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Cucumber companion planting is a gardening technique that involves planting different crops together to benefit each other’s growth and health. Some companion plants for cucumbers can provide shade, support, or help deter pests and diseases, while others can improve soil fertility and enhance the flavor of the cucumbers.
By choosing the right companion plants, gardeners can create a thriving ecosystem that promotes healthy growth and yields for their cucumber plants. When it comes to growing cucumbers, there are several plants that can make excellent cucumber companion plants.
In this article, I will tell you the best companion plants for cucumbers and what to plant with cucumbers, and what’s not. Let’s have a look.
12 Companion Plants Grow With Cucumbers
Cucumbers thrive in warm and sunny environments, and they can benefit from being planted near plants that provide shade or act as a natural trellis for them to climb.
When planning a garden that includes cucumbers, it is important to consider what plants to grow alongside them and what plants to avoid. Good companion plants for cucumbers include beans, peas, corn, radishes, and dill.
On the other hand, it is best to avoid planting cucumbers near plants that attract pests or diseases that can harm the cucumbers, such as potatoes, melons, and other cucurbits.
Corn is a great companion plant as this provides a natural trellis for cucumbers to climb, which can help to save space in the garden. The tall corn stalks can provide shade for the cucumbers during the hottest parts of the day.
Cucumbers also benefit from the nitrogen-fixing properties of corn, which can improve the overall health and growth of both plants.
It is important to note that corn and cucumbers have different soil requirements, so it may be necessary to plant them in separate areas of the garden or to amend the soil accordingly.
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Celery can make a good companion plant for cucumbers, as celery helps repel common cucumber pests like aphids, while cucumber plants can provide some shade to the celery and help prevent it from bolting prematurely during hot weather.
Both plants have deep root systems that can help improve soil structure and nutrient uptake, making them a good combination for a healthy and productive garden.
Beets and cucumbers can make good companions; they allow them to coexist without competing for resources. Beet greens can help repel pests that can harm cucumbers.
However, it’s important to note that beets prefer cooler temperatures and can have a slower growth rate than cucumbers, so it’s important to ensure that they are compatible in terms of soil and sunlight requirements.
Other companion plants that can be grown with beets and cucumbers include lettuce, carrots, and radishes.
Oregano is a popular herb that can serve as a beneficial companion plant for cucumbers. It has natural pest-repelling properties, which can help protect cucumber plants from harmful insects like cucumber beetles, spider mites, and aphids.
Oregano is known to enhance the flavor of nearby plants and can help improve the taste of cucumbers. It attracts beneficial insects like bees, butterflies, and parasitic wasps that can help pollinate the cucumber plants and control pests.
Peas can be a great companion plant to grow with cucumbers, as they provide several benefits to each other. Here are some reasons why;
- Peas are nitrogen-fixing plants, which means they have the ability to convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form that is usable by plants. They require a lot of nitrogen to grow.
- Peas have a natural ability to repel certain pests, including aphids and cucumber beetles.
- Pea plants can provide some shade for cucumber plants, which can be helpful during hot summer months when cucumber plants may be at risk of sunscald.
- Peas have a deep root system that can help break up compacted soil and improve soil structure. This can be beneficial for cucumbers, which prefer well-draining soil.
When planting peas and cucumbers together, it’s important to make sure that each plant has enough space to grow and that they are not competing for resources.
Beans add nitrogen to the soil and improve soil quality. Growing these plants together can enhance the growth of cucumbers, repel pests, and improve soil quality, making for a healthy and vibrant garden.
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Radishes are known to repel cucumber beetles, which can be a major pest for cucumber plants. This helps to attract beneficial insects like bees and hoverflies, which can help pollinate cucumber flowers and control pests like aphids.
Radishes grow quickly and can be harvested in as little as 25-30 days, allowing you to use the space for other crops later in the growing season. This can be especially useful if you have limited space in your garden.
Sunflowers make excellent companion plants for cucumbers because they provide shade, nutrient cycling, and pest control benefits.
The shade from sunflowers can help protect cucumbers from the hot sun, while the nutrients accumulated by sunflowers can be released into the soil to improve fertility for cucumber growth.
Dill is an herb that is often grown as a companion plant for cucumbers, as it can provide a number of benefits to these plants.
- Dill is known to attract beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies,
- Dill has a distinct flavor that can complement the taste of cucumbers when used in salads, sandwiches, or pickling.
- Dill plants can provide some shade for cucumber plants during hot summer days, helping to prevent the soil from drying out too quickly.
Marigolds improve soil quality by suppressing weeds and adding organic matter, and their deep taproots can break up hard soil and improve drainage. French marigolds are the best varieties to use, as they are small and won’t shade out the cucumbers.
Plant them in between the cucumber plants or along the edges of the cucumber bed.
By planting nasturtiums alongside your cucumber plants, you can help protect them from these pests.
Nasturtiums have shallow roots that don’t compete with the deep roots of cucumber plants for nutrients and water. This makes them good companion plants as they can grow together without negatively affecting each other’s growth.
Another benefit of growing nasturtiums with cucumbers is that they can attract beneficial insects like bees and hoverflies, which can help to pollinate the cucumber flowers and improve overall yields.
Lettuce can be a good companion plant for cucumbers because it provides shade, has similar soil requirements, can help with pest control, and maximizes space in the garden.
Growing these two plants together can help keep the soil moist and cool, prevent pests from attacking the cucumber plants, and make efficient use of garden space.
5 Things That Do Not Grow Near Cucumbers
There are several things that can be harmful to the growth of cucumbers when planted nearby. There are certain reasons you should avoid planting certain things near your cucumber plants:
- Certain plants, like weeds or other vegetables, can compete with your cucumber plants for nutrients in the soil. Attract pests that can damage your cucumber plants.
- Some plants can harbor diseases that can spread to your cucumber plants, leading to reduced growth and yield.
Mint is not a good companion plant for cucumbers because it competes with them for resources, has chemicals that can slow their growth, and can attract pests and diseases that can hurt cucumber plants.
Mint’s aggressive growth can quickly take over garden beds and deprive cucumbers of vital nutrients and water.
Mint contains allelopathic compounds that can inhibit the growth of neighboring plants, including cucumbers. It can attract pests and diseases that can spread to cucumber plants and affect their health.
Planting them together can lead to competition for nutrients and water in the soil, which can reduce yields and stunt growth.
They are both vulnerable to pests and diseases such as squash bugs, cucumber beetles, and powdery mildew, which can easily spread between the two plants. To avoid these issues, it’s best to plant melons and cucumbers in separate garden beds.
Potatoes and cucumbers should not be grown near each other as they are both susceptible to blight, a fungal disease that can spread rapidly and devastate crops.
Planting them together can increase the likelihood of blight spreading, as the disease can move from one plant to another through the air or soil. To avoid these problems, plant them at least 50 feet apart if planting them in the same area.
There are a few plants that are not recommended to be grown near cucumbers, and sage is one of them. This is because sage contains compounds that can inhibit the growth of cucumbers and other plants.
Sage produces a substance called thujone, which is toxic to some plants and can stunt their growth. It tends to spread quickly and can easily beat cucumbers for water, nutrients, and other resources.
Fennel contains chemicals that can inhibit the growth of cucumbers and other plants in the same family, such as zucchini and squash.
These chemicals, called allelochemicals, are released by the roots of the fennel and can affect the ability of nearby plants to take in water and nutrients. Fennel can attract pests such as aphids and spider mites, which can also harm cucumber plants.
Knowing which plants to grow with cucumbers and which to avoid can help maximize the health and yield of your cucumber plants.
Companion planting with plants that fix nitrogen, provide shade or support or repel pests can help cucumbers grow. Avoiding plants in the same family and those that contain allelochemicals can help stop growth inhibition or cross-pollination.
Thanks for reading!