bare roots…raspberry, strawberry, asparagus

Do you want to plant Raspberries, Strawberries or Asparagus this spring?  Here’s some info on a few varieties that we will have at the nursery; and a few tips on how to get those bare roots into the ground.

NOTE:  if you can’t plant your bare roots immediately, wrap them in damp newspaper and keep in a plastic bag.  However, the sooner you plant the sooner they will start to grow!

RASPBERRIES

I have both the early bearing and the everbearing raspberries planted in my garden.  The everbearing variety puts out a good crop when the blackberries are ripening and when my everbearing strawberries are going for round #2.  I love a mixed bag of berries for the winter months – for smoothies, or add a few blueberries to them and you have a great bumbleberry pie filling.

Raspberries are a rich source of vitamin C and they are high in manganese. They are also very high in dietary fiber. Eat them for taste and health!

Boyne Raspberry – Red, medium acid with aromatic flavor. Vigorous, erect and sturdy. Excellent for canning, freezing, and dessert. Very productive and extremely hardy. (Zone 3-8).

Fall Gold Raspberry – Everbearing – This raspberry is excellent fresh off of the plant, for canning and for preserves. The very sweet berries of this yellow variety are large, juicy & firm. The plant’s winter hardiness makes it a good choice for northern gardens. It is a vigorous grower.   It is called everbearing because it produces two crops on each biennial cane, unless pruned otherwise. Ripens in late spring and July-August right up to hard frost.

late season berry crop at against the wind nursery & gardens

late season berry crop at against the wind nursery & gardens

STRAWBERRIES

I planted out several Tristar Strawberries last year and they provided ample grazing throughout the season.  I am looking forward to what they will offer this year!

TriStar Strawberry – Everbearing – Tristar is a day-neutral strawberry variety that is excellent for both fresh eating and freezing.  The berries are firm, red, very sweet, and solid with no hollow cores.  They are conical in shape but only medium-sized.  A big advantage is their production pattern.  They begin producing with a bang early, will produce all summer long as long as conditions are tolerable, and will increase production again in the late summer to fall as they produce maximally at that time.

Plant the Strawberry Plants

planting strawberries 292x300 How to Grow Strawberries in 10 Easy Steps

Whether you buy them at the store or order them online, as soon as you get the strawberry plants to your garden, get them in the ground as quickly as possible.  Strawberry plants have a thick section of tissue called the “crown” between the stems and roots.  Your plants should be planted so that the crown is even with the soil.  Plant them too high, and the roots dry out.  Plant them too low or completely bury the crown under the soil, and your plants will be much more likely to suffer injury or disease.

The time of year is a consideration in planting strawberries – most gardeners plant strawberries when the weather is warming up in the spring.

Day neutral and everbearing strawberry plants don’t send out many runners and instead focus their energy on producing multiple harvests. The hill system is basically a raised bed 8 inches high and 2 feet wide. Plants are set out in staggered double rows, about 12 inches apart. All runners should be removed as well as all flowers until July 1st of the first year. Plants may then be allowed to produce fruit. Multiple harvests are exhausting on plants and both day neutral and everbearing varieties should be replaced about every 3 years or whenever they seem to slow in vigor.

Mulching the Strawberry Bed

Mulch between plants after planting to keep the soil temperature cool, deter weeds and to keep the fruit off the soil. Straw is the traditional strawberry mulch. Do not use black plastic since it will raise the soil temperature and optimal fruit production requires cool soil.

ASPARAGUS

Asparagus is a medicinal food, having a beneficial effect on the kidneys, liver and bowels. Nutritionally, asparagus is rich in vitamins C & E, folate, potassium, and fiber. A well-tended asparagus patch can remain productive for over 15 years.

jersey knight asparagus

Jeresy Knight – This is a superior variety of Asparagus that produces premium quality spears up to 1″ (2 cm) thick – but despite being so thick they are tender and sweet. The cropping potential of this variety is enormous! And, up to 20 years cropping can be expected, this a highly profitable variety in every way for amateur and smallholder alike.

Mary Washington –  Asparagus plants are perennial and Mary Washington can continue to produce for up to 20 years! This great flavored asparagus is best planted in early spring or in the fall. They are great for growing in all areas, in all types of soil.  
  • Plant out 9″ (23 cm) or further apart in rows 18″ (45 cm) apart.
  • spread roots and cover with 2-3″ of compost.
  • Keep plants well watered in dry spells.
  • Do not cut (harvest) in the first year and do not be too greedy in the second year either.
  • Always harvest by cutting through stems with a sharp knife just below soil level, avoiding stems just emerging.
  • Cut down the dead ‘fern’ each Autumn and then mulch the bed with a thin layer of well rotted manure or similar covering.

Additional Resources:

Organic Gardening:  strawberry growing guide

Organic Gardening:  asparagus growing guide

Organic Gardening:  raspberry growing guide

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