Asparagus grows perennially; garlic grows annually.

Can You Grow Garlic & Asparagus Together?

by Patricia Telesco

In assembling a garden, it’s important that each element receives the sunlight, water and soil characteristics it requires. Each of these elements affects the types of herbs, flowers, fruits and vegetables that can thrive in the same planting beds. Determine if garlic and asparagus can grow together by ascertaining each plant’s growing needs and comparing them to the area you have for planting.

Plant Characteristics

Garlic is an annual that’s planted in the fall and harvested in spring. It’s easy to care for as long as you keep your garden relatively weed free. Garlic grows to about 2 feet in height with a spread of between 1/2 and 1 foot. Asparagus is a perennial vegetable that reappears each spring for approximately 15 years. It grows approximately 4 feet tall and has a footprint of 2 feet depending on the variety. You need to build up organic matter for about a year before planting it, tilling the soil deeply repeatedly throughout that year. The tilling process that occurs the year before asparagus is planted could easily uproot any garlic planted the previous fall, making growing garlic in a future asparagus bed difficult.

Soil Requirements

Garlic requires highly fertile, well-drained soil. It tolerates a pH range of 6.2 to 6.8. Asparagus is similar in that it thrives in well-drained soil, particularly raised beds where it has plenty of expansion space. Asparagus feeds heavily on the soil’s nutrients, preferring a pH of 6.0 to 6.7. While the acidity each requires is similar, asparagus’s need for expansion and heavily competitive nature limits the success of growing these two plants in the same location.

Water and Sunlight

In terms of water and sunlight, garlic and asparagus are mostly compatible. Both like full sun and even watering. Neither appreciates soggy soil conditions. The only problem occurs in June when you should stop watering garlic to harvest firm bulbs. That would leave the asparagus without vital water levels for continued growth and survival.

Companion Planting Conclusions

Companion planting guides suggest avoiding putting asparagus in any bed with garlic, leek, onion or chives. They also don’t recommend crop rotation into beds in which these vegetables and herbs previously grew. Garlic is not competitive, but it can transmit diseases to asparagus. Harvesting neighboring garlic may also weaken asparagus’s developing root system and disrupt its ability to spread. Overall, growing asparagus and garlic together is not likely to be successful.

About the Author

Patricia Telesco has been a writer since 1992. She has produced more than 60 books with publishers that include HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. Her articles have appeared in "Woman's World" and "National Geographic Today." Telesco holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Buffalo.

Photo Credits

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