Upcoming Free Online Gardening Classes – Pre-registration required.

  1. May 16, 10.00 A.M. – Intro to Vegetable Gardening- Plan & Prep

Proper planning and prepping your garden beds plays a key role in successful gardening. In this presentation, Vijai Pandian, Horticulture Educator will be highlighting various factors in designing garden beds, developing soil structure, plant nutrients and building raised beds.

Register in advance for this meeting (click on the zoom link below):

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

 2) May 19, 6.00 P.M. – Growing Blueberries in Containers and Trench (Registration Closed) 


3) May 23, 10.00 A.M. – Intro to Vegetable Gardening – Planting Tips (Registration Closed)

Garden Articles

May 4, 2020:

When can I harvest newly planted rhubarb and asparagus?

Harvest rhubarb during the second year after planting for 1-2 weeks in spring.

Beginning the third year spring, you can extend the harvest for 8-10 weeks. Select only the long, thick stalks for harvesting and, depending on the variety, the leaf stalk size could vary from 12-24 inches. To harvest the leaf stalk, grasp its base and pull upwards to one side or simply trim its base. Chop off the leaf blades, as they contain a high amount of oxalic acid and should not be eaten. At any one time, do not remove more than one-third of the leaf stalks from the plant.

You can harvest asparagus spears beginning the third year after planting for about a month in spring. Beginning the fourth year, you can harvest the spears for about 8-10 weeks. When harvesting, select spears that are about 6-8 inches tall and have the thickness of your index finger. Snap or cut the spear at its base near the soil line.

When is the best time to till and prep the garden soil?

Prep the garden soil when it is slightly moist. Do not till it when the soil is wet as it can ruin the soil structure by forming numerous clods that are not good for planting. A simple way to determine the right condition for tilling is to squeeze a handful of dirt in your palm and roll it to form a ball. If it has the right moist condition, you can easily form a ball and when you gently tap it, the soil crumbles down. Spread organic matter to a depth of 2-4 inches and plough it to a depth of 6 inches. Fertilize the soil a week or two weeks prior to planting, and rake the fertilizer to a depth of 2-4 inches. At the time of planting, rake the garden soil and level it even.

What type of soil mix should I use for raised beds?

You can use soilless or soil based growing media for raised beds. For soil based media, mix a good quality top soil mixed with organic matter like compost and drainage material like perlite at 1:1:1 ratio. Soil based media gets compacted over time and it needs to be loosened up every spring by adding organic matters. For soilless media, mix peat, compost, and perlite at 1:1:1 ratio. Soilless media tends to be less compacted, however it dries out faster.

Contact us:

For any garden inquiries, please contact us at planthealth.advisors@extension.wisc.edu or at 608-298-6945. You can also visit online at go.wisc.edu/planthealthadvising