Follow this expert guide to planting cucumber companions for your garden
Companion planting for cucumbers will help you get the most out of your local crop of this favorite salad vegetable. Cucumbers from your garden are arguably the best, and they can make a big difference in the flavor of a salad or a sandwich.
Planting cucumber companions is the easiest method to grow them in addition to herbs, flowers, or vegetables that are known to help them grow.
Companion planting cucumbers will benefit whether you grow them in a greenhouse or in a warm, protected place outdoors.
If you plan to grow cucumbers in an unheated greenhouse or outdoors, start sowing cucumber seeds indoors in April and think about what you will plant with it.
In a few months, most cucumbers will be ready to harvest, allowing you to reap the rewards of your vision and planning.
What is a good companion plant for cucumbers?
Companion planting can be enhanced by developing a community of mutually beneficial plants.
Planting cucumber companions can provide benefits such as preventing pests from attacking young cucumber plants, increasing soil nutrients accessible to the host plant, and increasing yields.
Companion planting, according to Rob Smith, Horti Expert at Dobies (opens in a new tab), is a “great method of keeping hungry insects from feasting on your crops while still being completely natural and organic.”
Allowing mother nature to maintain balance in your garden is also good for the environment. By planning and gardening carefully, you can create a community of mutually beneficial plants that will help your crops thrive while avoiding the need for harmful pesticides,” says Rob.
Planting cucumber companions can also attract pollinators like bees and butterflies to vegetable plants, as well as improve the growing environment by providing needed shade, acting as a ground cover to retain moisture. or breaking the ground.
Cucumber side planting – with vegetables
Planting cucumber companions with different vegetables can have a range of benefits
Peas and beans are useful because of their root systems. “They enrich the soil with nitrogen, which the cucumbers will benefit from,” adds Rob Smith.
Companion cucumbers are best planted with carrots, parsnips, radishes and onions, as they do not overgrow each other’s land. Cucumbers send up a large taproot as well as a few shallow roots that don’t extend very far. Root vegetables mostly grow underground, while cucumbers send up a larger taproot as well as a few shallow roots that don’t reach far enough. This implies that cucumber roots will not interfere with mate roots and vice versa.
Cucumber companion planting – with herbs
When it comes to planting cucumber companions, herbs also play a part.
Oregano repels insects with its essential oils, which work as insect repellents.
“Dill attracts predatory insects like wasps, which will help rid your plot of those annoying pests,” adds Rob Smith of Dobies.
Dill also attracts helpful pollinators, which help pollinate cucumber plants – and with an organic garden, you can never have too many pollinators!
Chives are an excellent cucumber companion plant because their onion-like aroma deters the cucumber beetle from feasting on the leaves, flowers, and fruit of your salad vegetable.
Cucumber companion planting – with flowers
Marigolds repel a range of pests, including aphids, which are a common problem with cucumber leaves.
Nasturtiums, which attract aphids, are another popular and attractive cucumber companion plant. Although it may seem contradictory, aphids and black flies attack them but stay away from your food, according to Emma O’Neill of Garden Organic (opens in a new tab).
Sunflower stems provide both support and shade for cucumber vines as they climb in the hot summer sun.
What can’t you plant near cucumbers?
Certain herbs, such as sage and mint, should be avoided when planting cucumber companions because they have a strong odor and flavor that can affect the flavor of your cucumbers.
Potatoes will compete strongly with cucumbers for water and nutrients, reducing crop yields, and cucumbers also promote potato blight. Therefore, the two should be away from each other.
Cucumbers should not be grown with pumpkins or gourds, as gourds attract similar insect enemies. Planting too many too close together would be tantamount to giving these pests a buffet-style banquet.
First published: June 18, 2022, 04:04 IST