It’s fascinating to plant identical species in a small gardening space. How companion planting works isn’t proved by biologists, but this practice is been used for centuries by gardeners.
Growing different plant species closely will enhance the growth and help to fight common pests. However, before planting, you must know water, soil and sunlight requirements of companion plants.
Can strawberries and cucumbers be planted together?
Cucumber is a vine and it spread all over the space. To plant strawberries in the same grow bag, you must use trellis. This will allow both plants to use the space and receive sunlight.
Strawberries need direct sunlight to produce maximum yield. According to this report, strawberry plant needs at-least 6 hours of sunlight to produce the fruit.
Likewise, cucumber plant needs maximum sunlight to grow.
Considering basic requirements of both plants you can effectively make use of your small garden to grow strawberry and cucumber plants.
Also Read: Are Eggshells Good for Cucumbers?
How to Grow Strawberries with Cucumber Plant (Together)?
Before you plant companion plants together it’s safe to know the requirements of both plants. Else, you may end up losing good harvest.
Soil, water and sunlight are three basic needs of a plant. Let’s start from there.
Sunlight Requirement for Strawberries and Cucumbers
In above paragraph I already discussed about the sunlight requirement. Without adequate amount of sunlight your strawberries can’t produce healthy fruits. Similarly, cucumber plant needs sunlight for about 6-8 hours.
According to this site, if a plant doesn’t get enough light, the photosynthesis process through which it produces its own food will slow down. Even if you provide enough water and fertile soil, these plants require sunlight to grow.
Note: Because cucumber is a vine, it will spreads all over the space. You must use trellis to hold the vine.
Soil Requirement to Grow Strawberry and Cucumber Plants
Both plants does well in slightly acidic soil, it’s preferred to choose soil with pH range from 6 to 7.5.
You can increase soil pH by adding grounded limestone to the soil.
Fertile soil that allows excess water to drain and support effective air circulation is recommended by most gardeners.
Mix equal parts of garden soil, vermicompost, perlite or coco peat to the grow bag. These elements will improve the drainage and provide required nutrients for plants.
Check this article: Best Potting Soil to Grow Chilli Plants
Watering Cucumber and Strawberry Plants
Overwatering and underwatering your plants results in root rot and drooping leaves.
Along with good drainage and preferred soil, you must make sure to supply generous amount of water to these plants.
Depending on your climatic conditions, both plant need 1 inch of watering every week. If you’re living in tropical regions, then may have to increase the watering schedule.
Important Tip: Many gardeners recommend this tip. Check the soil surface by inserting your index finger to 1 inch deep. If the soil is moist you’ve to wait, else you must water your plants.
- You must water at the base of your plants.
- Watering early in the morning will give enough time for your plants to absorb the moisture before it evaporates in the heat of the day. It will also help to dry any moisture on the foliage to avoid slugs and fungal diseases.
- You can also place sunken plastic pots to make excellent miniature reservoirs for your plants. This pot will hold the water, so that the root gradually seeks the water when needed.
Companion plants provide shade at root level and thus slow down the evaporation.
Mulching your plants will not just reduce evaporation into air, it also halts weed growth.
Also Read: Why Are My Potato Plants Falling Over?
Container for Growing Companion Plants
You can plant strawberry and cucumber plants in a grow bag made with fabric or you can prefer plastic container.
Choosing large container won’t help the plant to thrive. Instead, you must choose the container with 5-6 gallons. 2-3 plants in a grow bag is recommended by most gardeners.
Provide spacing between each plant.
Though it can be tempting to plant bunch of strawberries together with cucumbers, it can negatively impact the yield.
You can experiment with 1 cucumber and 2-3 strawberry plants in a container.
Choose the location with good sunlight and air circulation.
Fertilizing Strawberry Plants & Cucumber Plants Together
Unlike house plants, these edible plants are heavy feeders. You must make sure to supply necessary nutrients in three phases.
- While planting
- When mulching
- Fertilize after every 2 weeks after the plants reach certain height
We already added dry compost to the potting soil. Now, you can wait for 2-3 weeks. When you see the plant is growing, you must provide required fertilizers so that plant can improve its root system and produce blossoms.
You must fertilize these plants before growing season, because the plant needs extra sugar and nutrients to produce best yield.
If you’re using liquid fertilizer or home available organic fertilizers, check NPK ratio.
- Nitrogen in the fertilizer will help to produce green foliage.
- Phosphorus is essential for the plant to increase its root system and produce fruits.
- For strong stems and its growth, your plant needs potassium.
Benefits of Companion Plants (Growing Strawberries & Cucumber Plants Together)
Though agricultural scientist skimmed the idea of companion plants and how different species support each other to grow. Companion planting is the natural way of growing. This is how the plants grow in wild, different species together.
Monoculture farming results in low yield and less healthy fruits.
If you’re looking to mimic the natural ecosystem, then you must try growing companion plants together.
Note: However, there are few plants that can’t go well with each other. You must plant those types of species separately.
#1 Holds Soil Moisture for Longer Time
Companion planting will help to keep the soil moist and avoid erosion due to droughts.
Vines like cucumbers will help to provide shade at root levels and stop excess evaporation of moisture.
#2 Keeps Weeds Out
Weed grows when you provide specific environment for them to grow. Moist soil when expose to sunlight will easily result in weed growth.
Companion planting will help to avoid weed growth.
#3 Help to Fight Common Pests
Monoculture gardening will allow pests to feed on their favorite food.
When you ditch this and opt for companion planting, pests find it difficult to survive and plants are protected.
However, this may not be same in all cases.
#4 Companion Planting Reduce Disease Issues
A group of similar plants will lead to easy disease spread. When you grow plants from different species together, it will break the spread and thus reduce diseases.
As mentioned earlier, though it is not fully understood how these plant help each other. It is proven by many gardeners that companion planting resulted in healthy growth of certain plants.
#5 Attract Pollinators and Insects that benefit the crop
To extend the bloom period, planting different species is the best option. It will attract pollinators that will spend more time in your garden because of companion planting.
#6 Perfect way to use small and unused space
Leaving space in the garden isn’t the sign of good gardener. Experienced gardeners often use unused space to grow something beneficial for the garden.
Companion plants can be a good option to use the leftover space in your backyard.
#7 Avoid Overwatering Issue
Overwatering can result in root rot. Growing strawberries and cucumber plants together will need lots of water, so you don’t have to worry much about this issue.
You can plant strawberries along with cucumber in grow bags or containers. It is best way to mimic natural ecosystem in your backyard. Did you ever plant strawberry plants and cucumber together? Let me know your experience in comments.