Dre Campbell Farm
Cucumber Companion Plants and Those to Avoid Planting Near

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Cucumber Companion Plants: Best and Worst Companions

If you are looking for a crop that is easy to grow, consider cucumber. Moreover, good companion plants may help it to thrive even better.

Companion planting will likely attract beneficial insects, increase crop productivity, and protect against insect pests.

Likewise, you’ll want to keep bad cucumber plant companions well away. These are plants that may take up too much moisture or nutrients for themselves or even attract harmful insects.

Below are some crops that grow well with cucumbers, as well as those to avoid planting near.

What to Plant With Cucumbers?

Here’s a list of the best companion plants for cucumbers. Some of these herbs, vegetables, and flowers keep pests away. Some may also enrich the soil, enhance flavor, and provide shade.

  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Calendula
  • Corn
  • Dill
  • Kohlrabi
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Nasturtiums
  • Marigold
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Radishes
  • Onions
  • Oregano
  • Sunflowers
  • Tansy
  • Tomatoes

What Not to Plant With Cucumbers

Just as some plants are helpful, others can harm your crop. Some crops will compete for space and nutrients, while others may encourage insect pests and diseases.

Below are bad companions for cucumbers.

  • Melons
  • Potatoes
  • Fennel
  • Sage
  • Pumpkins

Growing Cucumbers

Just as they are used in multiple ways – cucumbers come in varieties including pickling, slicing, and burpless.

They grow in two forms: bush and vining.

Vining cucumbers can grow up the side of a fence or a trellis. Moreover, they are great space savers versus the bush crop cucumber growth habit. Climbers also keep fruits and leaves away from the wet ground.

On the other hand, bush cucumbers work well for container planting and smaller gardens. However, both growth habits have a short growing period – usually around six weeks.

Additionally, the warmer their home, the better they grow. Cucumber plants do not tolerate frost.

1. Soil Preparation

Prepare the soil in advance by mixing compost or aged manure to a depth of 6-8 inches.

The plants grow best in fertile loose sandy loam soil [1]. In essence, the soil must be well-drained and not soggy. Also, mix in some compost or aged manure before planting.

2. Planting

Sometimes it’s a good idea to start the seeds inside if you live in a cooler climate.

Give the seedlings about three weeks in a consistently warm space. This gives them a healthy start and helps ensure the danger of frost and cooler nighttime temperatures are over. Also, the roots are easily damaged, so handle them gently.

If you’re planting from seeds, drop 2 or 3 seeds about 1 inch deep into the soil, spacing them 2 to 3 feet apart in a row. However, plant the vining variety about 6 inches to 1 foot apart and they will need a trellis for support.

For bush varieties, if you’re worried the ground might not be warm enough, you can use black plastic around your plants to retain heat. In very warm climates, you may see growth from seeds in just a few days. Cooler climates will have a longer germination period.

Additionally, after four weeks, mulch around the plants to help retain moisture. You can use straw mulch, dry grass clippings, or any organic mulch.

3. Care and Maintenance

More than anything, this vegetable needs full sunlight and consistent watering. A good baseline amount is 1 inch of water per week with increased watering in higher temperatures.

Water in the morning or early afternoon. A lack of sufficient watering leads to bitter-tasting fruits. However, drip irrigation or soaker hose methods work best as wet foliage can lead to leaf diseases.

Set trellises early and guide the plants to take hold of the trellis or fence. Additionally, you might need to thin the seedlings so they don’t compete for water and nutrients.

4. Pests and Diseases

Cucumber beetles wreak the most havoc on young cucurbits and can transmit disease as well. Other pests include spider mites, squash bugs, whiteflies, and aphids [2].

Moreover, sometimes it’s not insect pests that ruin your crop, but plant disease. Even though you’re constantly watering and caring for your plants, you might start seeing spotted or wilting leaves.

Plant diseases can sometimes overwinter in the soil or be passed from crop to crop through the air, via pests, or by water. However, you can treat diseased plants with natural fungicides, but often the best option is the removal of the infected crops before they infect others.

Furthermore, sometimes the best treatment is good companions, and this is where growing among other beneficial plants is most helpful.

5. Harvesting

Cucumbers are ready to pick when they are firm and about 6 to 8 inches long or when they are medium to dark green and firm. If they are starting to turn yellow, it means the fruits have started to ripe.

Picking them before they get too ripe signals the plant to continue producing. Also, morning is the best time to pick – before the sun hits the plants.

Where to Buy Seeds

Part of growing healthy cucumber plants is starting with quality seeds. Purchase seeds from your local farm or gardening store. Alternatively, buying online from a reputable online retailer like Seeds Now is fast and convenient.

Takeaway

By planning out your organic garden in advance, making sure to leave room for other helpful crops, you’re sure to have a successful growing season.

You’ll possibly end up with a bigger harvest and a variety of other vegetables than you know what to do with. Fortunately, most people love cucumbers, so what you don’t pickle you can pass on to the neighbors!

See also: Good and Bad Companion Plants for Zucchini.

Sasha Brown

Blogger and lover of all things natural.

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