Are you hoping to boost your cucumber harvest this season? With proper planning and plant selection, you should have more cucumbers than you know what to do with.
Cucumbers are one of my favorite types of plants. In this guide, I’ll share some of the amazing benefits of companion planting.
I’ll also share some of the best and worst cucumber companion plants to grow in your backyard garden.
- Companion planting with cucumbers offers numerous benefits, including improved soil health, enhanced pest control, and increased productivity.
- Marigolds, radishes, and alliums like garlic and onions are effective in repelling pests and attracting beneficial insects to the cucumber garden.
- Squash and potatoes are plants you should avoid planting close to cucumbers because they attract similar pests and compete for water.
- Key Takeaways
- Understanding Companion Planting
- Benefits of Cucumber Companion Planting
- Getting To Know Your Cucumbers
- 15 Best Companion Plants for Cucumbers
- Plants to Avoid Planting Near Cucumbers
- Planning Your Garden with Companion Planting in Mind
- Common Mistakes to Avoid in Cucumber Companion Planting
- Final Thoughts
- FAQs About the Right Cucumber Companion Plants
- What Should You Not Plant Next To Cucumbers?
- What Is The Best Companion Plant For Cucumbers?
- Can Cucumbers And Peppers Be Planted Together?
- Why Should You Not Plant Cucumbers Near Tomatoes?
- Why should I avoid planting potatoes with cucumbers?
- What are the benefits of companion planting?
- Can cucumbers be grown with other types of vining plants?
- What are some smaller varieties of cucumbers that can be grown with companions?
- Do cucumbers repel any pests?
- Can cucumbers be grown with lettuce plants?
- Can companion plants help to pollinate cucumber plants?
- How do companion plants help the growth of cucumbers?
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Understanding Companion Planting
Companion planting is the practice of growing certain plants together so that each plant complements the other. In essence, it’s a strategy that emphasizes the natural relationships between diverse plants.
By pairing compatible plants, you can improve soil health, control pests and diseases, and produce more fruits from your garden.
For instance, putting beans or peas next to cucumbers boosts nitrogen levels in your soil. Companion planting with marigolds attracts ladybugs and lacewings which are beneficial insects that control aphids, whiteflies, and other unwelcome guests.
Radishes act as trap crops for flea beetles that might otherwise damage your cucumber vines. These interactions will help your vegetable garden create mutually beneficial plant partnerships.
Benefits of Cucumber Companion Planting
Companion planting offers quite a few advantages for your cucumber garden. An increase in productivity is one primary benefit as companion plants help enrich the soil with vital nutrients, providing physical support, and attracting pollinators.
For instance, beans and peas put nitrogen into the soil which cucumbers can utilize for growth, while corn serves as a natural trellis where smaller cucumbers can thrive.
Enhanced pest control is another benefit of companion planting with cucumbers.
Companion plants like marigolds repel various pests while attracting beneficial insects such as ladybugs and lacewings that keep harmful bugs in check.
Alliums including garlic, chives, and onions serve a dual role by driving away destructive pests and enhancing the flavor profile when pickled together with cucumbers.
Companion planting is also a great way to create healthier soil conditions. Successive planting of radishes enables optimal moisture retention and air circulation within the soil which can help your cucumber’s root system.
Getting To Know Your Cucumbers
|Plant Family |
Cucurbitaceae (Gourd family)
|Watering Conditions |
Regular watering, keep the soil consistently moist
|Mature Size |
Varies by variety, typically 1-3 feet tall and wide
|Soil Requirements |
Well-draining, fertile soil with organic matter
|Sunlight Needs |
|Temperature Tolerance |
Hardy in USDA zones 4-9
|Growth Habit |
Vining or bushy, depending on the variety
|Flowering Period |
|Flower Color |
|Foliage Characteristics |
Large, green leaves with rough texture
|Propagation Methods |
|Pruning and Maintenance |
Remove damaged or dead leaves, support vining varieties with trellises
|Common Pests and Diseases |
Aphids, cucumber beetles, powdery mildew, downy mildew
|Companion Planting |
Beans, corn, radishes, peas, sunflowers
|Edible Parts |
|Wildlife Attraction |
Attracts pollinators like bees
|Special Care Instructions |
Consistent watering to prevent bitterness; trellis vining varieties for better air circulation
15 Best Companion Plants for Cucumbers
There are several plants that cucumbers can grow well next to. I have included some of the most common companion plants that keep your cucumbers healthy and repel unwanted pests.
1. Beans and Peas
Cucumbers find great companions in beans and peas, making them an essential part of any successful vegetable garden.
The nitrogen-fixing qualities of beans and peas enhance soil health, enabling cucumbers to thrive without additional fertilizers.
Beans and peas also go well with cucumbers because they share the same growing conditions, allowing them to easily grow on the same cucumber trellis system.
Beans and peas also increase cucumber yield by improving soil nutrition levels that promote healthier plant growth.
Corn and cucumbers pair well together due to corn’s ability to serve as a natural trellis for the cucumber vines and provide shade for small cucumber plants.
By growing corn plants alongside your cucumbers, you can save space in the garden while also providing support for the vines.
Additionally, the tall stalks of corn create shade that helps prevent sunburn on cucumber leaves and fruits during the hot summer months.
Marigolds are an excellent companion plant for cucumbers in your vegetable garden as well. Not only do they add a pop of vibrant color, but marigolds also have some impressive pest-repelling properties.
These beautiful flowers can help control pests and repel cucumber beetles and insects that may harm your cucumber crops.
They produce a natural insecticide called pyrethrum, which deters cucumber beetles and squash bugs.
Additionally, marigolds attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings, which can assist with pollination and further aid in pest control.
Radishes are a fantastic companion plant for cucumbers. Not only do they help deter pests like cucumber beetles and whiteflies, but they can also act as trap crops, luring these nuisances away from your cucumber plants.
Plus, radishes grow quickly and can be planted in succession with cucumbers to maximize your garden space and yield.
Their root systems also break up compacted soil, providing moisture and air to the soil for healthier cucumber growth.
So why not try to grow cucumbers alongside radishes? You’ll get the benefits of pest control while adding a touch of color to your salads.
Oregano is a herb that not only adds flavor to your dishes but also serves as an excellent companion plant for cucumbers.
Its strong aroma acts as a natural deterrent for pests like aphids and squash bugs, making it a great choice to protect your cucumber plants.
Oregano doesn’t just repel pests, it also attracts beneficial insects. Parasitic wasps, ladybugs, lacewings, and spiders are all attracted to oregano and they feed on the pests that harm your cucumbers.
Moreover, oregano can act as a living trellis for your cucumber vines, allowing them to climb and remain upright.
Low-growing companion plants like oregano also help suppress weeds, insulate the soil, conserve moisture, and draw up essential nutrients from the soil, which contribute to a healthier cucumber crop.
Alliums can repel unwanted pests like aphids, Japanese beetles, deer, rabbits, and cabbage loopers from your cucumber plants.
By planting alliums near your cucumber vines, you can enjoy a healthier and more productive crop without relying on harmful chemicals.
Harvesting alliums alongside cucumbers opens up a world of delicious recipes that combine these two tasty ingredients.
Beets are not only a delicious and nutritious vegetable to grow in your garden, but they also make great companion plants for cucumbers.
By planting beets alongside your cucumber vines, you can enhance soil moisture and air circulation, promoting healthier cucumber growth.
Furthermore, beets can be planted in succession with cucumbers, meaning that as you harvest one batch of beets, you can replant the space with new beet seeds.
This allows for efficient use of growing space and ensures a continuous supply of fresh vegetables throughout the season.
Borage is an excellent companion plant for cucumbers, attracting pollinators and beneficial insects to your garden. With its beautiful blue flowers, borage not only adds a touch of color but also enhances the overall health of your cucumber vines.
This versatile herb can even be used in culinary dishes or pickled for added flavor. By planting borage alongside your cucumbers, you’ll benefit from increased yield and natural pest control as it deters pests like cabbage loopers, armyworms, and wireworms.
Additionally, borage accumulates nutrients in the soil, which helps the growth of your cucumber plants.
Nasturtiums are incredible companion plants for cucumbers. Not only do they add a vibrant burst of color to your vegetable patch, but they also repel pests like cucumber beetles and aphids.
These pest-repellent qualities make nasturtiums an excellent choice for organic gardens. Additionally, these beautiful flowers serve as trap crops for aphids and whiteflies, diverting them away from your precious cucumber vines.
Nasturtiums also attract beneficial pollinators and predatory insects that help keep your garden ecosystem in balance. With their stunning blooms and pest-fighting abilities, nasturtiums are truly the perfect ally for your cucumber garden!
Lettuce is a fantastic companion plant for cucumbers in your garden. Not only does it require minimal care and have low demands, but it also tolerates shade, making it an excellent choice for planting alongside cucumber vines.
Lettuce won’t compete with cucumbers for nutrients or space, allowing both plants to thrive together. In fact, lettuce can provide some benefits to cucumber plants as well.
The presence of lettuce shades the soil and keeps it cool, which is ideal for the delicate roots of cucumbers. It also acts as a living mulch, suppressing weeds and reducing the need for manual weed control.
Additionally, planting lettuce near cucumbers attracts beneficial insects that can help control pests that may affect cucumber plants.
Dill is a fantastic companion plant for cucumbers. It not only adds flavor to homemade pickles made with cucumbers, but it also attracts predatory wasps and beneficial insects to cucumber plants.
These helpful bugs act as natural pest control, keeping unwanted pests away from your cucumbers.
Additionally, dill has strong repellent properties that deter common garden pests. Its aromatic leaves can even be used in pickling recipes along with cucumbers for added flavor.
Planting dill alongside your cucumbers, you’re not only benefitting from its delicious taste but also creating a healthy and thriving environment for your vine-loving veggies.
Calendula, also known as pot marigold, is a fantastic companion plant for cucumbers. Not only does it add vibrant color to your garden with its cheerful blooms, but it also attracts a wide range of beneficial predator insects and pollinators.
This means that you’ll have plenty of natural pest control and improved pollination. Calendula can also act as a living trellis, allowing your cucumber vines to climb and stay upright.
It even helps suppress weeds, insulate the soil, and conserve moisture in the cucumber bed. Plus, like other companion plants, calendula can draw up nutrients from the soil and improve cucumber growth and yield without taking up extra space in your garden.
Carrots are an excellent companion plant for cucumbers in your garden. They not only make the most of your growing space but also provide numerous benefits to cucumber plants.
Carrots and cucumbers can coexist harmoniously as they do not compete for resources like water and nutrients.
In fact, carrots can even act as natural trellises for the climbing vines of cucumbers, saving you the trouble of constructing additional supports.
These low-growing plants help suppress weeds and conserve moisture for cucumber roots, creating an ideal environment for their growth.
Also, the taproot of carrots improves cucumber development by drawing up essential nutrients from deep within the soil.
By strategically planting carrots alongside cucumbers, you can produce more cucumbers by utilizing previously wasted areas of your garden and attracting beneficial insects that prey on pests targeting your precious cucumber crop.
14. Sweet Alyssum
Sweet Alyssum is a fantastic companion plant for cucumbers in your garden. It attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies and also helps increase the overall cucumber harvest by aiding in pollination.
The presence of Sweet Alyssum can also act as a natural pest repellent, keeping unwanted bugs away from your precious cucumber plants.
This small plant can be grown beneath cucumber vines or in pots, making it versatile and easy to incorporate into any garden design.
Sunflowers are not only a beautiful addition to any garden, but they also serve as excellent companion plants for cucumbers. These vibrant flowers attract essential pollinators and beneficial insects, promoting better pollination rates and boosting the overall harvest of your cucumber vines.
Sunflower stems can even act as natural trellises, providing support for climbing cucumber varieties and saving valuable space in your garden.
If you’re worried about shade from taller sunflowers, consider planting dwarf varieties that offer all the benefits without casting too many shadows on your cucumber patch.
Plants to Avoid Planting Near Cucumbers
Companion planting consists of pairing crops that help cucumbers but also avoiding plants that could harm them.
Cucumbers should not be planted alongside other cucurbits, such as squash, as they can cross-pollinate and affect the quality of both crops.
Other Cucurbits, Like Squash
Cucumbers belong to the cucurbit family, which includes other plants like squash and melons. While it may seem logical to plant them together, it’s actually best to avoid growing these cucurbits side by side.
This is because they are susceptible to similar pests and diseases, such as cucumber beetles and powdery mildew.
By keeping them separate in your garden, you can reduce the risk of spreading these issues and help ensure healthy growth for all your crops.
Potatoes are one of the worst companion plants for cucumbers. These two crops compete for water, which can result in stunted growth for both plants.
To ensure you get more cucumbers from your garden, it’s best to avoid planting potatoes near your cucumber patch.
Instead, focus on companion plants that complement cucumbers and provide benefits such as pest control or improved pollination rates.
By selecting the right companions, you’ll create a thriving garden that maximizes the potential of your cucumber plants.
Sage and Other Aromatic Herbs
Sage and other aromatic herbs should be avoided when planting cucumbers together. Not only can these herbs affect the flavor of your cucumbers, but they may also interfere with their growth and development.
It’s best to keep sage and other fragrant herbs away from your cucumber plants to ensure optimal health and yield. While sage is known to repel insects, it may stunt the growth of your cucumber plants if planted nearby.
To create a thriving cucumber patch, it’s crucial to choose companion plants wisely and avoid aromatic herbs like sage that could potentially hinder their growth.
Planning Your Garden with Companion Planting in Mind
Garden planning is important for your garden, which is why it’s crucial you take a moment to properly lay out your plants. Keep these in mind when planning your garden.
- Consider the space available in your garden and plan accordingly to accommodate both cucumbers and their companion plants.
- Determine the specific needs of each companion plant, such as sunlight requirements and watering preferences.
- Take into account the growth habits of both cucumber vines and their companions. Ensure that taller plants do not shade or overshadow smaller ones.
- Choose companion plants that have similar soil preferences to ensure optimal growing conditions for all plants involved.
- Rotate the placement of cucumber beds each year to prevent disease buildup in the soil.
- Plant a variety of companion plants throughout your garden to maximize pest control and pollination benefits.
- Create a trellis system or support structure for cucumber vines and consider how this will interact with surrounding companion plants.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in Cucumber Companion Planting
- Planting cucumbers too close together can lead to overcrowding and competition for resources.
- Neglecting to provide proper support for vining cucumbers can result in tangled or damaged vines.
- Failing to consider the growth habits and mature size of companion plants, can lead to overshadowing or shading of cucumber plants.
- Ignoring the soil requirements of companion plants can affect nutrient availability and overall plant health.
- Not rotating crops properly increases the risk of disease and pest buildup in the soil.
- Forgetting to monitor for pests regularly and implementing control measures when necessary, such as using organic pest deterrents or introducing beneficial insects.
- Overlooking the importance of timing when planting companion crops, which can impact growth rates and harvest yields.
Strategically planting companion plants alongside cucumbers in your garden can enhance crop yields, deter pests, and create a thriving organic ecosystem.
Remember to include beans and peas for nitrogen-fixing benefits, marigolds for pest control and attracting beneficial insects, and radishes as trap crops.
Avoid planting other cucurbits like squash along with cucumbers and be mindful of aromatic herbs such as sage.
With proper planning and attention to companion planting principles, you can enjoy bountiful cucumber harvests while promoting a sustainable and harmonious garden environment.
For a complete guide on companion plants, check out our companion planting guide here.
FAQs About the Right Cucumber Companion Plants
What Should You Not Plant Next To Cucumbers?
Cucumbers should not be planted next to other cucurbits, such as squash and melons because they are susceptible to similar pests and diseases. It is best to keep these plants separate to reduce the risk of spreading issues and ensure healthy growth for all crops. Some of the best companion plants for cucumbers include pole beans, lettuce, corn, and radishes.
What Is The Best Companion Plant For Cucumbers?
Beans and peas are considered some of the best companion plants for cucumbers. They fix nitrogen in the soil, which enhances cucumber growth and can be grown together on the same trellis system, maximizing garden space and improving soil nutrition levels.
Can Cucumbers And Peppers Be Planted Together?
Cucumbers and peppers can be planted together, as they have compatible growth habits and do not typically interfere with each other.
However, it’s important to provide sufficient space and support for both plants, as they can grow quite large.
Why Should You Not Plant Cucumbers Near Tomatoes?
Cucumbers and tomatoes should not be planted near each other because they are both susceptible to similar diseases, such as fungal infections like powdery mildew and blight.
Planting them in close proximity increases the risk of disease transmission and can negatively impact the health of both plants.
Why should I avoid planting potatoes with cucumbers?
Potatoes and cucumbers are both susceptible to the same diseases and pests, so planting them together can increase the risk of problems.
What are the benefits of companion planting?
Companion planting has many benefits, including improving the growth of cucumbers, deterring pests, attracting beneficial insects, conserving moisture, and maximizing space in your garden.
Can cucumbers be grown with other types of vining plants?
Yes, cucumbers can be grown with other vining plants like pole beans, as they can provide support for each other and maximize vertical space in the garden.
What are some smaller varieties of cucumbers that can be grown with companions?
Some smaller cucumber varieties that can be grown with companion plants include pickling cucumbers and bush cucumbers.
Do cucumbers repel any pests?
Yes, cucumbers can help repel pests such as ants, beetles, and moths, making them beneficial companion plants for other vegetables.
Can cucumbers be grown with lettuce plants?
Yes, cucumbers and lettuce can be grown together, as they have compatible growth habits and can benefit from each other’s shade and moisture retention.
Can companion plants help to pollinate cucumber plants?
Yes, some companion plants, such as flowers, can attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, which can help to pollinate cucumber plants and improve fruit sets.
How do companion plants help the growth of cucumbers?
Companion plants can provide shade, attract beneficial insects, deter pests, and enhance soil health, all of which contribute to the overall growth and productivity of cucumber plants.