spread out.
Aquilis wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:03 pm
and what becomes slightly pricy compost.
I know that feeling, time after time we have embarked on a new vegetable adventure with bright enthusiasm only to see it brutally crushed by either the climate or hordes of ravenous insects.
Aquilis wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:03 pm

I am also planning to start an asparagus patch next spring, but since the plant can tollerate shade I was thinking about growing it under my sugar snap a frame. Has anyone tried anything similar?
I can only comment about growing asparagus in Chiba, elsewhere with a different climate may be totally different. In a good year asparagus can do well and if you get a couple of good years in a row it can start to bulk out quite nicely but all it takes is a heavy rainy season followed by a wet summer to wipe them out. We started out with a couple of plants and they did really well so we bought a bunch of large crowns the following year that were quite expensive but we thought we'd easily recoup the cost of them. However the following year the rainy season was followed by one of the wettest summers I've seen, almost like the rainy season didn't end until October and every single asparagus crown rotted away and several man yen was lost.

Over here in Chiba asparagus is grown in vinyl houses that are often uncovered during the winter and then have the roof put back on before the rainy season starts to keep the soil from getting waterlogged so the crowns don't rot. You may have success if your particular microclimate is different to that here in Chiba or if you can stop the soil becoming waterlogged in particularly wet summers.

I do know someone over in Kamisu who has incredibly sandy soil and her asparagus is grown outside, if it's a particularly bad year she might loose one or two plants but doesn't have the whole lot wiped out. She doesn't add any organic matter to the soil as she wants to keep it as free draining as possible and uses synthetic fertiliser rather than compost or manure but she does get asparagus year after year.

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Re: Plants for next year

Post by gonbechan » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:17 am

I think a well draining raised bed would be better for growing asparagus than straight into the ground.

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Re: Plants for next year

Post by Aquilis » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:46 pm

gonbechan wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:17 am
I think a well draining raised bed would be better for growing asparagus than straight into the ground.
Yeah I think so too, especially with the crazy rainy season we had this year!

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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Plants for next year

Post by Zasso Nouka » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:56 am

It might work but perhaps worth trying with plants grown from seed rather than expensive crowns in case of disease. We also put lots of momigara around the crowns to aid drainage around them.

If you can find an inoculant with Trichoderma Harzianum or other predatory Trichoderma species they may protect the crowns once established on the roots but I've never tried this with asparagus.

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Re: Plants for next year

Post by Zakiyama » Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:00 pm

Aquilis wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:03 pm
For me this year has mostly been trying a small number of plants in different areas to see what does well and what becomes slightly pricy compost.
Same! We have spent a lot of money on "compost" and wild deer food this year. But we have learned a lot.
Zasso Nouka wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:56 am
It might work but perhaps worth trying with plants grown from seed rather than expensive crowns in case of disease. We also put lots of momigara around the crowns to aid drainage around them.
We started asparagus from seed this year. The sprouts made it through the rainy season just fine in their little starter pots. They have been in the shade of other plants the whole time. We are waiting til our fence is up to plant them out.

I think they might adapt more easily to wetter conditions from the start. I don't know what kind of fancy conditions the crowns for sale were grown in. We mix fine gravel or river sand into our soil to help with drainage. A snap pea roof would keep some of the rain off as well, and I think enough light would come through from the sides.

We are growing sunchokes as well. We got some from the local Saturday morning market and some from a neighbor. They are growing very well, didn't mind the rain, and fell over in the recent typhoon. They were happy to continue growing sideways, but I took the time to prop them back up.

The village market, michi no eki, and JA coops have been helpful for finding what grows in our area. Was very happy to see peanuts grown in our village! Hopefully I can make my own peanut butter and not have to fill my suitcase.

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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Plants for next year

Post by Zasso Nouka » Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:40 am

Zakiyama wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:00 pm
Was very happy to see peanuts grown in our village! Hopefully I can make my own peanut butter and not have to fill my suitcase.
Sounds like a great idea, I bet homemade peanut butter would be way better than mass produced varieties. One of our friends makes his own dry roasted peanuts and gives us a bag every year which normally get eaten the first day we are given them so we're going to try growing our own peanuts next year and roasting up a big batch for our own use.