I read a few threads about asparagus and strawberry companion planting / intercropping but it’s not a good option for my layout - plus I want my strawberries to have lots of unimpeded sun. I have a dedicated asparagus bed which I’d like to expand without cutting into my annual veggie bed area. I’m curious if anyone has tried planting asparagus in their berry rows? Since my berry rows are established and won’t change, it seems like it’d be a good location for asparagus to be undisturbed and get a little shade from the raspberry plants.
I can imagine they could compete for the same root zone, and that the asparagus fronds(?) might limit airflow in the lower cane area and contribute to fungus/disease by overcrowding. Has anyone tried it?
Purple Flowering Raspberry R. odoratus) is alleged to be near thornless, but it is not exactly known for its flavor. I’ve not tried it. I suspect its broad leaves might also be an impediment. It’d be a beautiful way to fill in a space, though.
I tried having a ground cover, trees and raspberries grow. Something I learned is raspberries are very much not your friend for this method. You will want something like a thornless blackberry. Things grew well but the canes took over space and getting in/out was a challenge. Thornless would not be as much of a issue.
I have Joan J’s which are thornless and prime ark freedom blackberries also thornless - but the majority of my berries have thorns. But berry thorns have never bothered me much. In fact my Niwot black raspberries have some very stout thorns which I rather like. But I do wonder if the berries will outcompete the asparagus for nutrients or water.
When I consider “companion planting” like this, I think about the roots as much as the above ground growth. I assume asparagus has a pretty deep root system and that raspberries are generally more shallow, so if that is the case they should work well together.
My raspberries ran into the asparagus and choked some out. Actually, it was wild raspberries now that I come to think about it. Difficult to get rid of. If you pruned the raspberries short it might work, but I wouldn’t recommend mixing the two.
I grow raspberries in a single row along the fence, alternating between primocane and floricane varieties spaced 3 ft apart to get a constant crop from June to November. This close spacing works best when all of the plants are pruned to 3 canes each, and all canes sprouting away from the original base are removed. This method leaves plenty of space for asparagus to grow between each group of raspberry plants, and more light is ensured by removing the lowest branches of the raspberry canes. However, I don’t know how compatible the two are; and the raspberries need frequent attention to keep them under control.