A great vegetable to grow even if you are a novice gardener is zucchini. Moreover, companion planting zucchini and squash varieties with various plants can help ward off insect pests and enhance growth.
One of the best things about zucchini is that it grows in abundance. Most people find that they have more than enough even after one harvest.
If you are just starting off and feel that you do not have ample space to garden, companion planting may be right for you. It is utilizing garden space by planting in close proximity crops that help each other.
Best Companion Plants for Zucchini
Here’s what to plant next to zucchini — plants that grow well with them:
These companions for zucchini help in various ways, by either bringing something that the plants need to thrive or by deterring certain pests.
What Can You Not Plant Next to Zucchini?
Although zucchini has several plants that make good companions, there are a few that are considered bad. These include:
Potatoes. Potatoes have a negative effect on many crops that you plant near to them. Therefore, it is usually advised to plant potatoes by themselves.
Fennel. This is another poor companion as it will inhibit the growth of your zucchinis.
Melon. Melons take up space and will compete for nutrients.
Pumpkins. Avoid planting pumpkin, which is a member of the same family, near zucchinis due to the risk of cross-pollination. They will also compete for nutrients.
Cross-pollination is when one plant transfers pollen to another plant of the same species. This can have negative effects on the vegetable and create a sub-par product.
There are two ways that you can go about this. You can either plant the seed directly in your desired growing spot or transplant a seedling.
Plant zucchini in warm and moist soil. That is why it’s best to start at the beginning of spring.
When planting from its seed, keep in mind that you may want to start them inside, depending on the weather. After 4-6 weeks, you can transfer your seedlings outside.
Also, while it may be fun and interesting to watch the plant grow from scratch, some may choose to go with the faster route of acquiring a seedling.
Once you are ready to put them in the ground, find the perfect location. Zucchini thrive in areas that give off plenty of sunlight and give them enough space to grow.
After you have chosen the right area to plant your zucchini, it is time to prepare your soil.
If you decide to plant the seed directly, plant them half an inch deep into the soil. If you are planting a seedling, keep ample space between each plant. Approximately 2 feet apart is enough space between plants.
Care and Maintenance
Once you have planted your zucchini, you must continuously care for it. The vegetable is one of the easiest to grow. However, there are some things to do to ensure your plants are well cared for.
To flourish, they need to be well-nourished. Their nourishment comes from the soil in which they are growing as well as the sunlight that they receive.
Feed your plants by using organic fertilizer every month, adding compost, and keeping the soil moist. Moreover, remember that for the plants to produce, they must be pollinated.
To help pollinate them, plant some companions such as peppermint and corn. These have the benefit of attracting bees, which will, in turn, pollinate your zucchini.
Pests and Disease
A major part of maintenance when it comes to gardening is prevention. Like many other crops, you must take heed to protect your zucchini from insect pests and plant diseases.
Pre-planning is the key to avoiding these risks that may arise.
Simple things like preparing your soil and doing crop rotation can help protect your harvest. However, if after pre-planning you still encounter issues, there are some things that you can do to help protect your crop.
For example, to keep away bugs or insects, edge the perimeter of your field with insect repelling plants such as nasturtiums and marigolds. You can also research other natural ways of repelling plant pests and diseases.
Where to Buy Seeds
The seeds of zucchini and other vegetable plants are easy to acquire. Purchase at your local gardening stores, farmer’s markets, or even online at stores such as SeedsNow.com.
Of course, you may want to do your research to make sure that you are getting the best quality for your money.
The benefits of planting and growing your own crop outweigh any small issues that may arise.
Zucchini is a great starter vegetable for people who are new to planting and a great way to encourage children to start their own garden. It’s also a great addition to the field of those who have been planting for years.
Regardless of whether you have a large or small space, zucchini is a great plant to start with.