University of Maryland Extension: Garden Q&A
Q: What varieties of asparagus should I plant? Are they attacked by stinkbugs?
A: Stinkbugs get on the ferny summer growth that comes out after the harvest time, so happily you can enjoy your spring asparagus spears stinkbug free.
Check our publication, Recommended Vegetable Cultivars for Maryland Home Gardens, available on our website or by calling us. For asparagus, we recommend Jersey Giant, Jersey King, and Jersey Knight. These male hybrids offer high production and disease resistance.
Asparagus plants produce for 12 to 15 years, so prepare their sunny bed well, incorporating lots of compost prior to planting. Asparagus can be started by seed but most gardeners start with asparagus crowns that have roots attached.
Inspect your asparagus roots before planting for insects or disease symptoms The crowns and roots should be fleshy with visible buds. Roots that are totally dry or black and soggy are not satisfactory. You can begin to harvest spears the second year. For more detail, see the asparagus profile on our Grow It Eat It website: www.growit.umd.edu.
Photo credit: Baltimore Sun/Algerina Perna
Q: We recently purchased a home with various trees and shrubs. Someone told me that there may be a county arborist or similar person who would come out and identify them for us, so we can properly care for them.
A: Here at the Home and Garden Information Center we identify plants over the phone or through our website. Plus, you can attach digital photos of plants, using the Send A Question feature on our website menu. This feature has proven to be vastly popular. It’s handy for sending photos of weeds, plant diseases, or insects, too.
We’re extremely familiar with diagnosing and identifying things over the phone or in emails, but if you’re anxious to deal with someone in person, take a sample of the plant, when it's leafed out, to a knowledgeable nursery or Master Gardener plant clinic for identification. You can call your local extension office for plant clinic schedules.