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Strawberries and Asparagus

 
                              
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Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
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ANy reason not to plant strawberries on top of established asparagus? I have a bunch of strawberry plants to move and there is room with the asparagus. I let some of my aspargus grow tall to make fronds (cuz it's pretty)
 
Brenda Groth
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i think it sounds like a wonderful combination..they both love the same conditions..i actually have a lot of oregano growing in my asparagus bed..mine is too alkaline to grow strawberries there.

i am considering moving some of my strawberriees..cause where they are right now..the birds generally get to them before i can
 
Jennifer Smith
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Brenda Groth wrote:
i think it sounds like a wonderful combination..they both love the same conditions..


What conditions?  I like the combo..could one add blueberries?  Or some other upper story plant?

I have asparagus and hostas growing on the north side of my house.  I have a new virgim bed (ok a compost bin at the moment)non the south that will someday be ready to plant with something yummy.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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I was lurking in another thread on here called help me form a guild plan including asparagus. Check that out for some decent asparagus info!
 
Leah Sattler
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wyldthang wrote:
I let some of my aspargus grow tall to make fronds (cuz it's pretty)



aren't you supposed to let them grow out after harvest so they can make and store energy for the next year? maybe I am missing something. I thought cutting them back was a big no no. (except of course for spring harvest of the spears from established plants)
 
Brenda Groth
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yeah we never cut back our asparagus..that is a big no no..you will damage your crop for next yea..if not destroy it if you cut too much..our neighbors mowed the asparagus plot and they will be lucky to get any next year at all.

mine are huge..they are about 10 feet tall or more and about an inch across at the bottoms..they are so healthy..also it is easier to pull weeds out around the tall asparagus ferns ..they are stronger and will stand up to more pulling around them if they are left to mature.

i don't even cut mine off in the fall..i allow them to fall down as a mulch over themselves..after i put on a good fall mulch
 
Leah Sattler
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same here brenda. my previous asparagus bed had huge plants and in the fall they just dry up and fall over.


wyldthing - I would let all your aspargus make those pretty fronds.
 
                              
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Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
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yes, what I meant was whatever I don't cut to eat I let it grow--right? 

I planted some strawberries next to(but not among) the asparagus, I thought next year I'll poke in the runners. We're having a long spell of hot weather again.

thanks for the link to the plan, I'll go check it out.

It's not a big bed of it, but it is now starting to spread underground, there were lots of new shoots this year outside of where I planted it.

THe dahlia is flopped under it(It was kinda shaded by the fennel), but the dahlia is pretty under the asparagus(I dont' dig up the dahlia every year)
 
Jennifer Smith
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As asparagus has proven so easy for me to grow I am planing for a lot of it in my landscape. 

So I am designing my guilds and am looking for additions,  flowers and herbs to go with please.

So I have A cherry tree with brambles close to trunk, With asparagus blending into strawberries becoming thicker into walking onions (another thing I have lots of).  What else?

For my grapes I plan asparagus, strawberry, walking onion, Nastersum, petunias,

Also have a bed with artic kiwi, both plants and seeds with of course asparagus, strawberries and onions.  But that should be the end of my asparagus and onions, unless I want to put some with something else...plenty. 
 
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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It might be tough to get both grapes and strawberries producing fruit from the same soil.

I've heard that grapes just grow vegetation in rich soil, while strawberries are heavy feeders.

Do I have that right?
 
Jennifer Smith
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Joel, right you are...silly me.  Ok, so you have taken a plant away from that guild, can you add one. 

How about one around artic kiwi??
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I wonder if New Zealand spinach might be a good companion for asparagus in brackish conditions with no frost.  Similarly, I know barley can tolerate salt, and I wonder if a rotation of winter barley with asparagus (maybe with fall grazing/mowing to prevent lodging?) might be a good way to maintain ground cover after the aerial portions die off, if they don't interfere with each other's harvest too much.  If I lived in the Sacramento delta, I'd experiment with this sort of thing.

Under normal conditions, I guess a light-feeding winter leaf vegetable would be less likely to bolt under the canopy of asparagus during the summer, and fill in the space through the winter.  I know some people in Oakland plant kale under tall summer plants in order to harvest it year-round.
 
Brenda Groth
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actually i do find that grapes here are heavy feeders and do much better when mulched with compost ...strawberries are also heavy feeders and fairly shallow rooted but need mulch to do well.

i don't think i would put grapes IN the asparagus..but along the edge might work well..up on a trellis...or fence..but the strawberries would be done before the asparagus gets tall.
 
Jennifer Smith
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My plan is to plant enough things at each site to convince "he who mows" not to mow too close.  I have lots of asparagus, love the stuff.  Easy to grow with horse poo too.  It will figure heavily in my landscape. 

I plan to incorporate basic methods of; lots of organic matter, thick plantings, interplanting, heavy mulching, layering, and weaning off of irrigation once established.  Did I forget anything?

So calcium...lime and bone meal?  Egg shells are out as my chickens are too fond of the egg shells and will destroy any patch of ground that has one little piece is looking for another.  I keep oyster shell out for them. 
 
Jordan Lowery
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i have a strawberry patch, and asparagus started growing with it. its been over 2 years and they are happy. i think they are friends.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Brenda Groth wrote:actually i do find that grapes here are heavy feeders and do much better when mulched with compost


Oh!  Okay, that's good to know.  It makes some crazy ideas of mine from earlier on suddenly seem possible again.  Even if it varies by cultivar, at least there are some grapes that will produce well in good soil.

Thanks!
 
Jennifer Smith
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
It makes some crazy ideas of mine from earlier on suddenly seem possible again.


Please share...I am working out designs for this place that will evolve all winter.  Main points are trees already ordered, things I have or can get, and what I can grow from seed.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Jennifer Hall wrote:
Please share...


This would be another post, maybe even an article.

I'll write something up tonight.
 
Dave Boehnlein
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At our place we seed parsley into our asparagus beds in the fall. We found some references stating that parsley and asparagus were companion plants. We find that the parsley keeps the weeds down and the asparagus grows right through it. It's working well for us.

Once we stop harvesting our asparagus (in early-mid summer) we let the fronds keep growing until they die back on their own.

I've read some interesting things about asparagus culture. For instance, I think it was an Eliot Coleman book where they suggested having two asparagus beds going on different time management:


  • [li]Bed 1: Harvest the shoots when they start to appear in the spring & keep harvesting until mid-summer. Then let the fronds go until they die back on their own.[/li]
    [li]Bed 2: Let the first asparagus shoots grow up into full sized fronds. When you stop harvesting Bed 1, cut back the fronds on Bed 2 and harvest the new shoots that come up until fall dormancy.[/li]


  • I haven't tried it, but it sounds like a good way to extend your asparagus harvest. Note: if this is from an Eliot Coleman book it may be a technique that is more appropriate for the Northeast than other areas of the country.

    Another tip I've read regarding asparagus in the Maritime NW is to apply manures or fertilizers in the spring, not the fall as many books rom the East Coast recommend. Since it is so wet here and the soil doesn't freeze, putting manures onto your asparagus now will result in all the good stuff leaching away before spring. In areas with cold winters where the ground freezes and gets covered with snow the manures you apply in the fall will just sit and wait until spring rains to do their work.

    Cheers!

    Dave
     
    Jennifer Smith
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    We just bought this house this last summer and there is asparagus growing with the hostas on the north side of the house, within 3 feet of the foundation.  I had no idea it would grow there and would not have planted it...but will help it along all I can now. 
     
    Joel Hollingsworth
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    permaculture.dave wrote:I think...Eliot Coleman...suggested having two asparagus beds going on different time management:


  • [li]Bed 1: Harvest the shoots when they start to appear in the spring & keep harvesting until mid-summer. Then let the fronds go until they die back on their own.[/li]
    [li]Bed 2: Let the first asparagus shoots grow up into full sized fronds. When you stop harvesting Bed 1, cut back the fronds on Bed 2 and harvest the new shoots that come up until fall dormancy.[/li]


  • That's a clever idea!
     
    Jennifer Smith
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    Here is what I am thinking,

    in the spring pull back mulch to warm up ground and plant annuals such as tomatoes in asparagus bed.  Start adding back mulch after harvest, pushing the fronds back out of the way and holding with mulch, to keep harvesting of annuals easy.

    So back to guilds, I have a few planned as for example beans do not grow with onions but both should do well with Gus, no? 

    So one SA&O and one SA&B... would beans or peas be better, diff being planting time?

    Which would parsley fit in better?  How about marigolds?  or petunias?  so many possibilities...  ideas?
     
    Travis Philp
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    Some of you are saying not to cut asparagus ferns which I'm not contesting because I haven't enough experience but I have read from a few sources that it is best to cut the female ferns so they do not produce seed as these offspring will most likely be the thinner female spears. I suppose if this is true its only really an issue for commercial growers looking for uniform spears.
     
    Joel Hollingsworth
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    Jennifer Smith "listenstohorses" wrote:would beans or peas be better, diff being planting time?


    Broad beans might be a good mix with asparagus, since they grow in opposite seasons.

    Even if you don't like favas, I understand the leaves make good salad: I'm growing them for the first time now, so I'll report back when the plants look big enough to spare some foliage.

    A quick internet search suggests they're also more compatible with garlic & onions than beans or peas: favas are very different plants, from the old world unlike other beans.
     
    Jennifer Smith
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    My latest kick is aquaponics, kindergarten style.... 

    My brother says I can start seeds in cotten balls right in my styrofoam.  I will do asparagus and see. 

    I was given a box full of vases, the kind that a dozen roses come in.  I have some smaller, even a bud vase or two that I am not sure what I will do with.  Maybe use them to start seeds.
     
    I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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