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Marie Iannotti

Planting Near a Black Walnut Tree

By March 11, 2013

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Last week I got another email from a gardener who learned the hard way, that black walnut trees can be a mixed blessing.  Black walnuts (Juglans nigra L.) are valuable landscape and lumber trees, but they are not always good companions for other plants. They produce a chemical called "juglone", which can be allelopathic to many common plants, including tomatoes. Here's some advice for what to avoid and how to garden around black walnut trees.

Photo: Courtesy of constantin jurcut / Stock.xchng. Used with Permission.


March 12, 2013 at 7:55 am
(1) Karen says:

My raised beds are working fine. I grow tomatoes in large pots since they have been affected the most. Cabbage, eggplants and potatoes are fine in the beds. I heavily compost the beds each spring with great success.

March 12, 2013 at 10:50 am
(2) Linda says:

My yard has three black walnut trees on it when I purchased 20 years ago. I never experienced much of a problem growing other perennials and shrubs as long as i followed the guidance of my local county extension service with their recommendations.
My primary annoyance was when the squirrels would harvest the nuts and leave the chewed off husks on the stone patio and furnishings. They leave terrible dark stains.

March 12, 2013 at 11:54 am
(3) mmm says:

I have a black walnut covered in English Ivy. Hosta and pachysandra grow under it just fine.

March 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm
(4) gardening says:

Karen,good to know the other vegetables seem to be able to handle it. Tomatoes are very sensitive.

March 12, 2013 at 3:15 pm
(5) gardening says:

Karen, I guess your squirrels watched the video on husking. ;-)

mmm, not all plants are affected by juglone. I don’t know of anything that would deter ivy and pachysandra, but it’s good to know the Hosta are fine.

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