Many gardeners want to incorporate the best companion plants for pumpkin in their gardens for varied reasons. Pumpkins are undoubtedly beautiful and like people; having companions make them better. Some companion plants supply valuable nutrients, like nitrogen, which benefit pumpkins, while others keep harmful insects away. For this reason, knowing the best pumpkin companion plants is vital if you want a bumper harvest from your garden.
What is Companion Planting?
Companion planting entails growing different plants together for mutual benefit. The idea behind this practice is to plant different plants close to each other to enhance growth or protection from pests.
Companion planting has multiple benefits, as some plants can attract beneficial insects that act as pollinators and pest repellents. Moreover, some plants play a vital role in enhancing soil fertility by boosting nutrient supply, availability, and uptake by some crops.
But before selecting a companion plant for your pumpkins, follow crop rotation rules. A rule of thumb is ensuring that you don’t plant the same crop on a similar spot for consecutive years. That’s because mono-cropping or failing to practice crop rotation can cause pest and disease problems and nutrient imbalances.
6 Best Companion Plants for Pumpkin
Plants that grow well with pumpkins are their excellent companions. Ideally, not every plant will do well in a garden with pumpkins. Also, some plants can affect your pumpkins’ growth. Therefore, it’s vital to understand plants that can do well on a farm without interfering with your pumpkins. That’s why you should be careful when choosing a pumpkin companion plant. Here are the top 6 companion plants for pumpkin.
1. Pole beans
Beans are good companioning plants for pumpkins as the low-lying pumpkin leaves, and vines act as living mulch and weed protection. Also, beans replenish the soil with nitrogen, which is suitable for nitrogen-dependent pumpkins. Moreover, beans can use pumpkin leaves as a trellis, maximizing garden space.
This pumpkin companion is a peppery, orange-flowered vine and people consider it one of the top attractors of natural predators to not-so-beneficial garden pests. It helps deal with garden pests like squash bugs, aphids, and pumpkin beetles.
3. Aromatic Herbs
Aromatic herbs like oregano, chives, Tansy, and hyssop are among the best companion plants for pumpkin. Oregano is an excellent herb as it makes a good ground cover and attracts hoverflies that feed on aphids. The presence of marjoram in a garden enhances the flavor of the pumpkins. Additionally, Tansy is mostly an ornamental plant that boosts potassium in the soil while repelling Japanese beetles.
Lavender is one of the best herbs and a great plant companion for pumpkins. Lavender is purplish, attracting people. Also, it attracts pollinators in a garden. Bees will draw near and pollinate your pumpkin if you plant some lavender flowers as a companion plant. Moreover, lavender also improves the flavor of your pumpkin. Therefore, consider intercropping your pumpkins with it.
Flea beetles are always after radishes whenever they have an option. And this makes radishes an excellent companion plant for pumpkins. Ideally, you can use radishes as the sacrificial trap plant in your pumpkin garden. Catnip and basil are effective flea beetle repellents.
Peas are cover crops and the best companion plants for most plants. Besides, they add nitrogen to the soil, making it healthy for pumpkins.
These six crops are among the best companion plants for pumpkins. Some repel harmful insects, while others attract pollinators to the pumpkin garden. Additionally, some of them suppress weeds while others nutrients like nitrogen. Most importantly, most of them are plants that grow well with pumpkins.
What Not to Plant with Pumpkins
You have many options to consider when looking for the best companion for pumpkins. However, some plants are not suitable for pumpkin companion planting. Companion planting the wrong species can be problematic for your pumpkins. Here are plants to avoid intercropping with pumpkins.
Naturally, watermelons are heavy feeders and compete for nutrients with pumpkins. Watermelons are rich in nutrients but not ideal for a pumpkin garden. So, instead of planting pumpkins alongside your watermelon, go for lettuce, garlic, radishes, and onions, which are great companion plants for watermelon.
2. Root Vegetables
Root vegetables like onions and carrots are not appropriate for intercropping with your pumpkins. That’s because they can destroy the roots of your pumpkins. Also, they take up a lot of space and leave pumpkins with little to no nutrients. Moreover, avoid using beets as companion plants for your pumpkins because they are also deep-rooted.
Sunflower is also inappropriate for a pumpkin garden. That’s because pumpkin needs sun exposure for more than 6 hours daily. But as the name suggests, a sunflower is a sun lover, which prevents your pumpkin from getting enough sunlight.
4. Vine plants
Vine plants include peppers, berries, and grapes. These are not ideal for intercropping with pumpkin because they can intertwine with your pumpkin since it’s also a crawling plant.
Understanding the requirements of the plants, you grow in your garden can help you choose the best companion plants for pumpkins. Therefore, take your time to investigate the crops you grow in your yard to know what grows well with pumpkins and what not to plant with pumpkins.
Benefits of Good Companion Plants for Pumpkins
Companion planting presents several benefits to pumpkin farmers. For instance, this practice can minimize the need for fertilizers and weed removal. Also, some plants can improve the pumpkins’ health by repelling harmful insects. Here are the key benefits of companion planting for pumpkins:
- Some of the best companion plants for pumpkin provide shelter, with large plants protecting them from wind or too much sun.
- Some companions provide physical support for pumpkins. For instance, pumpkins are among the best cucumber companion plants, as you can plant them next to each other.
- Some companion plants, such as radishes, attract beneficial insects which help with pollination.
- The best companion plants for pumpkin help with soil improvement. For instance, beans enhance the nitrogen supply in the soil, which is excellent for pumpkins.
- Companion planting can also repel harmful insects since some plants emit odors that keep pests away.
Companion planting can benefit your pumpkins. However, identify the best companion plants for pumpkins to ensure your garden enjoys these benefits. Remember, some plants will do more harm than good when you plant them next to your pumpkins.
The Best Companion Plants for Pumpkins and Squash
Pumpkins and squash can be excellent choices for a polytunnel garden. However, it’s best to plant them alongside companion plants to minimize the risk of pests and boost yields. Among the most popular combinations for pumpkins and squash include tomatoes. Tomatoes require similar growing conditions to squash through summer and are also great companion plants.
Radishes are also excellent companion plants for pumpkins and squash. They trap flea beetles that might harm your squash or pumpkin plants. Herbs are also among the best companion plants for pumpkin. These include mint, which can draw in pollinators. Oregano is another herb that can be an excellent companion for squash and pumpkins. Like mint, it attracts pollinators, ensuring an excellent yield. On the other hand, Tansy repels several pest species that may plague your squash, including certain beetles.
Moreover, you can plant good pumpkin companions with butternut. Thus, these herbs are also the best companion plants for pumpkins and butternut.
Tips for Growing Pumpkins in Your Garden
Pumpkins require 75-100 days of frost-free soil to thrive fully. Also, they need abundant sunlight, water, and space to ensure sizeable, sprawling leaves. Moreover, when planting pumpkins, it’s best to directly install the seeds into fertile soil and in an area with excellent drainage. Also, look for the best companion plants for pumpkin to grow alongside your main crop. For instance, you can look for the best companion plants for pumpkin and kale to intercrop them in your garden. Popular companions for pumpkin include tomatoes, peas, beans, corn, and lavender, which are excellent companion plants for watermelon.
Ensure you plant your pumpkin seeds three inches below the ground and regularly water them. Also, frequently add fertilizer or compost to enhance your pumpkin patch’s growth. To increase the size of your pumpkin, pinch off the fuzzy end of the vein. That way, you prevent more fruits from growing, which could increase the demand for food and water.
After the pumpkins have grown into your desired size, monitor them for ripeness. Monitoring your crop can help you identify the best companion planting for pumpkins chart. The outer rind should have a deep orange color and be hollow when tapped. You can also lightly press your fingernail into the skin to check the pumpkin’s ripeness. If the skin resists puncture, your pumpkin is ripe and ready.
When harvesting your pumpkins, leave at least three or four inches of the stem is reasonable to allow the plant to continue growing. Avoid ripping off the veins of the pumpkin. Instead, use a sharp knife or shears to remove the veins.
So, when preparing to grow your pumpkins, it’s wise to look for what grows well with pumpkins because not every plant will do well when intercropped with it. Companion planting helps avoid mono-cropping, which invites common pests to feast on the plant.
Keep in mind a few things when selecting companion plants for pumpkins. For instance, determine whether both plants shade each other and compete for sunlight, space, or nutrients. Also, find out whether they will attract or repel destructive insects and if they will negatively affect each other.
Nevertheless, you can easily find the best companion plants for a pumpkin garden, as there are many options. Since not every plant grows well with pumpkins in all climates, take the time to research your local weather to pick the most appropriate plants for your pumpkin garden. Happy gardening with Gardenterprise!
Can you plant beans and pumpkins together?
Beans are among the best pumpkin companions. That’s because they trellis up the giant corn, ensuring they do not infringe on the pumpkin plants. Therefore, you can plant beans and pumpkins together. Perhaps, the primary advantage of growing beans and pumpkin together is that they add nitrogen to the soil. And this enhances pumpkin growth. So, consider planting beans in your garden, as they are among the best companion plants for pumpkin.
Can you plant tomatoes and pumpkins together?
You can plant tomatoes and pumpkins together since they have the same growing conditions. Also, planting tomatoes and pumpkins in your garden helps keep away insects that damage your pumpkin plants. Tomatoes are radish crops, and beetles will feed on them rather than the pumpkin plant. And this makes tomato the best companion plant for pumpkins.
Can you plant potatoes and pumpkins together?
Avoid planting potatoes and pumpkins together. That’s because potatoes have large roots, which disturb the shallow roots of squash plants like pumpkins. Essentially, potatoes will compete for nutrients with pumpkins during the growing season. If you must intercrop potatoes with pumpkins, ensure plenty of space between them. Also, consider planting relatively more minor cultivars.
What can you not plant next to pumpkins?
You can plant several companion plants next to the pumpkin. For instance, you can grow corn, Korean Licorice mint, lavender, nasturtiums, pole beans, sunflowers, marjoram, and marigolds next to pumpkin. These are some of the best companion plants for pumpkins.
What grows well next to pumpkin?
Most plants that grow well next to pumpkin are beneficial to this crop. For instance, a pumpkin companion can attract beneficial insects, such as pollinators, into a garden. These plants include flowers and herbs like sage, thyme, cosmos, lavender, and mint. Additionally, some pumpkin companions have foliage or substances in the roots that repel harmful insects. That’s because they produce odors that keep some insects away. Such traits make them the best companion plants for pumpkins.