Squash vegetable, like most plants, are picky about who their neighbors are. In fact, good and bad companions can affect the growth and production of your squash plants.
There is so much you can do with squash like making low-carb noodles, frying them in olive oil with salt and pepper, squash casserole, and so much more.
Squash is even better in these dishes when it comes from your own garden.
Good Squash Companion Plants
There are many different varieties and types of squash. Zucchini and summer squash are usually popular types that many people like to plant.
Then there is winter squash such as butternut, acorn, and spaghetti types. Each of them has their own unique qualities and taste, but are all delicious!
When planting, it is important to make sure their neighbors will help their growth and not hurt it. Here are some plants that grow well with squash:
Corn and beans are said to work really well when planted together.
The corn allows beans to climb their stalk, while beans pull nitrogen out of the air and put it into the soil. This benefits other plants.
In addition, when companion planting squash and corn, it is beneficial because they require the same type of fertilized soil, so they make great neighbors.
Radishes can also be helpful. Believe it or not, like tansy, they will deter squash bugs, which can do a number of damage on your squash if not properly managed.
Flowers such as marigolds, sunflowers, and Nasturtiums are also great squash companion plants. They are helpful because they are considered “trap crops” which appeal to bugs that would otherwise eat squash plants.
In addition to vegetables and flowers, some beneficial herbs are helpful squash companion plants. Some of these herbs are oregano, peppermint, dill, lemon balm, and parsley, along with borage.
Although these herbs are beneficial, it is important to understand that not all should be planted together. When some herbs are planted too close to one another, they can change the taste.
What Can You Not Grow With Squash?
While some neighbors can be beneficial to your squash plants, others can be detrimental to their production.
It is also important to mention that gardens should be rotated every year. Where you plant your squash this year, be sure to plant it somewhere different next year.
Here are some plants to avoid putting near your squash plants:
- Other root vegetables
Potatoes, onions, and other root vegetables are adversaries to squash and should be avoided as neighbors. These, as well as pumpkins, are considered heavy-feeding vegetables, so they do not work well together.
Squash varieties are also heavy feeders. If planted near each other, these plants will compete for water and soil nutrients.
The results will be that your plants will not grow as well as expected. Root vegetables can also affect the squash in that their underground roots will inhibit the growth of it.
How to Grow Squash
Squash are some of the easiest plants to grow. They usually do very well and can give you a ton of fruits, as long as they are happy and get what they need.
To plant squash, you can either start them from seed or plants purchased at your local gardening shop. Both will do well.
If you do decide to start them from seed, you can either start them indoors or plant them once the danger of frost has passed. Depending on your region, this may be at different times throughout the year.
If planting summer and winter varieties at the same time, you can expect summer squash to come first. Winter squash will come later, but can also be stored for longer periods before consuming.
Care and Maintenance
No matter what type of squash plants you are putting in the ground, they should typically be 3-6 feet apart. These plants need lots of room to grow.
Zucchini and summer squash will not grow as vines, but most winter squash will. Be prepared for these vines to grow up and over your fence or into other plants.
They can be redirected if you are worried about them taking over. Planting them on an outside row in your garden may be best.
Squash love plenty of water, but try not to water the leaves. They also like to be in full sun and having soil with good drainage will be most beneficial.
Pests and Diseases
When taking care of your squash, be sure to note the color of your leaves and any pests you might see. It is important to take care of any diseases or bugs that might destroy your plants.
Bugs such as borers, squash bugs, and cucumber beetles can lay their eggs and take over your squash leaves. They also will eat fruit as it is growing.
If you see any of these bugs, you can squish them or drop them into soapy water, which will kill them.
As far as diseases go, if your squash leaves are discolored or splotchy, you will want to look more into that and figure out how to treat it.
The soil may also need to be fertilized to change the makeup and help the diseases go away.
Harvesting and Storage
You will know when your summer squashes are ready when they are fully grown. Typically, they can be harvested when they are about 6-8 inches in length.
In addition to the fruit, the yellow squash flowers can also be eaten. You can harvest winter squash when the outside of the fruit cannot be easily penetrated with a fingernail.
If you have an abundance of summer squash, they can either be made into pickles or after cooking sliced squash, they can be put in the freezer.
Winter squash can be stored in a basement or other cool area of your home.
Squashes are the ultimate crop to grow. They usually do very well and are delicious to eat. Not to mention, they are also healthy and your whole family will love to grow and devour them.