Not sure what plants are good companion plants for cucumbers? Well, you came to the right place!
If you saw our previous post on tomato growing secrets for bigger yield, you’ll know we suggested interplanting to keep pests away.
And that remains true for cucumbers as well. This process of interplanting is known as companion planting. And it is so useful for several other reasons as well.
For example, some plants improve soil conditions, whereas some improve production but you cannot pair cucumbers with any random plant.
And if you are a beginner home gardener finding the best cucumber companion plants can be tough. But hey, like always, experts and YardSurfer have you covered.
Here’s a list of the best and worst cucumber companion plants.
Best Cucumber Companion Plants
What makes beans one of the best companion plants for not just cucumbers but a variety of other vegetables is their nitrogen-fixing abilities. But why does the plant need nitrogen?
What you may not know is that nitrogen is a part of Chlorophyll and plays a vital role in photosynthesis along with potassium and phosphorus. Thus, the soil is likely to run low on it sooner rather than later.
You can go a mile further and pick bush beans as they further stimulate growth and increase yield.
Though with beans, make sure you use shared trellis for the best results. Plus, and it will save you a ton of space in the garden as well.
If not beans, you can also go with other legumes such as peas. Garden Peas are the best type of peas for the job.
Do you grow corn in your garden? Since corn takes up a lot of space, it is often tough to grow it with other plants, except cucumbers.
Now, corn doesn’t directly impact soil quality like beans or peas, but if you have big corn plants, they are compatible enough for a happy relationship.
That is because the stalks of the corn plant act as a natural trellis for the vines of the cucumber plant. Though make sure you plant smaller cucumbers so the stalks can bear the weight.
The cucumbers play their part as well. They act as mulch for the corn plants, in turn, retaining moisture and preventing weed growth.
Are you worried about pests in your garden ruining the cucumbers? It is Dill to the rescue. Another plant that doesn’t impact the soil but its aroma can work wonders.
Apart from keeping away pests, their aroma also attracts the good insects that aid pollination such as parasitic wasps.
Some gardeners suggest it gives cucumbers a different flavor profile as well so do keep that in mind when planting dill.
Apart from Dill, some other herbs that work well are
- Root Vegetables
Most gardeners avoid root vegetables but what they do not know is that they are great companion plants for cucumbers and here’s why.
Root vegetables like radish, turnips, carrots, etc. grow below the soil and that’s perfectly fine because they take up the space cucumber plants won’t be using. To top that, radishes keep away the cucumber plant’s worst enemy, the cucumber beetles.
But what about the cucumber plants’ roots?
The cucumber plant has a single taproot that is thin and does not spread more than 8-10-inches and thus these plants do not interfere with each other’s growth.
Have you been growing sunflowers in the garden as they add vibrant, beautiful color to the place? Then you already have a great cucumber companion plant.
These like corn act as a strong support structure for the vines of the cucumber plant thus saving you both space and time spent on setting up cages or trellis.
Also, there’s more to the flowers than just beautiful looks. These flowers also attract pest-controlling birds and bees that help with pollination. Plus, they act as a natural detox for the soil.
Marigolds, just like sunflowers are also attractive, vibrant flowers that are sure to catch anyone’s attention, but there’s more to them than that.
These are great insect and bee repellents due to their strong smell. It is what has earned them the name büdöske in Hungary which translates to smelly.
This attribute has made it a common practice to grow marigolds in vegetable gardens and farms across Hungary.
These are again, great looking plants packed with goodness that is going to keep insects like thrips, aphids that love munching on cucumber plants at bay.
They also have a growth pattern similar to cucumbers and in tandem look beautiful (sure to make anyone stand up and take notice).
But don’t plant them just for their companionship.
In case you are not familiar with Nasturtiums, they taste great in salads and do not need cooking. These can also be used to add flavor to vinegar or dissolved in alcohol to form antibiotics.
At YardSurfer, we call Lettuce the lazy person’s plant. That is because they are one of the easiest to grow plants that require minimal effort since you do not need to fertilize them often or build cages.
We’d recommend going with leaf lettuce since they make great additions to salads, burgers, and sandwiches.
Lettuce and cucumbers are neutral to each other in the sense that they neither support nor stunt each other’s growth. This makes them a great option for beginners that want to utilize additional space in the garden.
Apart from cucumbers, lettuce also works as a great companion for strawberries, radishes, and carrots.
From soups to salads, celery is another useful plant and often grown with cabbages. That is because its strong scent keeps the cabbage butterfly at bay. It is also considered a great companion to dill.
Though in the case of cucumber, it is another neutral companion and only comes in handy if you have a multi-plant garden which includes vegetables like melons or potatoes along with cucumber as it creates space between the various plants.
Worst Cucumber Comapnion Plants
Wait, didn’t we just suggest above that you plant dill and a few others with cucumbers? Yes, they are some of the herbs that go well with cucumbers but apart from that, aromatic herbs like peppermint, sage, or basil are a big no.
That’s because basil gives the cucumbers a bad taste (works amazingly well with tomatoes though) while sage can hinder growth.
Peppermint can also impact flavor. It also spreads out a lot which means you’ll need more pace to be able to plant both together.
Unless and until you want insects feeding on your cucumbers, keep melons far away from your cucumber plants as the same insects feed on both the plants.
Plus, planting both starts a monoculture that’s going to cost you a bomb as monocultures require a lot of fertilizers and insecticides to keep diseases away.
On the other hand, if you have plants like brussels sprouts, broccoli, lettuce, okra growing around, melons are just the companion they need for better growth.
If you have grown potatoes in the past, you know they are heavy feeders which means they can deprive the cucumber plant of essential nutrients (they are greedy that way).
But cucumbers aren’t all easy going on the potatoes either. If the conditions favor it, they can trigger potato blight, a dangerous fungal disease in potatoes due which ultimately results in decay.
While a bad option, in case you do grow the plants together, make sure you regularly check for diseases and provide the soil with ample nutrients for both plants.
That’s all from our side. If you wanted to make the most of the space in your garden and love cucumbers, these cucumber companion plants are exactly what you need.
Choose one based on what’s best for the plant. For example, peas and beans improve soil quality whereas dill can keep pests away. On the other hand, corn plants act as supporting structures.
Oh and do stay away from most herbs, potatoes, and melons.
If you have been using some other companion plant that you’d like us to talk about, do drop it in the comments section below.