Meta: Looking for the best companion plants for your watermelons? This detailed guide will tell you exactly what works and why for a hearty, healthy growth of your plant.
You planted watermelon in your garden a few weeks back, and as they are growing you realize that there is quite a bit of space in the garden, and what better way to make use of that space by planting some other plant, right?
But only if you choose the right plants.
This process of planting different varieties of plants together is known as companion planting.
Get it wrong and you could end up with two or more dead crops. But don’t worry. Your watermelon plants are safe.
In this detailed guide, we covered the best companion plants for watermelons so you get the biggest possible yield this harvest season.
Watermelon Companion Plants: What to Plant
Are you worried about insects like cucumber beetles eating up the watermelon plants? Then radishes are just the companion plants you need since the strong scent repels insects.
While the name suggests the cucumber plant is their favorite, they’ll happily feed on your watermelon plants as well, in turn infecting it with bacterial wilt. If left untreated, your plant will start to wither away when the produce begins.
Chenopodium Album or the more common name, Lamb’s Quarter is a weed.
Why are we suggesting growing weed with the watermelons? Well, that’s because this is one of the very few weeds that boost minerals in a plant rather than reducing it.
And why not, it is packed with the goodness of 7 minerals, namely, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese, all of which are important to a plant’s growth and well-being.
Who doesn’t love a bit of oregano on their pizza or pasta, right? Well, now you can grow the famous plant right in your garden with your watermelons. But that’s not the only reason why we suggest that.
Oregano performs a dual function. While its strong scent keeps away most insects and pests, it also attracts important ones like hoverflies and lacewings.
Like any plant, even watermelon needs help instigating the pollination process and while strong winds help, none better than these fluttering bees that move from flower to flower along with the vines.
One plant that keeps your watermelon plants protected from predators and at the same time is an important ingredient in many of the yummy recipes like pasta, pizza, etc. is corn.
Apart from predators, corn also keeps away strong sunlight. Yes, watermelons need 5-6 hrs of sunlight every day but when it gets scorching hot, they are also prone to burning.
That’s where the strong vines of the corn plant come in handy but make sure they do not cover watermelon plant entirely.
Potatoes don’t always make great companions like in the case of cucumbers plants, but for watermelons, they are perfect neighbors.
All you have to do is make sure you mulch the potato plant with straws. Mulching performs 3 important functions, it helps retain moisture, cools down the soil, and more importantly, keeps harmful weed at bay.
Oh, and everybody loves potatoes. From french fries to a simple roast with garlic, there are tons of things you can make with them and when you grow them in your home garden, you get to do it at half the price if not lesser.
Their function with watermelons is similar to what it was with cucumbers, keeping the bugs and the insects like whiteflies, leafhoppers, ants, and squash bugs away thanks to their strong smell.
But that’s not the only reason to plant them. Nasturtium has beautiful flowers that will add color and vibrancy to your home garden (compliments to your home garden coming in 3, 2,1..).
To top it all, both the flowers and the leaves are edible and make excellent additions to your salad as they add to the freshness, taste, and looks.
Packed with Alpha- Terthienyl, marigold is another plant good at repelling insects and pests. Plus, Margold, like Nasturtium, will make your home garden eye-catching with their bright, golden color.
Allium is a member of the garlic and shallot family which means they also have a strong flavor and more importantly, smell.
This keeps away common watermelon predators like flea beetles, whitefly, and black fly, in turn, creating a safe and healthy environment for the plants.
I guess one of the questions you are wondering is how to choose one of these bug-repellent plants as a companion, right?
Well, that depends on the type of bugs and pests on your watermelon plant and your personal preferences.
If you use a lot of garlic or the watermelon is under attack from flea beetles, alliums will suit you best but if you like beautiful flowers in your home garden and eat a lot of salads then go with Nasturtium.
While most of the above-mentioned companions help in keeping pests away, pole beans play a different role as they improve soil quality by fixing the amount of nitrogen in it, which is another very important nutrient for most plants.
That is because nitrogen helps the plants make amino acids. These amino acids help with the plant’s cell growth.
Apart from these, cosmos, zinnias, and alyssum are also some other good companion plants as they help with pollination.
You can also go with plants from the aster family. These include sunflowers, coneflowers, and daisies that are also great pollinators (after all, plants have needs too).
Watermelon Companion Plants: What not to plant with watermelons
Now, that you know what should be planted, here are some ‘bad neighbors’ that can stunt the growth of your watermelon plant.
Black Walnut Tree
You want your watermelon tree to produce the possible fruits and that is just what the black walnut tree hinders due to the presence of a substance known as Juglone.
This also makes it a bad neighbor to plants like cabbage and other root vegetables. As it prevents the seeds from germinating the right way.
Another plant with the same substance that should be miles away from your watermelons and cabbages is Shagbark hickory.
Cucumbers and Zucchini
If you have read our posts on the best and worst companion plants for cucumbers, you’ll know we recommended against planting them with watermelons and that remains true for watermelons as well.
That is because both the plants are attacked by the same pests, namely cucumber beetles and aphids and that can be catastrophic to your home garden if it goes unnoticed in the early stages.
These pests feed on the leaves and fruit of the watermelon plant and stunt the growth of both the plant and the fruit.
For similar reasons, you’d always want to keep Zucchini away from watermelons as well.
Also, keep in mind,
Before planting companion plants make sure you have given your watermelon plant’s vines enough space to spread out or they can choke each other out, in turn, stunting the growth. This is why we recommend you have at least 6-10 inches of space between each sapling.
Choosing a companion plant is a make or break decision for your home garden. It can be the difference between a big yield and a dead plant and thus, you must research and pick a companion plant that best suits your needs and soil type.
And in this guide on companion plants for watermelons, we covered the best and worst along with details regarding how they impact the growth so you have all the details needed to make an informed decision.
If you have any questions regarding a companion plant for your watermelons or think we missed out on something, do hit us up via the contact page or drop a comment below.