Many gardeners avoid planting two vegetables or flowers together because of the risk of cross-pollination.
Cucumbers and squash do look very similar, so you may fear cross-pollinating and giving birth to an entirely new indelible plant. But those fears are misguided.
It is safe to plant cucumbers and squash together in the same garden bed. Both plants belong to the cucurbit family and share similar growing requirements. While cross-pollination won’t produce a new plant, it can affect the taste and quality of the fruit.
Also Read: Controlling Ficus Tree Roots
Benefits of Companion Planting for Cucumbers
It is important to learn the benefits the plant will bring before you even plant them in your garden. In a case where you are intending to plant cucumbers and other companion plants, you should first learn if it will even bring any good to your act. Otherwise, your confusion might destroy the potential of the soil of your garden.
1. Increases Diversity
Companion planting for cucumbers is a beneficial activity that you can impose upon your garden. The best thing that it brings is versatility and diversity. Planting some specific herbs, flowers, or vegetables alongside cucumbers makes the soil more prepared and fertile.
2. Demolishment of Bad Insects
Also, the increasing insects in your garden get demolished by the act of cucumber companion planting. Bringing diversity to the soil means creating a natural fence against disease and insect pests. It is a very natural way of saving your plants and protecting your plants at the same time.
3. Prevails Natural Balance in the Soil
Where monoculture tends to attract insects and ruin the solidity of the fertility of the plant, companion planting for cucumbers brings balance in a natural way to have more effective results. Since not all insects are harmful, this kind of gardening tends to protect the beneficial insects too for its own good.
4. Enrich the Soil
You will witness maximum growth of your soil after you plant something alongside cucumbers. Especially, legumes turn into a better plant when you plant them near cucumbers. Through their rooting system, legumes can turn atmospheric nitrogen into nitrates and provides nutrition to the soil. This process nurtures the plants themselves, soils, and other plants nearby them too.
What Are the Best Cucumber Companion Plants?
The right plants beside the plantation of cucumber can bring you immense harvest in your home. You can grow several vegetables, flowers, herbs, and fruits alongside cucumbers. But make sure you are plating the right plants alongside it. Otherwise, you might not get any profit and diversity from your plantation.
A lot of vegetables grow even better when you plant them alongside cucumbers. Among those vegetables, peas and beans are the best companion plants. They even taste better with the nutrients of companion plants.
Carrots, onions, and parsnips are some varieties of vegetables that also grow faster alongside cucumbers. Because they are root vegetables, they don’t extract nutrition from the territory of cucumbers. Radishes, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, and growing corn also suit plantations beside cucumbers.
Among herbs, Oregano grows seriously and the harvest is immense as well alongside cucumbers. Besides, oregano can be used as a repellant of toxic pests and insects. Chives are another aromatic herb that also can be grown as a companion plant for cucumbers. The oniony scent of the herb prevents the insect from eating up all the nutrients from the soil.
You can also grow flowers with the companionship of cucumbers. If you plant Marigolds, it will help your cucumbers grow fast and without any damage. It is because this flower carries repelling additives to it. Also, to get a sunflower garden successfully, plant them nearby cucumbers.
We also found that Nasturtium works as a sacrificial and the most beneficial flower that saves the cucumbers from the black fly attack. Thus the process of growth of cucumbers gets enriched.
Continue Reading: Top Cucumber Fertilizer Reviews
What Can You Not Plant with Cucumbers?
You need to be specific while companion planting with cucumbers. Not all vegetables, herbs, or flowers can stand beside the plantation of cucumbers. Here you need to be a little careful to save the crops of your land.
Among aromatic herbs, avoid planting mint and sage right beside the plantation of cucumbers. Because of their strong aromatic scent, they put a bad impact on the flavor of cucumbers. Then again, among vegetables, potatoes are a bad match for companion planting for cucumbers.
As cucumbers and potatoes are both competitive and potatoes tend to extract the maximum nutrition from the soil, they destroy the growth of cucumbers. Apart from that, cucumbers let the potatoes have blight disease. Therefore, experts of gardening strongly prohibit the idea of planting them together.
Then again, among fruits, melons create the same type of problem as potatoes. That’s why avoid planting melons and cucumbers together. Pumpkins attract insects and pests while you plant them near cucumbers.
Can You Plant Cucumbers and Squash Together?
If you are afraid that cucumbers and squash can cross-pollinate and thus shouldn’t plant together, then you need to have a clear stance on that. The primal fact about cucumbers and squash is they are two very different species and so is their genetic structure.
And cross-pollination cannot happen within them because of that very obvious reason. Their interbreeding is impossible even in a developed lab. The female blooms of cucumbers ask for pollen from male flowers only to breed.
Other than that, the pollen of male flowers of squash never can attract the female bloom of cucumbers. This is the science of nature and you cannot deny it for some false proverbs. Also, just because they look somewhat similar, you should not assume unnecessary things.
They breed within their own species like a dog or a cat does. There can be other examples of cross-pollination between two different species. But in the case of cucumbers and squash, there is no chance like that. And you should understand this simple math coming out of your cocoon.
Some people and ignorant gardeners pamper a notion that cucumbers and squash interbreed themselves and eventually give birth to a completely new vegetable. On top of that, they declare the new breed as something inedible and unflavored.
[N.B: Cross-pollination is not rare and this can happen between a squash and another squash. Till now we tried to clear our stance on the fact that cucumber and squash are unable to cross-pollinate. But there is a pretty chance of cross-pollination between two squash, hard squash and butternut, and butternut and zucchini.]
Cucumber’s companion planting:
How Far Apart Should You Plant Squash and Cucumbers?
Spacing is an important aspect when you tend to grow squash and cucumbers together. Both these vegetables come with branches and take a lot of space while growing. That is why you need to take care of the fact that both of the plants get enough space of their own.
Besides, a space of well air-passage is needed for both plants. It will keep those plants away from some insects and diseases. Otherwise, they will not grow properly and will lack some nutrition too. For a big space in your garden, plant them horizontally giving a gap of 12-30 inches between both plants.
But if you have a small garden, you need to adopt some alternative ideas. You can adopt a trellis. This will let your plants to grow and climb vertically. Also, you can plant bushes. Varieties of each plant of bushes will do the work of a trellis.
What to Follow when Planting Cucumbers and Squash Together?
Cucumbers and squash are some tremendous vegetables. If you grow them in your garden, they will come with more flavor and become testier. But to get those benefits, you need to take extra care of the plants. Besides, you need to consider several things when you are planting cucumbers and squash together.
1. Mark the Diseases
Because cucumbers and squash look almost the same for being members of the cucurbit family, if one gets affected by any toxic insect, the other will be affected too. To prevent this infectious situation, you need to mark out the diseases that are common in both plants.
There are viruses and powdery mildew that infect both cucumbers and squash. So, if you bring pesticide for one plant, it will work for the other too.
2. Maintain the Distance
When you are planting squash with cucumbers, you should not get confused by their appearance. Make sure you keep a fair distance between them. A certain space assures that both of your plants are getting nutrients from the soil separately. Otherwise, the powerful plant extracts all the nutrients of its companion plant for a short distance.
3. Assure of the Air Flow
Natural air helps to blow away some toxic insects from plants. That’s why make sure there is enough air circulation in the space where you are tending to plant cucumbers and squash together.
Squash and cucumbers make some amazing salads together. That is why many gardeners want homegrown vegetables and these two always attract them. As the myth of cross-pollination of these two plants is false, you can grow these plants together and have delicious salad recipes at home.