Asparagus and rhubarb...

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Maggie, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. Maggie

    Maggie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My asparagus and rhubarb will be coming up soon, and I need to know how to keep the weeds from growing around them. What can I put down on the garden to keep the weeds from overpowering these plants? Any tips will be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Maggie
     
  2. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not saying it's the best idea, but my parents put Roundup on the asparagus patch about now(in WI). The old timers also use salt or the juice from the Easter ham, asparagus is originally from salt marshes, but my grandpa did kill his patch with ham juice. He is a big believer in "If a little bit is good..."

    Rhubarb needs no help whatsoever, in my experience:)
     

  3. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We are using corn gluten in the asparagus patch this year - it is a pre-emergent weed killer that prevents seeds from germinating. We will still have to pull the perennial weeds by hand. We can't get rhubarb to grow here, but I don't remember having weed problems when we have grown it before.
     
  4. manygoatsnmore

    manygoatsnmore Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Rhubarb likes lots of fertilizer. Rabbit manure is the best I've found. You can put it on thick and it won't burn the plants. Well rotten cow manure is good, too. Then the best way to keep the weeds down until the leaves are big enough to shade out the weeds is to put down cardboard around the crowns of the rhubarb, out about 2-3 feet in all directions with or without straw over it (looks nicer with the straw mulch). Once the leaves are well grown, it can easily get to 6 feet across. Don't harvest the first year you plant, just let it grow and feed those roots for a bigger, healthier plant in the future. After that, play it by ear. Take enough for your needs, but leave enough to support the plant and its root system. I usually stop harvesting after mid-summer and let the plant grow until it's frost-killed.

    BTW, those huge rhubarb leaves are great as stepping stone molds!
     
  5. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    I agree with manygoats. Pile the manure around them to smother weeds, fertilize, and keep the soil evenly cool and moist. Both plants love manure.