There are various squash plants, like pumpkin or Zucchini, that you can plant in your garden. But these struggle to bear fruit due to pollination issues and pests like squash bugs, wireworms, and aphids.
One of the easiest ways by which you can avoid these issues is by companion planting. Selecting the right companion for a squash plant can help deter pests, improve soil health, and provide shade.
Companion planting helps to grow the squash vines in your garden properly and produce numerous summer and winter squash for consumption.
The article lists the best companion plants for squash. So, you can keep scrolling through this article to learn more about it.
What Is Companion Planting?
Have you observed how plants grow in nature? You will find there are plants of various species and niches together. Different plants are beneficial to each other.
Companion planting is one of the best and easiest strategies to mimic the natural ecosystem in your garden. You can group certain plants to increase fertility, prevent soil erosion, minimize weeds and improve pollination.
Companion Plants For Squash
Squash is a name given to various species of plant belonging to the genus Cucurbita. But they are usually classified as winter and summer squash.
The primary between the two is the type of rind and storage. You have to harvest summer squash mainly in the summer months. They have soft rinds, and you have to consume them instantly. Some examples of summer squash are Zucchini and yellow squash.
But if we talk about winter squash, they have hard rinds and can be stored longer. These varieties have vines that reach approximately 20 feet. Some examples of winter squash are acorn squash and pumpkin.
You can easily grow squash in your garden. Various nutrients, vitamins and minerals present in it help to improve eye and skin health. It is even rich in antioxidants, which help reduce the risk of various chronic diseases. So you must plant it in your garden.
Squash is usually cultivated in the ground, especially with plenty of space. However, you can grow some compact summer squash varieties in containers.
Improper pollination and certain pests can hinder the proper growth and production of fruit. Companion planting can effectively help to combat these problems.
We are listing 12 companion plants for squash below.
One of the best companion plants for squash is the sunflower. These plants will block the excess sunlight and thus provide shade for the proper growth of squash in your garden.
Again, the sunflower plant produces beautiful flowers that enhance your garden look and attract pollinators. Hence, planting a squash near a sunflower in your garden can solve pollination issues.
Sunflower stems can also be a natural support for the squash vines. But remember, both plants will not produce nutrients for each other. So, you have to feed squash and sunflower plants consistently.
Planting marigolds near squash plants is also beneficial. They add beauty to the garden and deter pests. Consequently, your garden’s plants and squash will be free from pests.
3. Beans And Peas
Legumes like beans and peas have a symbiotic relationship with rhizobium bacteria that live on their nodules. These bacteria get food from the legumes and convert the nitrogen available in soil into a form of nitrogen which they can utilise effectively.
So, in short, planting beans or peas can improve the fertility of your garden soil by increasing nitrogen. If you grow squash plants and legumes, both will benefit from nitrogen. It will help to increase the production of squash.
Beans can be an excellent companion for winter squash as they take up very little space. You can grow beans in between the winter squashes. But you have to plant the bean just two weeks before growing squash.
Planting corn next to the squash plant is highly beneficial. The winter squashes can climb easily on the stalks of the corn, thus serving as a natural trellis. But if you observe that the corn stalk can no longer bear weight, you must arrange stakes.
Corn will not add any nutrients to your garden soil. So you have to feed both squash and corn properly for high yield.
Radishes usually attract flea beetles, which generally attract squash plants. If you plant radishes near the squash, then it can deter pests and help in increasing production.
Mint is a herb which you can plant next to the squash plant. Its strong smell can repel various squash bugs. If you plant squash with mint, you can create a natural barrier. In short, it helps to keep pests away from squash.
But mint spreads quickly and crowds plants in your garden, so you must plant them a few distances away from the squash for good production.
Garlic and other allium plants have a strong scent that can repel various pests in your garden. So, if you are struggling with aphids and squash bugs, you must grow garlic in your garden to eliminate the issue.
Remember, garlic grows in autumn and is harvested in summer. So, you must plant garlic accordingly if you wish to grow squash.
Squash plants are heavily dependent on pollinators to produce fruit. But when pollinators are not there in your garden, the squash vines will produce flowers but not fruits. Planting borage can be pretty beneficial.
The star-shaped flowers can attract bees and other pollinators, thereby increasing squash production in your garden.
Again, the beautiful smell of the borage flowers can help deter pests. The flowers and leaves of the borage plant are edible, and you can add them as your salad topper.
Again, when you cut down the borage plant and leave it entirely on your garden soil, the flowers and leaves can act as excellent biomass. It releases calcium when it completely decomposes on soil, which is highly beneficial for squash plants and fruit production.
Oregano is an herb which adds a nice taste to many dishes. But it can be an excellent companion plant for squash. The strong smell of oregano can repel harmful pests and attract beneficial insects, increasing pollination in your garden.
Squash plants get high benefits by planting oregano plants near them. Increasing pollination will help increase the production of squash fruits in the garden.
Oregano plants even provide shade to squash plants, which helps in proper growth.
The cucumber is the next companion plant for squash. Both plants require the same temperature and soil requirements. Hence, you can grow them together.
You can grow them on the trellis, but you have to space them apart from each other.
Dill is the next fragrant herb that repels various pests like spider mites and aphids. Additionally, it attracts swallowtail butterflies, which increases pollination in squash plants. It consequently increases squash fruit production.
12. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is the next companion plant that can offer various benefits for squash. The strong smell of the lemon balm can repel harmful pests in your garden, like aphids and squash bugs. It even attracts insects like bees and butterflies to increase pollination.
What Plants To Avoid As Squash Companion?
There are a few plants that can adversely affect the growth of squash plants. We are listing some of them below.
Potato is a favorite vegetable for most of us. But potatoes are heavy feeders, i.e. they absorb most of the soil’s nutrients. So, if you grow potatoes along with the squash, fewer nutrients will be available. It will slow down the squash plant’s growth and yield less fruit production in your garden.
Melons are also the worst plants for squash. They take up most of the soil’s nutrients, just like potatoes. So, you should avoid planting melons and squash together.
You should avoid beets growing near squash. It is because beets are fast growers and can hamper the sensitive roots of the squash plant.
Fennel is the next plant, which has a typical smell. It releases a chemical into your garden soil, slowing down the growth rate of various plants, including squash.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are good companion plants for Zucchini?
There are various companion plants that you can grow with Zucchini, like beans, garlic, dill, and marigold.
2. Can I plant two squash plants together?
You can plant summer squash at a distance of 4 to 6 inches. But if you are planting winter squash, then they must be separated by 4-6 feet as they have long vines.
3. What grows well with squash and vines?
You can grow corn along with squash and beans. Beans can climb on the tall stalks of corn and hence cannot damage the squash vines.
4. What is the best fertilizer for squash?
You can apply fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 5:10:10 or 10:10:10. Again, using organic fertilizers like compost will benefit squash.
Gardeners usually use a helpful strategy known as companion planting to increase soil fertility. Squash is nutrient-rich and can be planted with certain plants like marigold and corn. It will help to deter pests, increase pollination and maximize space in your garden.
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