How far away from a walnut tree can I grow asparagus?

Asked July 6, 2015, 5:42 PM EDT

I read an article that walnut trees have toxins in their roots that can affect asparagus beds. The one I started last year just happens to be within 10 feet of a walnut tree. How far away should I transfer the bed to make sure it's safe? I also have to raise my vegetable garden that sits next to a creek (this is the second year it's been a washout). Sun is limited; therefore, I am going to raise it up to avoid creek overflow. Would asparagus be able to grow productively in a raised bed?

Harford County Maryland

1 Response

The asparagus should be planted well beyond the drip line of the black walnut even in a raised bed. Asparagus roots would descend well into the native soil and into the root zone of the walnut tree if too close.
The amount of sunlight for your vegetable garden is a crucial factor in achieving a successful harvest of vegetable crops. If the area available receives less than six hours of sunlight during the growing season, success with tomatoes, peppers, squash, etc., is problematic. You could plant some leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, lettuce, etc. and may have suitable success.