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Rocky Mountain Gardening: Greenhouse gardening for: strawberries, aspargus and rhubarb

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Forum: Rocky Mountain GardeningReplies: 3, Views: 63
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Seattle, WA

August 26, 2010
8:39 AM

Post #8063151


At the end of my first growing season in a drip irrigated greenhouse I wish to convert one of my raised beds next year to permanent crops of: aspargus, strawberries and rhubarb. We are in zone 5a at 6,500 feet and our greenhouse is not heated. I have not grown these crops before.

I'd appreciate any and all experienced advice regarding these crops and particular species, and suppliers for us at the end of the Rocky Mountains.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Gene So.
Happy Jack, AZ
(Zone 5a)

August 26, 2010
8:57 AM

Post #8063181

Hi Gene, I don't know about Asparagus and Rhubarb, but Strawberries will grow just about at any altitude, like weeds! We live at 7,000' and they took over our iris garden. But, they were older varieties, Shasta and Quinault (Quinault is an ever-bearing variety with large, juicy berries up to two inches in diameter.) The green house should increase they're vigor in cooler weather, but the heat inside the green house in the summer months at your altitude may cause them to wilt unless you poor the water to them.

Strawberries are self fertile, but they need the actions of insects, or the wind to transfer the pollen to the flowers in order to produce fruit. You can grow them indoors, but you will need to play bee. Rub a Q-tip around on all of the flowers in order to pollinate them if you want berries.

I assume you don't live in downtown Seattle as we lived in Snohomish county for 17 years. ^_^
Pittsburgh, PA
(Zone 5b)

September 24, 2010
12:13 PM

Post #8118659

I'm interested to see how it works out for you.
I have similar hopes for a greenhouse here in Pittsburgh (5b).
Carson City, NV
(Zone 6b)

November 24, 2010
4:09 PM

Post #8229239

Hi Gene,
I know this reply is a bit late. I hope you found some plants for your greenhouse. My experience with these plants is variable. My strawberries are strong producers no matter where I put them but I have to dig them up every three to four years and remove the oldest plants because they get woody and less productive.

Asparagus and rhubarb grow best in loose, fertile soil with moderate moisture. Rhubarb in particular seems to love cool summers. My asparagus has been slowly disappearing from the beds. I'm not sure if the soil is to blame, or climate, or some sort of bug. The poor things also get frozen back to the ground several times each spring but they might do better in a greenhouse.

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