University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
PLANTING ASPARAGUS AND OTHER
Charlie Nardozzi, former
Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension
University of Vermont
Planting asparagus, making raised
beds, and dividing rhubarb are some of the gardening activities for
As soon as the soil thaws and is dry
enough to work in, plant bare-root asparagus crowns. Choose a spot in
for these long-lived perennials. Set
roots in a 1-foot-deep trench, then cover roots with a few inches of
that's been amended with compost. Add more soil as the plants grow
trench is full.
Raised beds dry out faster and
warm up more quickly in spring than regular garden beds, so include at
few in your landscape for early planting.
They can be as simple as a flat-topped mound of soil, or as elaborate
decorative stone- and wood-framed beds. Fill them with soil that's been
with lots of compost. Whatever you choose, you'll be pleasantly
surprised at how well plants grow.
If your rhubarb plants seem
crowded, plan to divide them as soon as the ground thaws. Choose a
day, dig up the whole crown, and break off the young side shoots,
keep as many roots intact as possible.
Transplant the mother plant back in the original hole amended with a
shovel full of compost, and plant the babies in a full sun location.
Harvest the young plants lightly, if at all, the first year.
If new shoots of your pear, apple,
or hawthorn are blackened as though they were burned, that's a sign of
disease. This bacterial disease, if severe, can eventually kill your
control it, prune off infected areas several inches below the damage.
pruners in a weak bleach solution between pruning cuts to avoid
spreading the disease
to other trees.
Once the snow melts you may
start to see damage from road salt. To help flush the salt from the
the lawn near roads and walkways several times, especially during dry
This will help move the salt down into the subsoil. Once this salt is
then you can begin to prepare the thin spots in the lawn for reseeding.
Prepare bare-root roses by
pruning away any damaged roots, then soak the roots in water for
Dig a hole 18 inches deep and wide, and create a mound of soil in the
Place the roots in the hole, arranging them around the mound and
height so the graft is at or just below ground level. Fill in around
firming soil gently, and water well. Mound mulch over the tops to
canes while the roots take hold.
After a long winter it's tempting to
buy those first seedlings, flowers, and vegetable transplants you see
sale. Just remember these are tender and
can be killed easily by freezing temperatures and frosts. This
especially is true as most, early in the
season, come from greenhouses or southern climates and haven't been
off to cool nights. If you do buy some
now, make sure to not plant out until the last frost date for your area
(mid-May to mid-June in our northern climate, depending on
Bring indoors on cold or frosty nights. If you plant in window
make sure these can be carried indoors too if needed.