I have a question about growing a fruit tree guild. I see folks talking about growing asparagus and strawberries as part of a fruit tree guild. We recently did this and now I'm getting worried and second guessing this. Here's why:
I read you need to let asparagus go to fern for the first three or so years. Doing this - I anticipate - will block out the sun for the strawberries that we planted near the asparagus.
How do you grow asparagus and strawberries together then so that you don't shade out the strawberries? Suggestions and advice are welcome!
This is the first year I was able to harvest my asparagus planted with strawberry so with my tiny bit of experience I suggest to not worry about it.
The strawberry asparagus guild I have is in a very shady area on the east side is a heavily wooded area and on the west is the house. Both the asparagus and strawberry are producing quite well for the conditions and only planted 2 years ago. The strawberry in thig guild is the first strawberry to put on fruit out of all the strawberry in my lawn all planted at the same time from the same mother plant.
Worry not! They will grow.
No worries. I planted my first asparagus bed 8 years ago in full sun (100*+ in the summer) and my plants were troopers but they obviously struggled in the heat and sun so I just created a new bed this winter. I placed it near some trees so they will only get 6-7 hours of morning sun and can relax in the dappling shade all afternoon. I planted out 2 dozen 1 year old crowns about 6 weeks ago. This picture is what the ferns look like today. They are thin and wispy. They will grow bigger, to about 4 feet but they will still be thin and wispy and won't put down a lot of shade. I should be able to harvest a little bit of asparagus next year and then a full harvest the following year. I never thought about planting strawberries with them. That sounds like a good idea. Happy gardening.
You always need to let asparagus go to fern, that's how it gets it's energy back. But it is a pretty whispy plant so long as there is a good distance between asparagus plants, (at least a foot) strawberries should be ok under them. I personally wouldn't put asparagus and strawberries under a fruit tree in my climate as the combined shade from the tree and the asparagus would be to much. I have strawberries growing madly on the floor of my food forest area, each year they flower like mad and then then never ripen a single fruit. It's simply to shady for them there.