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November 2nd 2009

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    In the warmer climate, Asparagus is transplanted in Fall.  In the colder climate, Asparagus is transplanted in Spring.  In summer I think of myself as living in a warmer climate.  In winter I think of myself as living in a colder climate.

    It is for the benefit of new growth that plants are assigned seasons best suited for their relocation.  The argument for Boxwood, as an example, offers late winter as a good time to think about relocation.  And this because in early Spring, Boxwoods grow more roots than they do at any other time of year.  Yet somewhere there will be a nurseryman, with bills of his own to pay, who will give you another wisdom.  Then for the jobbing gardener there isn't a great deal of work in winter, so they sit around drinking home made beer and discuss boxwood root growth patterns with a somewhat self-serving intensity.

    My own view, with respect to transplanting, conforms to an idea of 'shock'.  And too often in the past I have been stymied by both an employer with a calendar and by a nurseryman with an excess of plant material.  

    

 

    'Shock', I suspect is an idea most gardeners share.  The poor plant new to its surroundings is uncomfortable and becomes grumpy or retiring.  As opposed to the plant blissfully unaware that anything has actually happened. 

    The Asparagus plants when they arrive from the mail order catalogue will have what I think of as a heart, from which there will hang fat roots like those hanging from Iris rhizomes.  Daylilies have similar roots hanging from a heart.  And there is that plant which I have always wrongly called "Moses In The Bulrushes" which has this same sort of fat root system.

    In March, April or May of next year when the Asparagus plants do arrive their new home should be ready.  For some perhaps March, April or May is a fair distance from here.  But I have found that when acquiring plants from mail order catalogues it is always necessary to prepare mentally so as to avoid that 'dry root shock' gardeners themselves are prone to.    

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tim candler

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(asparagus beetle)