Every gardener is aware of the concept of ‘companion planting’ and its advantages. While planting different plants side by side is definitely a good way of having a healthy growth of plants. There are few plants that must not be planted next to each other. Doing so can invite enemy species or pests. Let us discuss what not to plant with cucumbers.
Cucumbers are loaded with health benefits and are therefore one of the top picks among gardeners. Cucumbers are also easy to grow if they receive adequate sunlight and water. Thus, making it a good choice to grow even among beginners.
We totally agree with the fact that cucumbers are easy to grow plants, but there are certain species of plants that you must never plant with cucumbers to ensure that your plant grows to be healthy. Growing the right companion plants can prove to be great for your overall harvest; similarly, growing the wrong companion plants can prove to be detrimental to your overall harvest.
Let us discuss the plants which must never be grown with cucumbers.
Also Read: Are Cucumbers Self-Pollinating?
Plants That Should Not Be Grown With Cucumbers
#1 Aromatic herbs
Aromatic herbs like mint, which have a smell, should not be planted with cucumbers as cucumber plants are known for growing poorly around such plants.
Cucumbers are made of 95% water and do not have a very strong flavour and therefore planting aromatic herbs like mint, sage, etc., can affect the flavour of the cucumbers. So, it is always a good idea to not plant aromatic herbs near cucumber.
The water and nutrient requirements of cucumber plants are above average. Hence, potatoes should not be planted near cucumbers as the cucumber plant will consume most of the nutrients and water, leaving a very minimal quantity of these for potatoes.
As we know, potatoes grow under the soil, and they too require a decent amount of water and essential nutrients to produce a healthy harvest. Therefore potatoes should never be planted next to cucumbers. Potatoes are also known to blight if they are grown with cucumbers. As such, it is advisable that you should never plant potatoes with cucumbers. They are not good companion plants.
Also Read: Why Potato Plant Dying?
Before explaining why melons are not good companion plants for cucumbers, let us burst a myth. It is speculated by gardeners that pumpkins, cucumbers and melons at not supposed to be grown with each other because they can cross-pollinate and therefore, the flavor of the harvest so produced will be affected adversely. This is a complete myth, and nothing like this can ever happen.
Cucumbers and melons are from different sub-species, and they can never pollinate with each other. Even though this is a myth, it is still not a good idea to plant melons and cucumbers as companions because both these plants have the same enemy species.
Planting them together increases the chances of attacks from these enemies. Hence, the chances of crop damage also increase. Planting melons and cucumbers together might hinder the growth and the quality of harvest of both plants. There are it is safe to say that cucumber and melon are not good companion plants.
Having cucumbers and basil together in your garden surely sounds like an exotic pair. However, it is not a good idea to grow them together.
Basil, just like other herbs, has a strong smell and flavor. Therefore, the two should not be grown as companion plants as it could adversely affect the flavor of cucumbers.
Having a lush-green garden is definitely a desire of all the gardeners. It is not an easy task, though. Maintaining a green garden is more challenging than it seems. A gardener should always be watchful of the small changes in his plant’s health. The plant diseases are infectious and quickly spread across the complete garden.
Also Read: How to Save Holy Basil Plant from Dying?
Any carelessness in noticing and taking immediate action against such changes can make all your efforts go in vain. So if you wish to have the garden of your dreams, always be watchful and take care of the plants in your garden.
Let us try to understand what companion planting is, what its advantages are, and why it is so crucial to pick the right companion plants.
Also Read: How Long Does it Take for Cucumber to Grow?
What Are Companion Plants?
Just like human beings, plants thrive in the company of good plants. Plants also compete with each other for essential nutrients.
Some plants consume a greater proportion of the sunlight and nutrients and do not leave much left for other plants to consume. Such plants should never be grown in each other’s company.
There are also certain species of plants that are known to release toxins into the soil, which can prove to be harmful to others grown in their vicinity. Thus understanding the needs and requirements of plants is essential for choosing the right companion plants.
Companion planting refers to choosing the right combination of plants that support each other in healthy growth. It is a great way of improving the quality of your garden. The right companion plants chase away pesticides, attract pollinators and also supply nutrients that are beneficial for others.
Selecting the right companion plants improves the overall health of all the plants in the garden and also makes your garden look more attractive and appealing to the eyes.
Also Read: Why Are My Cucumber Plant Leaves Turning Yellow?
Benefits of Companion Planting
While at first companion planting may look like an odd idea to many gardeners, if you observe the benefits, it offers the same idea that will start looking exotic to you.
Moreover, if you have a look at the nature around you, you will notice that plants do not grow alone. They always grow in groups of different plants. Nature is a combination of plants from different species growing together. Therefore if you want to have a healthy garden, it is advisable that you choose the right set of companion plants. The benefits that companion planting offers is immense. Let us have a look at some of them.
- Companion planting saves a lot of space in your garden. Even if you have a small garden, you can grow a large number of plants if you wisely choose the companion plants.
For example, plants that require indirect sunlight or need shady places to grow can be grown right next to plants that grow to be taller and require direct sunlight.
The shady place would otherwise have been kept idle, or it would have been covered by weeds, but with knowledge about companion planting, you can use the entire area in your garden much more effectively.
- Another important aspect of companion planting is that since you can plant a greater number of plants in the same area, this will also help you in preventing soil erosion. The moisture of the soil can be locked up by the plants.
If you do not grow the right companion plants, large places of soil would be left open in your garden. Therefore the chances of the soil losing its moisture also go up.
- Just like planting more plants in your garden locks up the moisture of your soil in a similar way, companion planting also helps you in preventing the growth of weeds in your garden.
- Companion planting also controls the attack of pests in your garden. Some plants are known to repel pests, and therefore growing them in your garden along with other plants will ensure a healthy harvest.
- When you have the same type of plants grown all over your garden, if anyone of the plant catches the disease, it spreads very quickly to the rest of the plants in your garden. Companion planting breaks your garden into different groups and therefore slows down the process of spreading disease.
- Companion planting attracts pollinators in your garden. Just like human beings are more excited when they receive different options in the food menu, pollinators visit the gardens with different varieties of plants in them.
Cucumber Companion Plants
Now that we have discussed the benefits of companion planting let us also have a look at the plants which can prove to be good companions of cucumber.
- Corn- Corn and cucumber plants are set to be good companions of each other. The corn stalks provide the necessary support to cucumber plants, and in return, the cucumber plants keep the soil moist and provide a little shade to the corn plants.
The only that a gardener must be concerned about when growing corn and cucumber together is that the variety of cucumber he chooses to grow with corn should be the smaller one as corn stalks cannot provide support to larger ones.
- Legumes- Legumes like peas are good companion plants for cucumbers. Legumes release nitrogen into the soil, and the way increases the fertility soil.
- Dill- Dill is one aromatic herb that is said to be a good companion of cucumbers. Dill attracts pollinators into your garden and thereby increases the chances of natural pollination of your cucumber plants. Dill is also known to repel pests.
- Marigold- Marigold plants are known to stave off aphid, which is a common pest that attacks cucumber plants. Therefore planting marigolds and cucumber in each others company is definitely a great idea.
- Carrots- Carrots and other root plants grow well in the company of cucumber. Cucumber plants have one thick root, and the other roots are comparatively thin and do not spread more than 6 to 12 inches. Therefore root plants such as carrot can be grown in the company of cucumbers without being adversely affected by the roots of cucumber plants. They get enough space to grow beneath the soil, and the growth of these plants is not hindered by the presence of cucumber plants.
- Sunflowers- Just like corn supports a smaller and lighter variety of cucumbers; sunflower plants can also be used to vine cucumber plants. This also saves extra space in your garden and gives you the flexibility of planting different plants of your choice in the remaining garden.
- Oregano- Oreganos are well-known insect and the best repellents. Moreover, they can also grow in places with indirect sunlight, and therefore these can be good companion plants of cucumbers.
Companion plantation has many benefits, and choosing the right set of companion plants will not only help you in having a healthy harvest but also save extra space in your garden. Moreover, when you choose the correct companion plants, pollinators will frequently visit your garden.
However, lack of knowledge about choosing the right companion plants can be detrimental to the overall health of your garden.
You might end up choosing plants that have similar enemy species and thereby increasing the chances of damage to the overall harvest from your garden. Always be careful while choosing the companions of your plants and know what not to plant.