Perennial gardening is a great practice if you are interested in a sustainable harvest. Instead of sowing seeds every spring, perennial garden plants replenish year after year. Aside from adding nutrients to the soil and pruning the plants in winter, a perennial garden is great for those who think they're lazy. Planting asparagus is one way to create the center of a good perennial garden, but you'll likely want some asparagus companion plants as well.
Asparagus has spindle-shaped leaves and stems that rise from the surface of the soil in spring. This beautiful perennial will provide multiple crops in your vegetable garden for many years to come. Although it used to belong to the same family as onions and lilies (Allium), today it belongs to its own family (Asparagaceae). The Order of Asparagales is home to asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) and plants from the orchid and aster family.
Like some perennials, asparagus takes time to grow and cultivate. Harvests are sometimes only harvested after three years from the first planting. So why not strengthen your asparagus garden with plants that support its growth?
If you have asparagus fronds in your garden, you've spent a lot of time making a space for this hugely rewarding plant. Read on to learn more about asparagus companions and how to plant asparagus companions.
What is companion planting?
Choose the right asparagus companion plants so that your spears are not blocked. Source: Rob Ireton
Companion planting is an age-old practice where farmers select certain plants and place them side by side in a garden for different benefits. Companions improve crop yields or catch unfavorable pests. They can also attract beneficial insects.
Some ground cover companions reduce weeds and mark areas of a garden. Overall, companion plants improve soil nutrients among each other and create a system of reciprocity and exchange that mimics natural systems of cooperative support.
One of the best and oldest examples of companion planting is the tribal practice of growing "three sisters" cultures. Your farmers plant beans, corn and pumpkin together. Corn stalks support climbing beans and provide shade for beans and pumpkin. Beans fix nitrogen in the soil and help corn and pumpkin roots, which improves the taste of both plants. Pumpkin keeps pests away from beans and covers the ground, preventing weeds. Corn is a faster growing plant that allows farmers to tell where each planting area is after it has been planted while bean and pumpkin seeds are still sprouting.
Three Sisters are an example of how companion planting can become a form of gardening, and how farmers create a micro-ecosystem of mutual support and reciprocity. This is essentially what companion planting is: a useful system you can set up for plants.
Aside from fertilizing and looking for pests, you can pretty much let plants do their thing in a good companion garden. The same applies to the planting of asparagus companions. Choosing plants like tomatoes and avoiding garlic and potatoes in your bed will result in high yields and a lack of asparagus beetles.
Good asparagus companion plants
As soon as it blooms, asparagus fronds can provide shade for green leaf products. Source: sfbaywalk
So how should you deal with planting asparagus accompaniments? tomato is the best known asparagus companion plant when it comes to asparagus, as both are symbiotically linked. Tomato plants release solanine chemicals in the soil that repel asparagus beetles. Asparagus beetles can destroy your crops for the growing season. Asparagus, on the other hand, repels nematodes, which can damage the roots of tomato plants.
For the same reason Eggplant are good companions for asparagus. Both nightshades make great vegetable companions for asparagus. In the area where you harvested stems in the spring, plant tomatoes and eggplants with some extra compost to add nutrients.
There are selected herbs that also support asparagus growth. basil and parsley Do the good job of attracting good insects and repelling the asparagus beetle. Basil also keeps tomato hornworms away from tomato plants, helping tomatoes' ability to repel asparagus beetles. It also attracts pollinators.
Parsley is home to swallowtail butterflies, which are an essential pollinator in many areas of the United States. And since basil and parsley have similar moisture needs, they can be planted side by side. Alternating planting of herbs like parsley and basil on one side of the edge of your bed of asparagus near tomatoes repels insects that dislike the aromatic oils of both and attracts insects that will help your garden grow.
coriander and dill Love has a shallow root system that does not interfere with asparagus growth, and they appreciate the shade that asparagus plants provide. You can plant them in rows at another end of your asparagus bed, eventually providing free pollen to beneficial insects that help in the production of asparagus flowers. These pollinators also attract birds that eat seeds and produce more asparagus plants. Better yet, birds eat bugs or other pests. It's a win-win situation!
Several types of flowers are good companions for asparagus. The members of the aster family are great choices if you are looking for asparagus allies. Petunias, Marigoldsor nasturtiums also help asparagus by pest control. All of these species of the aster family keep the asparagus beetles in check. Marigolds keep whiteflies, aphids, and nematodes away, and petunias repel aphids.
Nasturtiums are happy, fun flowers that catch pests that may be interested in your asparagus fronds. Comfrey Not only does it attract pollinators, it also enriches the soil of your asparagus garden. All of the flowers mentioned here attract pollinators, and some of them can be eaten. Maybe you want to create a fully edible and attractive garden that is home to the right insects?
For those who like to plant intensively, Strawberries are a nice companion for asparagus. The only catch here is making sure your asparagus is planted about six inches deeper than is sometimes suggested. This means that the strawberry roots stay above the asparagus roots and there is no potential for competition between these two plants.
Strawberry plants are great ground cover and herbicide that asparagus plants enjoy. Unlike tomatoes, they will continue to grow for years. Therefore, avoid planting strawberries and tomatoes together.
spinach, Green salad, or Beets are great for growing near asparagus as they don't take up too much bed space and don't live long in the ground. If you plant these with any of the flowers mentioned before this section, you will find that you will need to incorporate fewer insect pests and more intact greens into your meals. Leafy vegetables are also great companions for marigolds, which in turn deter nematodes.
Although Grapes Historically, they were grown with asparagus during colonial times. There is a lot of debate these days as to whether or not these two plants appreciate living nearby. Some indicate a small footprint for both of them, which makes them great companions. However, others suggest that both plants are too tall to plant together. Since grape plants need help with winemaking, you may spend more time keeping grapes outside of your asparagus garden than maintaining a good yield. Unlike tomatoes, vines last more than one season. However, if you're feeling adventurous, it might be worth a try.
Since asparagus roots grow deep and take a long time to develop, generally plant them near plants with shallow roots. Some of the asparagus lovers mentioned here have deeper roots, which makes it difficult to plant in your rows of asparagus. Because of this, many of the more deeply rooted asparagus companions will do much better on the edge of your raised or in-ground asparagus garden. As you prepare for the growing season, plan your vegetable garden bed with flowers, herbs, and nightshades around the edges where asparagus are planted.
What not to plant with asparagus
Try planting larger companions along the outside of your asparagus bed. Source: Tamaki
The most important thing to remember is to keep asparagus away from Allien. Members of the genus are Onions, leek, Shallots, garlic, chives, Garlic cloves, wild onions, Ramps – Every plant in the Allium category slows down asparagus growth. Allien are high in nutrients and take a long time to grow. Their roots can interfere with the slow-growing asparagus. Planting asparagus near garlic or onions will result in stunted stems and, in the worst case, no stems at all.
Potatoes and asparagus are not good companions as both compete for deep root sections of the garden. Potatoes take a long time to grow as much as asparagus. Carrots do not grow successfully with asparagus because they too require a deeper root system than some plants. Carrots also don't like planting near herbs that asparagus loves, like dill.
Any deeply rooted plants do not do well near asparagus. You want to keep your asparagus patch free of other plants like potatoes, which need considerable depth for root development. Plants that take a long time to grow, like asparagus, are not good friends for asparagus either. Avoid planting allies (see above), as it is a type of plant that inhibits asparagus growth enough to thrive. They take up too much space and produce certain chemicals that prevent asparagus growth.
Setting up a separate potato tower in a separate area of your farm or garden will keep these competitors away from each other.
frequently asked Questions
Q: Can I plant asparagus and strawberries together?
A: Yes! Asparagus and strawberry enjoy the proximity. They are good companion plants. However, make sure your asparagus plant roots are about a foot underground before planting strawberries. This will keep root competition at bay between these two beautiful plants.
Q: Can you plant other vegetables with asparagus?
A: Many vegetables like to live with asparagus. Lettuce, beets, spinach, and other plants with shallow roots do not compete with deep asparagus roots, and their life cycle ends before nutrients can be drawn from your asparagus plant.
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