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Crocus & asparagus, strawberries, or both?

 
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Saffron crocus are a fall blooming species, asparagus are a spring veggie, and this variety of strawberries can bloom nearly all summer, but they all love sun. I'm relatively sure I could tuck my precious saffron corms in with something - but would either of these work? Or would they shade the saffron crocus, too much? Or am I completely off base, and they need their own home?
 
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I tried the companion planting idea of putting asparagus and strawberries together this year.  The strawberries are getting way too much shade and are not vigorous at all. Thank goodness I put most of my strawberries in a separate bed of their own and the ones under the asparagus were the leftovers.  
As for planting the crocus with the strawberries, I'd guess that because strawberries put out a lot of runners thus propagating readily, it might work the first year, but not after that. I put lettuce in my strawberry bed this year, but there won't be room for that next year.
Hope that helps.
 
Carla Burke
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Jen Swanson wrote:
As for planting the crocus with the strawberries, I'd guess that because strawberries put out a lot of runners thus propagating readily, it might work the first year, but not after that. I put lettuce in my strawberry bed this year, but there won't be room for that next year.
Hope that helps.



That and the shade were my concerns... Thank you!
 
pollinator
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Asparagus don't like competition, so I doubt that they would appreciate sharing soil with bulbs that are expanding in size. I would expect that the strawberries would work for a couple seasons but then they get so dense that again they would weaken the asparagus crowns. The shading issue is rather dependent on where you live. Where I live everything wants some summer shading and the asparagus don't provide very much shade anyway.
 
pollinator
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I grow both but side by side, they would not do well in in the same bed.

In spring, as the asparagus spears are about to emerge, the saffron leaves are in full foliage. The saffron would shade the asparagus and they would compete for nutrients.

Harvesting the asparagus would be difficult amongst the foliage.

Both are heavy feeders.

Saffron corns multiply rapidly grown in ideal sonditions. Each corm is able to produce up to six daughters that form below the mother, pushing the corms up through the soil. Even with regular thick mulching, the saffron needs to be dug up and thinned every four or five years for optimum flower production.

We grow for domestic use and harvest enough to cook with ourselves and give to friends.

Asparagus is shallow rooted and does not like being disturbed.

My strong recommendation is to keep them separate.

20161119_133813.jpg
Saffron corms
Saffron corms
20160910_155555.jpg
Saffron spring foliage
Saffron spring foliage
20200919_140744.jpg
Emerging asparagus spears
Emerging asparagus spears
 
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I seem to be able to grow strawberries next to my asparagus in my polytunnel reasonably happily. It did take a while for the asparagus to get established, but they were there many years before the strawberries. These strawberries don't seem to send out many  runners though.
I wonder if it is the "heavy feeder" that makes the asparagus not like competition? It seems to do OK in my tunnel now it is established, the main trouble is that it doesn't seem to die down in the winter, since it doesn't get cold enough sometimes, but sends up ghostly spikes that tend to go mouldy, rather than having a good rest!
I'd love to try saffron crocus - have to be in the tunnel here though because of the rain.
 
Carla Burke
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I should probably clarify... My asparagus are planted, and doing well. My strawberries are likewise already planted, and(except where the chickens destroyed them) also doing well. My question was whether the crocus could cohabitate with either of them, or if they'd need their own, dedicated container. Everything here is in (very large) containers, and I'm slowly building soil to add to them, so it's a bit scarce. We live in the Ozarks, and our most abundant crops, on our bit of land, are wild blackberries, acorns, and rocks - in reverse order. The trees and blackberries have claimed all the available soil, and this has only been our 3rd summer, here, so I've not had a lot of time to build sufficient soil to even fill the semi-proper raised beds - only a few converted mineral tubs - for planting. This was a soil conservation effort, but(obviously), I'm going to have to buy some more soil to combine with my compost, for these babies. That's OK. I was just trying to be super cheap, and 'make do' with the ones I'd already filled, instead of filling more from my stash.
 
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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I have daffodils with my asparagus and it's a nice combination. The asparagus beds are 4 feet wide with two rows of asparagus along them. I stuck the daffs in the middle. It's only been 2 years but seems good. The daffodils come up and bloom visibly while the asparagus is still just small shoots. By the time the asparagus ferns up and shades them, the daffodils are almost ready to die back anyway.
Daffodils-and-asparagus-in-spring-snow-in-Ladakh.png
Snow in April was why the apricots failed in my area this year
Snow in April was why the apricots failed in my area this year
 
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