Extension to hold small fruit, asparagus plant sale

Published 2:38 pm Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Polk County Cooperative Extension is now taking orders from area residents for small fruit and asparagus plants. For 40 years the local Extension staff has been providing gardeners an opportunity to grow strawberry and blueberry plants suited for the Polk County climate. In 2011 red raspberry plants were added to the annual sale. This year we have added asparagus due to many requests. All the profits from this sale go directly to help the Polk County Extension office provide informative classes and assistance to the people of Polk County. 


Rabbiteye Blueberries are the best adapted type of blueberry for Polk County. They are more tolerant of different soil types, plus they are more drought and heat resistant. Ten plants should furnish enough fruit for a family of four. Climax, Premier, Brightwell, Tifblue and Southland are the varieties available for sale. These varieties are well suited to our climate.

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Don’t forget at least two different varieties are needed to ensure adequate pollination. When transplanting your blueberries set them six feet apart.


The type of strawberries available are considered matted-row plants. These plants are not grown on plastic like lots of our commercial berries of today. Matted-row strawberries are planted 1-2 feet apart in rows 4 feet apart. Normally 100 plants are enough to supply the typical family of fruit.

Available in 2018 are Brunswick and Galletta strawberries. Both are flavorful, just perfect for the home garden. Galletta is a 2010 release from NC State University.


In 2018 for the seventh year we will be offering red raspberry plants for local gardeners. We have chosen Josephine, a cultivar selected for our area. Josephine is an everbearing raspberry, meaning it will bear fruit at two different times (June/Sept.) during the growing season. Gardeners who purchased this variety last year have given it rave reviews!

The raspberry plants will come bare-root so prepare your planting area before the plants are available in March.


Asparagus is a wonderful crop to grow and one that will last in your garden for decades if it is well cared for.  Due to many requests we have added asparagus to the sale this year. The variety we have chosen is called Jersey Knight. This variety is perfect for our area and does well in clay soils. You’ll be impressed by the large spears it produces.

Orders for small fruit plants are being accepted now through the end of February. For more information, contact the Polk County Extension Center at 828-894-8218 or drop by the center at 79 Carmel Lane (behind the Senior Center) in Columbus.

Proceeds from the plant sale are used in the local Extension program.

– submitted by Sarah Gottfried