University of Maryland Extension: Garden Q&A
Q: I'm planning to purchase some bare root fruit plants (strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries). What is the best time in spring to plant them? Should I wait until the last frost?
A: The best time to plant most small fruit plants is as soon as the soil is not frozen and is workable in the spring (dry enough that it crumbles easily and doesn’t stick together).
However, wait until after the last frost for tissue-cultured strawberries and brambles i.e. blackberries and raspberries.
For more information refer to our publication, HG 68: Getting Started with Small Fruit, available on our website or by calling us.
Q: I found old-timey white sweet potatoes (not yams) for the first time ever in the store. I would like to grow plants from some of the potatoes I purchased. I have no idea how to do this. Any information on this?
A: Grocery store potatoes are usually treated with a chemical to suppress budding, so the potatoes keep longer in the store but their “slips” won’t grow well in your vegetable garden.
In addition, they often carry disease that not only would affect a resulting plant, but could spread to the rest of your garden and be very difficult to eradicate.
The Anne Arundel County Farmers Coop is proud to sell white sweet potato (Hayman variety) slips—it’s a specialty of the county. Their number is 410-766-8400. Also Calvert County extension should be able to direct you to some local growers.