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Asparagus & Rhubarb       Bookmark and Share

In our Minnesota climate, there are literally dozens of annual vegetables that can successfully grow each season. But there are only a handful of perennial vegetables hardy enough to survive Minnesota winters. Of those, the most popular with Minnesotans are asparagus and rhubarb.

Asparagus
Chock full of vitamins and minerals, asparagus are one of the earliest vegetables harvested each spring. A long-lived perennial vegetable, asparagus plants can produce for more than 20 years. For added value, asparagus is also a beauty in the garden with its soft, green, fern-like foliage all summer that turns a pretty yellow in the fall. Plant asparagus that is actively growing in containers or, in the early spring, plant asparagus crowns.

Tips for Growing Asparagus
Light
events & seminars Full sun is best.
Soil
events & seminars Prefers fertile, well drained, light soil.
events & seminars Avoid planting in heavy clay and wet soils.
events & seminars Mix existing soil with organic matter such as composted manure.
Watering
events & seminars After planting, water well.
events & seminars Once established, keep the soil moist but not wet and soggy.
Fertilizer
events & seminars Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer such as 10–10–10 each spring.
Harvest
events & seminars Do not harvest any spears the first year.
events & seminars During the second season, harvest sparingly for the first 3–4 weeks in the spring and early summer.
events & seminars In the following seasons, harvest will last 8–10 weeks.
events & seminars Cut or snap the spear off just above the soil level.
events & seminars Discontinue harvesting at the end of June.
Post Harvest
events & seminars Continue weeding through the summer months.
events & seminars Excessive weeds will greatly reduce yields.

Rhubarb
Another very early vegetable with a long, distinctive history is rhubarb. Rhubarb has been grown in this country since the late 1700s. Like asparagus, rhubarb plants are also valued for their beauty in the garden. Plant rhubarb that is actively growing in containers or, in the early spring, plant rhubarb crowns.

Tips for Growing Rhubarb
Light
events & seminars Sun to full sun is best.
Soil
events & seminars Prefers fertile, well drained, light soil.
events & seminars Avoid planting in heavy clay and wet soils.
events & seminars Mix existing soil with organic matter such as composted manure.
Watering
events & seminars After planting, water well.
events & seminars Once established, keep the soil moist but not wet and soggy.
Fertilizer
events & seminars Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer such as 10–10–10 each spring.
events & seminars Top dress each spring with composted manure.
Harvest
events & seminars Do not harvest any spears the first year.
events & seminars During the second season, harvest only stalks that are at least 1 inch thick.
events & seminars More stalks can be removed the third season but avoid removing more than 2/3 of the total number of stalks at one time. 
events & seminars In the following seasons, harvest will last 8-10 weeks.
events & seminars Cut or twist the stalk from the crown.
events & seminars Discontinue harvesting by late July.
Post Harvest
events & seminars Prune any flowers that develop to encourage production of more stalks.
events & seminars Continue weeding through the summer months.


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Raspberries
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Bachman's Floral, Gift & Garden Centers
Your local garden expert since 1885.
bachmans.com | ©Bachman's 2012

Select source information provided by the University of Minnesota Extension, www.extension.umn.edu.

Last Updated: March 2012

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