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Rhubarb and Asparagus

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Rhubarb and Asparagus

Post  Denese on 5/13/2014, 8:14 pm

Haven't posted in a while, but I have a question.  I have a couple of rhubarb plants that I want to move.  I've built a box for them, 5' x 4' x 8".  My question is; should I still put the weed block down, or leave it open in the bottom.  I'm not really sure how deep the roots go down.  I've also built a 4' x 3' x 12" box for some asparagus, as well.  Same question; should I put weed block down under it? Thank you for your assistance.

 sunny
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I think it is Mel's advice

Post  kauairosina on 5/13/2014, 9:21 pm

not to put weed block under the asparagus bed.  Don't know anything about rhubarb.
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Re: Rhubarb and Asparagus

Post  mollyhespra on 5/13/2014, 10:45 pm

I had to divide a 4-5 yr old Rhubarb plant a few years back and was amazed at the size of the roots on that monster: thick and long and rugged.  I don't think weed barrier would stop those roots from going wherever they pleased, but it would probably help keep the weeds from coming up from below, so I'd say put it down, and just let the roots do their own thing. 

As to my Asparagus, before I planted them years ago, I read where their roots can reach waaaaaay down into the ground (four feet or more), so I just put them in an non-SFG area where they can do their thing.  I don't know how they'd deal with a weed barrier, though.  I imagine they'd be able to poke through, but those roots don't seem as rugged as the Rhubarb, so I can't venture an opinion.

HTH & good luck.
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Re: Rhubarb and Asparagus

Post  lyndeeloo on 5/14/2014, 8:26 am

@mollyhespra wrote:I had to divide a 4-5 yr old Rhubarb plant a few years back and was amazed at the size of the roots on that monster: thick and long and rugged. 
Mollyhespra How did you figure out the rhubarb needed to be divided and what time of year did you divide up the rhubarb? I've had mine in the same spot for 8 or so years. It doesn't seem to be getting any bigger. Maybe it's unhappy where it is? Should it have full sun? It's in a spot now that gets a bit of shade. Love making strawberry rhubarb jam, so it would be great if the plant produced more.
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Thank you!

Post  Denese on 5/15/2014, 8:27 am

thanks Thank you all for your responses.  I think I will leave the weed block out on both since it seems the roots on both need some extra room to go deep.  These rhubarb plants were here when we moved in back in 1997.  We've been able to harvest a few stalks each year, but the stalks were not that big.  They are in a mostly shaded area once the trees leaf out each year.  I'm really hoping for a larger harvest, so I can freeze some each year.  That's why I'm moving them to an area that gets more sun.

Growing asparagus is something new for me.  I love asparagus drooling  and want to make sure I give the plants a good start.  I purchased the Jersey Giant variety, because they are male only and I don't want to deal with weeding out seed starts.  Since it's just my husband and me, I'm only putting in 12 plants.  He's not much a fan, so I think this should be enough.
I've also added a box for strawberries, cleared an area for some raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, and added another box for veggies, this year. Very Happy 

I became the grandma and primary babysitter for a beautiful grandson 2 years ago, rahrah so my gardening has been somewhat on hold for a couple years.  He'll be 2 at the end of this month, and is now big enough to help grandma, and seems to enjoy it.  I'm looking forward to sharing this with him.
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Re: Rhubarb and Asparagus

Post  mollyhespra on 5/15/2014, 1:50 pm

@lyndeeloo wrote:
@mollyhespra wrote:I had to divide a 4-5 yr old Rhubarb plant a few years back and was amazed at the size of the roots on that monster: thick and long and rugged. 
Mollyhespra How did you figure out the rhubarb needed to be divided and what time of year did you divide up the rhubarb? I've had mine in the same spot for 8 or so years. It doesn't seem to be getting any bigger. Maybe it's unhappy where it is? Should it have full sun? It's in a spot now that gets a bit of shade. Love making strawberry rhubarb jam, so it would be great if the plant produced more.
Count the number of crowns in your clump.  I had 12, so that's 10-11 too many.  Early spring is a good time, but really, it's hard to kill rhubarb, so just divide it when you can, and if you can't separate some of the babies without damaging them, just let them be. Once they get bigger you'll be able to sort them out. I gave away a bunch of babies, planted a couple back again in the original hole only to have to move it to a new site the next year. 

As I'm looking at it this year, I'm thinking of moving it again, but it's already got 6 or so new babies, so I might divide it again since I have to move it anyway.  The spot that I thought was OK showed me that it wasn't when the whole plant went dormant waaaaay early last summer.  DH kept teasing that I was the only person he knew that had killed a rhubarb, but I said it wasn't dead, just went into dormancy early because it didn't like where I put it.

Guess who was right?   Wink
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Re: Rhubarb and Asparagus

Post  lyndeeloo on 5/16/2014, 8:19 am

@mollyhespra wrote:As I'm looking at it this year, I'm thinking of moving it again, but it's already got 6 or so new babies, so I might divide it again since I have to move it anyway.  The spot that I thought was OK showed me that it wasn't when the whole plant went dormant waaaaay early last summer.  DH kept teasing that I was the only person he knew that had killed a rhubarb, but I said it wasn't dead, just went into dormancy early because it didn't like where I put it.

Guess who was right?   Wink
Now that l have looked at it closely, yes, it definitely needs attention. Mollyhespra, thanks for the help.  I'm glad you proved your DH wrong, can't have him questioning your gardening skills! He should know better than that!   Wink  Wink  Wink
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Re: Rhubarb and Asparagus

Post  mollyhespra on 5/16/2014, 9:41 pm

LOL!  Truth be told, the poor thing is looking a bit--anemic.  I really *do* need to get it into more fertile ground or I'm going to prove DH right in the end... Rolling Eyes
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