asparagus and strawberries

4 Benefits of Planting Asparagus and Strawberries Together

The Outdoor Apothecary is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

In my latest garden project, I embraced the gardening technique of companion planting by welcoming asparagus and strawberries into a new raised bed.  I made it using the hugelkultur method, layering rotted logs, branches, leaves, and yard waste with rich compost to create a garden bed that’s about 10×12 feet. I sourced the asparagus and strawberry starts from Stark Bros., a favorite online nursery of mine that I’ve had a lot of success with. 

This raised bed is part of a larger vision – that of growing a food forest on part of our property that wasn’t being used. This new venture includes a variety of fruit trees, berries, and perennial herbs and vegetables. It’s still in its early stages, but the idea is to create an ecosystem that not only produces food but also supports itself with minimal intervention. In this food forest, every plant has a role, whether it’s providing shade, attracting beneficial insects, or fixing nitrogen in the soil. This layered approach not only maximizes space but also enhances the overall health and productivity of the garden.

The new raised bed with asparagus and strawberries fits perfectly into this food forest concept. It’s meant to complement the surrounding fruit trees and perennial plants, and adds both vertical and horizontal diversity to the structure.  Each element of this food forest, including the new raised bed, works together to create a sustainable, productive environment.

hugelkultur bed for companion planting asparagus and strawberries
Raised Hugelkultur Bed for Asparagus and Strawberries

Planting asparagus and strawberries together might not be the first combination that comes to mind, but I’ve found it to be a fascinating study in garden symbiosis. These two plants complement each other beautifully, offering multiple benefits that encourage a thriving garden ecosystem. 

The deep roots of asparagus will help to break up the soil, allowing strawberries, with their more superficial root systems, to spread easily. Meanwhile, strawberries serve as a living mulch, keeping the soil moist and cool for asparagus.  This will be especially nice since I try to be mindful of water usage and I don’t yet have a rainwater harvesting system in this section of our homestead. 

asparagus and strawberries
Asparagus and Strawberry Starts from Stark Bros.

Benefits of Inter-planting Asparagus and Strawberries

The benefits of planting asparagus and strawberries together is the synergy between these two crops significantly enhances the soil health in the garden. When these companions are inter-planted, we’re not just aiming for a bountiful harvest; we’re also nurturing a fertile and robust growing environment that will sustain itself year after year. 

Here’s a deeper look at how this dynamic duo works together to enrich the soil:

  1. Promoting Biodiversity in the Soil: Asparagus and strawberries bring different root structures and nutrient needs to the soil, which helps diversify the underground ecosystem. The varied root depths of asparagus and strawberries encourage different soil organisms to thrive, from bacteria that benefit from deep-rooted asparagus to fungi that prefer the shallower strawberry roots. This diversity helps maintain a balanced soil microbiome, which is crucial for a healthy garden.
  2. Increasing Nutrient Availability: Asparagus, with its deep roots, can access nutrients and water from deeper soil layers, some of which are out of reach for many other plants. These nutrients are brought to the surface and made available to the strawberries when asparagus sheds its older roots and they decompose. Similarly, strawberries help keep the soil rich in organic matter with their dense, leafy growth that decomposes and recycles nutrients back into the soil.
  3. Extended Harvest Season: This improved nutrient absorption sets the stage for a more productive growing season, which can lead to an extended harvest period for your asparagus and strawberries. By working together in harmony, these two crops not only benefit from each other’s presence but also contribute to a longer and more bountiful harvest season. Asparagus provides an early spring harvest, while strawberries start producing later in the season, extending the period of fresh, homegrown produce for you to enjoy. This extended harvest season allows you to savor the fruits of your labor for a longer time, reaping the rewards of pairing these two plants together in your garden.
  4. Enhancing Soil Structure: The combination of deep-rooted asparagus and the more superficial roots of strawberries helps to naturally aerate the soil. As the asparagus roots penetrate deeply, they create channels that improve water infiltration and root penetration for other plants. Strawberry plants, on the other hand, spread horizontally, stabilizing the soil surface and reducing erosion. Together, they work to prevent soil compaction and maintain a loose, fertile structure that is ideal for growing.

As you can see, planting asparagus next to strawberries is not just about this season’s harvest; it’s about investing in the long-term health of my soil. This way of thinking aligns perfectly with permaculture’s core principles. Every plant serves multiple purposes and contributes to the overall well-being of the garden ecosystem. Here’s why I find this approach so fascinating:

  • Soil life thrives: By encouraging a variety of root systems, I’m creating a diverse underground world. This fosters a more resilient soil ecosystem.
  • Nutrients keep flowing: As plants take up nutrients and decompose, they release them back into the soil, creating a continuous cycle that benefits everything in the garden, not just the companion plants.
  • Healthy soil, happy plants: By keeping the soil structure intact, I reduce the need for tilling which can disrupt the delicate balance of the soil ecosystem. This happy soil translates to happy, healthy plants!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *