The Q&A Archives: Dying Asparagus

Question: We are blessed with really great gardening soil and
have enjoyed asparagus from our garden for 9+ yrs.
I currently have 3 60' rows of Martha Washington on drips, mulch with composted maure, do a soil test twice a yr.,side dress with the custom commercial fert. indicated, use weed barrier between the rows and hand weed around plants, use Rotenone and 2-4d amine to control bugs/weeds and produce bonanza crops. 3 yrs ago we planted a row of fern-leaf Mountain Sumac on the side of the asparagus and this past season most of the asparagus died. We have a few spindly plants remaining. Please advise.

Answer: There are in fact some allelopathic reactions to sumac (eg Douglas fir), however in addition, the highly aggressive sumac could be outcompeting the asparagus for water and nutrients. I'm really sorry about your asparagus.

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