When choosing plants to grow alongside asparagus, it’s important to select those that will promote healthy growth and not hinder it or, worse, compete with it for resources.
But how can you tell which plants are good and which are bad neighbors for asparagus? Today I’ll discuss the best and worst companions for this vegetable.
Let’s dive right in!
Good Companion Plants for Asparagus
Below are some of the best companion plants for asparagus to get you started. These will benefit your garden in the long run.
First, let’s start with herbs. Parsley and basil are two great choices for growing alongside your asparagus bed. Not only do they give off a pleasant fragrance, but they also entice pollinators to come to your garden.
Another great neighboring plant for asparagus is lettuce. It’s not particularly attractive, but it makes an effective ground cover. Asparagus, on the other hand, provides the lettuce with shade.
Tomatoes are great too, since they help keep asparagus beetles at bay.
Finally, some flowers fit in well with any vegetable garden—and asparagus beds are no exception. Marigolds and calendula will add color to your garden while helping to keep away certain pests—a major bonus!
Here is a comprehensive list of what to plant next to asparagus.
These plants all have different benefits that fit together to help your asparagus crop grow.
What Not To Plant With Asparagus
When planting asparagus, there are a few plants you should avoid planting near it. Avoiding these plants is recommended if you want to have a thieving asparagus crop.
For example, avoid planting them near members of the onion family (garlic, leeks, onions, etc.). These may stunt the growth of asparagus.
Below is a list of bad companions for asparagus.
How to Grow Asparagus
Once established, the tender spears of your asparagus plant will continue to grow year after year. It is a perennial crop.
Its ferny leaves make it an attractive ornamental. However, it can take up to three years for asparagus plants to get established and produce properly.
Although you can grow it in almost all temperate areas, it is more resilient in colder regions. The part of the plant that you’ll prepare for cooking is the young stem shoot.
Remember to harvest within the first few years. This is because the plants must be allowed to establish before they can be harvested sustainably. But it is worth the wait because asparagus beds can produce for up to 30 years.
Plant the crowns in early spring. You can also grow them from seeds.
For the first 2 years after they are planted, the plants require 1 to 2 inches of water each week.
So, it is likely that you will need to water them if you are not getting enough rain. Drip irrigation is a good option.
You may only need to fertilize this vegetable plant once a year, in the spring. Also, use fertilizer that has an equal ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Additionally, you’ll want to add compost and mulch.
Unfortunately, quite a few garden pests love asparagus, so it’s important to watch out for these pests and do all you can to get rid of them naturally.
You might not think much about diseases when it comes to your Asparagus ferns, but it’s worth knowing that there are a few that may affect them.
If you’re aware of the potential issues with plant diseases, you can take steps to prevent them from happening.
Some common plant problems include asparagus rust, Fusarium wilt, gray mold, and Fusarium root and crown rot .
Knowing about the potential diseases that can affect your crop is key. If you know what to look for, you can take preemptive action and have a healthy crop for years to come!
How to Harvest Asparagus
Did you know that asparagus is at its freshest and tastiest when harvested in the early morning?
Yup, that’s right! And you can harvest it by breaking, snapping, or cutting the spears near the ground. But what else do you need to know?
Harvest when the spears reach 6 to 10 inches long. After that, you can keep harvesting until they become thinner than a pencil.
Check your plants every two days for ready spears.
How to Store
If you’re not planning on using them right away, wrap the spears in a damp paper towel and place them in a plastic bag. Next, pop the bag in the refrigerator.
You can also simply chop off the bottom of the spears and place them upright in water-filled jars or glasses in the refrigerator.
Where to Buy Seeds
Looking for the best place to buy seeds for your garden? You have a few options.
Checking out local nurseries is a great way to find not only a variety of seeds but also experts who can help you choose plants best suited to your specific climate and growing conditions.
Garden centers are another popular option, as they tend to have a large selection of seeds.
Online stores can also be a convenient way to buy seeds when you’re short on time. Some sites, like SeedsNow, also provide detailed descriptions of each variety, plus helpful advice on planting and care instructions.
In summary, asparagus is a great vegetable to include in your garden, as it’s easy to cultivate and adds an interesting flavor to your meals. But, as always, it’s important to ensure you have the right companion plants in place to ensure the best possible growth for your asparagus.