Vegetables near black walnut

Asked March 2, 2020, 9:59 PM EST

Have 3 huge black walnut trees in my yard, needless to say I cannot grow any tomatoes. I was hoping if there are any other vegetables that I can grow which is not sensitive to Juglone. Thank you

Oakland County Michigan

1 Response

Yes there are a few vegetables you can grow. Lima and snap beans, beets, corn, onions, garlic, leeks, parsnip, carrots, cauliflower, soybeans, parsley, Jerusalem artichoke, melons and squash are tolerant of juglone. It is best to plant in a raised garden beds that have a wood or stone barrier to prevent the black walnut tree roots from growing into the garden beds.
Here is a link to a great article I used to respond to your question on the subject including tips on planting a vegetable garden around black walnut trees from Michigan State University Extension:

You will want to keep leaves, hulls and seedlings out of the garden beds as well. Juglone in low doses it toxic to sensitive plants.
If your heart is set on tomatoes I would also suggest planting tomatoes in containers if you have a sunny area perhaps on a deck or patio away from the black walnut trees. A 24" container (24" round and deep) is sufficent for 1 tomato plant. Cherry tomatoes grow great in containers (I speak from experience!) and look decorative if you add an obelisque as a trellis. Add a trailing vine or a few marigolds for a European look. The downside is you will have to check it frequently to be sure it has adequate water as containers will dry out fast.
I hope you find this information helpful. Happy Gardening!