Find companion plants for zucchini and grow a bumper crop.
To grow zucchini well you need plenty of sunlight, warmth, space and moisture – these are thirsty plants that like to spread themselves about.
If you already have these four things sorted, great!
To get the best harvest possible, you might be looking for a little extra help to encourage your zucchinis to thrive. Have you heard of companion plants?
What is companion planting?
Companion planting is when you grow plants next to each other, as companions, because they can benefit or complement one another.
Usually, this is done for three reasons – to improve the soil and growing conditions, to attract pollinators, and to keep pests off.
It’s not a new way of gardening, but you may have heard it talked about more in recent years, with the growth of interest in organic gardening.
Companion planting works, and it means you don’t need to get chemicals involved to deal with pests.
Like many other plants in your vegetable garden, zucchini can benefit from being grown alongside companion plants.
But there are some plants they really don’t like getting close to! Read on to find out more.
Best companion plants for zucchini
We’ve pulled together a pretty comprehensive list of zucchini companion plants below.
We’ve also pointed out how each of these companion plants for zucchini helps.
Choose some friends for your zucchini from this list; it’ll help you to grow that bumper crop!
Zucchini companion plants to attract pollinators
Zucchini flowers need to be pollinated to produce zucchini. So, you’ll want to attract as many pollinators to your patch as you can.
Borage (pictured above) is a stand out companion in this regard. This attractive blue-flowered herb is a magnet for bees and other pollinators. It also looks great next to your veg.
Another excellent zucchini companion is phacelia (pictured below) – bees absolutely adore this purple-flowered plant.
Zucchini companion plants to keep pests at bay
This is where some pretty flowers come in very handy. Both nasturtiums and marigolds will attract pests and keep them off your zucchini.
Plant them in groups close to your veg. Flea beetles and aphids will chew on your flowers instead of your zucchini. You’ll see the plant stems covered in blackfly.
Nevertheless, these tough ‘sacrificial’ plants will still produce blooms for many months, despite being attacked – you just can’t keep them down, pests or no pests!
Alongside your super-powered flowers, grow some herbs near your zucchini. The fragrant scents of herbs can help to ward off pests.
- Parsley, dill, lemon balm, mint and oregano are all helpful in this way.
- Yarrow (pictured below) is also an excellent zucchini companion plant. Aphids do not like the smell of it. Yarrow also attracts insects that eat aphids.
- Garlic works similarly – many insect pests dislike the strong odour; aphids will be put off.
- Corn and radishes also deter zucchini pests, including squash vine borers.
Zucchini companion plants to improve growing conditions
Some of the best plants you can grow close to zucchini work by improving the soil. Peas and beans are two such plants.
They are nitrogen-fixers. This means they absorb nitrogen from the air and fix it in the soil, improving the soil’s condition. This helps other plants (like your zucchini) to grow.
Beans, corn and squash (including zucchini) are often planted together in Native American gardens.
This is seen as the perfect combination; it’s not hard to understand why. Beans improve the soil for the other two plants.
Corn provides a trellis for beans to grow up; corn and squash like the same growing conditions and levels of watering.
Plus, squash leaves shade the soil while their spikiness stops pests from reaching the corn and beans for a snack. These three plants really are great mates.
Spinach is also an excellent choice as a zucchini companion plant which shouldn’t be overlooked.
It likes the shade the zucchini plant provides, and in return adds nutrients to the soil to help the zucchini to grow.
The worst plants to grow with zucchini
Potatoes do not get along with zucchini in the same bed. In fact, potatoes tend to prefer growing on their own, without any companions!
You should also look to keep your pumpkins separate from your zucchini. They are in the same family, and if they cross-pollinate, it might mean your zucchinis and pumpkins won’t grow properly.
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