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(Feb) Too soon to plant Asparagus/Strawberry Crowns?

Hello,

Beginner and no doubt overly ambitious gardener here, so whilst I will make efforts to refrain, this is probably the first of many dumb questions.

I want to try planting both Asparagus (Connover’s Colossal) and Strawberry (Cambridge Favourite and Symphony) crowns this year. Choice of varieties is a compromise between recommendation and local availability...

It is my understanding that bare roots should be planted as soon as they arrive. As I write it is Feb. 7th, 2023. I am in Dublin, Ireland. The days are brightening, but things are still very cold.

I'm thinking of ordering my crowns now, for fear of lack of availability if I defer for another 6-8 weeks, but I worry that if they were to arrive next week (~Feb. 13th), it would be too early/cold to plant them out.

So finally my question. Is mid-February too early to plant these crowns out? Should I wait a few weeks before ordering, or should I just move now and place my order in order to ensure supply?

Thank you all kindly.

Al

Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,819
    edited February 2023
    I don't grow asparagus, so can't advise on those, but strawberries are pretty easy, and totally hardy. I presume you mean runners when you say crowns?
    Even if they've come from somewhere milder and have been undercover, it won't matter too much. You can 'heel them in' by sticking them in pots or troughs in any compost you have, and just keep them somewhere fairly sheltered, until your ground and conditions are suitable for permanent planting.
    If they've been lifted direct from the ground in the open, you can just plant them. I'm also assuming you have an area prepped for them.  :)

    I expect you can do the same with the asparagus, but someone else will be better able to advise on those  :)

    Don't worry- no question is dumb when you're starting out. Better to check  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks @Fairygirl

    Yes, runners seems to be what I mean in Strawberry-land (these lads: https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/how-to-grow-strawberries/#growing-strawberries-from-bare-root-runners-7ad17bb1)

    Thanks for the advice. I think I'll go for it. I've read several articles that extol the virtues of strawberry plugs over runners/bare roots, but if things don't work out there's always the Autumn or new year to change tack and try again.

    Cheers.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,819
    Runners are the easiest way as far as I'm concerned @alan.larkin+gardenerswor.
    I've never used plugs, but I'd imagine those are just very small plants grown from seed, so you'll be waiting a while for them to be productive.  :)

    It might be worth starting a new thread for your asparagus query though. Quite a few folk on the forum have experience of growing it, and may just have missed your query  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,431
    I 'd assumed that the strawberry plugs would be runners grown on in plugs of compost, not grown from seed. I think the named varieties would have to be propagated vegetatively.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,431
    I've never grown asparagus, but I think they'd be like any other bare-root plant - get them planted as soon as you can when you receive them, and before they start trying to grow new shoots. They should be fine as long as the ground isn't waterlogged or frozen solid. The roots need to be protected from drying out if they can't be planted straight away.
    The strawberries in plugs could be potted up and grown on for a while before planting out, if that's more convenient.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,819
    Good point re the s'berry plugs @JennyJ .
    Yes - I don't know if they come true from seed, as I've never done it, but it makes sense re them needing  vegetative propagation.  :)  
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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