Companion planting is already an ancient practice that a lot of gardeners and farmers use in improving their gardens. Through this practice, you can expect to improve the yield of your crop. This technique also helps you make use of a trap crop that is effective in trapping unfavorable pests and attracting beneficial insect pests.
One of the most popular choices when it comes to companion planting is asparagus. It is a great companion plant because it seems to work favorably with other root vegetables and plants in the garden.
Asparagus likes to be in a location with full sun and well-draining soil, so grow and cultivate it along with good asparagus companion plants with similar growth requirements.
Importance of Asparagus Companion Planting
The best companion plants for asparagus can greatly benefit the crop in the sense that they can somehow speed up the growth process and improve the health of the crops. Note that while it is not specifically laborious and tiring to grow asparagus, you need to be very patient and dedicated since it tends to grow slowly.
There are even instances when you will have to wait up to three years for the seeds to germinate. You will also have to exert some effort to maintain the moisture of the soil and protect the plants from the harsh rays of the sun.
Specific companion plants for asparagus serve as a living mulch, making it possible for the soil to support the healthy growth of the vegetable plants. This definitely supports the health and somehow speeds up the asparagus growth.
One more thing about asparagus is that it takes some time for them to sprout, so you may have a hard time locating the spot where you planted it. Companion planting asparagus is beneficial in the sense that it aids in delineating the space in your garden, making it possible for you to remember the specific plants and the leaves that begin to sprout.
This will prevent you from uprooting the seedlings accidentally. Great companion plants can also benefit asparagus in the sense that they aid in repelling insects and pests, like stink bugs, armyworms, asparagus beetles, and caterpillars, that may damage the leaves and other parts of the crop.
Best Companions for Asparagus Plants
Basil is one of those herbs that really serve as good companions for asparagus. One advantage of basil is that it can deter insect pests that are unfavorable to the crop. It can help repel asparagus beetle, whitefly, mosquito, and carrot fly.
The reason behind this is the presence of aromatic compounds that serve as effective deterrents for the mentioned garden pests. This means that you no longer need to use chemical pesticides for pest control.
When planting basil along with asparagus, make sure to pick a location where both receive sufficient amounts of sunlight every day. Note that basil needs 6-hour sunlight daily as well as consistently moist soil.
Spinach grows well with asparagus, too. It is a cool-season crop, which is a good asparagus companion plant as it can effectively help minimize weeds in between each row of the plants.
Plant seeds in between each row of the asparagus crown both during the late summer and the spring seasons. You can expect spring crops to grow healthily close to the spears while lowering the number of feeds. Asparagus fronds can also benefit spinach as they can provide shade over the latter, thereby ensuring that the plants remain cool.
Asparagus and strawberry plants also work excellently as intercropping plants, which is the reason why both of them are good for use in companion planting. One advantage of strawberries is that they serve as very effective ground covers.
You can also expect this particular companion plant to suppress weeds. Just make sure that you are fully aware of how to make the two work together as good companions. One thing you should do is plant asparagus around six inches deeper than what is usually suggested.
This is necessary for keeping the roots of strawberries one level or so above the roots of asparagus. With that, you have an assurance that the two will not compete for nourishment.
Also, take note that, unlike tomatoes, strawberries have the ability to grow for several years. This means you should avoid growing tomatoes and strawberries together even if both are valuable companion plants for asparagus.
You can also plant and grow tomatoes together with asparagus because they work effectively for pest control. They have highly aromatic leaves that can repel nuisance bugs and asparagus beetles. The fact that they have root systems with deep growth also means that they will not compete with the its crowns for nourishment.
Asparagus can also benefit tomato plants as it can deter nematodes that tend to attack them. When using tomato plants as companions for asparagus, make sure to grow them along the asparagus bed’s edges instead of between each row. This is to prevent asparagus roots from getting damaged.
Lettuce can be classified as low-growing and leafy greens that you can grow and plant with asparagus. You can plant lettuce in between each row of asparagus so it can act as ground cover.
What’s great about lettuce is that it is relatively quick to mature. It does not also form significant roots, preventing it from competing too much with asparagus. Also, lettuce benefits from the asparagus crop as the latter has foliage that can cast a dappled shade on it.
Plants that belong to the aster family, like coneflowers, sunflowers, and daisies, also serve as highly effective asparagus companion plants because they are effective in deterring the majority of pests and insects naturally. One advantage of these asters is that they often grow without major issues.
You can expect them to grow regardless of the condition and environment. This means that whether you have a raised bed garden or any other type of vegetable garden, there is still a high chance for asters to grow with the least care from you.
Cilantro is known for having a shallow root system and a fondness for cooling shade. With that said, you can definitely plant this herb in between each row of asparagus. It can benefit the asparagus bed as it can produce flowers that can attract beneficial insects. Making cilantro a part of your garden will also give you easy access to its edible flowers.
Dill is also one of the best asparagus companion plants because this herb features large clusters of yellow and umbrella-like flowers capable of attracting beneficial insects and pollinators. It is also easy to grow dill as a companion for asparagus because it is also one of those shallow-rooted plants.
You can plant it in between each asparagus row. You may also plant a dill in the perimeter surrounding the asparagus bed.
Petunias also provide some brightness and cheerfulness to your gardens. They are also among those plants that can encourage beneficial insects and attract pollinators to visit your garden. In addition, petunias repel aphids and other pests and insects that attack asparagus, so planting them together is definitely a good idea.
Eggplants also serve as fantastic companions as they also help repel asparagus beetles and prevent them from damaging the delicious spears. As part of the nightshade family, this plant has solanine, which refers to a toxic alkaloid that serves as an effective biopesticide.
It also has compact varieties that work for raised bed gardens as well as gardens with only small or limited spaces.
How to Choose the Best Companions for Asparagus Plants?
One key fact about asparagus plants is that they have deep roots, which means that it would be best to pair them up with plants that have shallow roots. The best combination, therefore, when planning to cultivate a perennial vegetable or garden bed, would be asparagus, horseradish, strawberries, and rhubarb.
You can also throw in annual herbs or vegetables. Also, take note that asparagus tends to grow well in grounds and raised beds, provided that there is sufficient depth for the growth of root systems. In that case, choose companion plants that are fond of well-drained and sandy soil and like to be under the full sun.
This means that they have similar growing requirements as asparagus, increasing their chances of growing and thriving well. Also, pick companion plants that will help you design the ideal perennial food garden, making it possible for you to enjoy a bountiful harvest of asparagus and other plants, including strawberries.
Make the garden of perennial plants even more bountiful and diverse by integrating other beneficial annual vegetables as well as flowers and herbs. If you are growing your asparagus in an environment that invites plenty of unwanted pests and insects, plant companions that are guaranteed to deter or repel them away.
How to Pair Asparagus with Different Companion Plants?
Several herbs support the growth of the vegetable crop, like parsley and basil, that are effective in driving good and beneficial insects into your garden while keeping away unwanted ones, like asparagus beetle and tomato hornworms. You can also expect parsley to be a good host to swallowtail butterflies known as vital pollinators.
Pair these herbs with asparagus by planting them side by side considering the fact that they have the same moisture requirements. You may also plant the herbs in rows on a single side of the asparagus bed’s border close to tomatoes alternately to repel unwanted insects and encourage beneficial insects that can help your garden grow.
Regardless of what types of companion plants you grow along with asparagus, make sure that there is enough space between them and the asparagus seedlings. The reason is that asparagus tends to grow up to 5 feet. In other words, they require a lot of room for growth.
This means that as you pair asparagus with the best companion plants for it, including herbs, flowers, and vegetables, ensure that there is adequate space between asparagus rows to avoid competition. Pair it up with other plants that you can grow as cover crops, too. They should help in retaining moisture while preventing soil erosion once your asparagus start to emerge.
Asparagus Companion Planting Techniques
An effective technique for asparagus companion planting is intercropping. It involves the use of two to three crops in a single planting area at an approximately similar time to gain beneficial results.
One goal is to make the intercropped plants support the growing habits of each, thereby producing favorable results in your garden. An example of this technique is to plant tomatoes and basil in an asparagus patch as a means of deterring beetles while providing you with a higher amount of yield.
- Provides a substantial harvest even if you only have a small garden space
- Lowers the risk of weeds
- Lowers the risk of pests and insects
- Provides better control of the fertility of the soil
- Helps retain moisture, thereby preventing the need for frequent watering
- Risk of fungal diseases because of lack of proper airflow in humid areas
- Not compatible with soils and surfaces that are not fertile
Three Sisters Method
Another companion planting technique is the Three Sisters, which involves farming or planting together three sisters’ crops. For example, you can plant corn, squash, and beans together – all of these neighboring plants can provide each other with mutual benefits.
The stalks of corn can offer support to the climbing beans while providing shade for squash and beans. Meanwhile, beans work by fixing nitrogen in the soil supporting the growth of squash and corn roots, thereby enhancing their flavors. As for the squash, it helps in keeping away unwanted pests.
Basically, this technique gives your garden the chance to adhere to reciprocity and mutual support. You can apply this principle when growing asparagus. For instance, you can choose to plant tomatoes and other crops that can benefit asparagus and avoid potatoes and garlic, which may only hamper their growth.
- Nourishes the soil where the plants grow
- Support the growth of the plants you decided to grow together
- Serve as ground cover
- Effective in retaining soil moisture
- Reduce the risk of weeds
- Prone to lacking airflow and space since it involves planting crops too close together
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What should not be planted near asparagus?
Do not plant asparagus and any member of the allium family together. Among the alliums you have to avoid are leeks, onions, chives, garlic, shallots, ramps, and wild onions. One reason why you should avoid planting alliums is that they usually stunt asparagus growth as they may compete for nutrients.
Alliums are also the worst companion plants for asparagus as they take some time to grow. They also have roots that may disrupt the roots of asparagus that tend to grow slowly. You can’t also plant potatoes along with asparagus since the two may compete with each other as far as the deep root sections of your garden are concerned.
Can strawberries and asparagus be planted together?
Yes, the two are good companion plants that tend to provide mutual benefits. They are good for each other’s growth.
Can I plant carrots with asparagus?
No. The reason is that carrots may not be able to grow successfully with asparagus plants. It is because carrots need a deeper root system compared to other plants. You can’t also expect carrots to work well if you plant them close to herbs that are fond of asparagus, including dill.
What asparagus companion plants can deal with asparagus beetles?
The best plants that can handle asparagus beetles that may hamper your harvest the entire growing season are tomatoes. They will be able to release what we call solanine chemicals that can repel the beetles as well as other harmful pests and insects, even spider mites and cabbage moths.
Companion planting can indeed be an effective gardening technique if you plan to grow asparagus plants. The best asparagus companion plants can support the healthy growth of early crops and give you a bountiful harvest. Most of these companion plants for asparagus also work hard as pest-deterrents and tend to attract pollinators and other beneficial insects.
With the many benefits of companion planting, it is, therefore, a great idea to try it in your own garden. Make your asparagus grow even better and give you good yields by planting it together with its best companion plants.