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Cucumber Companion Plants: Full List of Pairings
If you’re planning on growing a cucumber crop this year, you’ll need to have a few good cucumber companion plants to grow alongside them. Having the right friends nearby can be the difference between an average harvest and a great one! By the same token, planting the wrong plants nearby can drastically harm your cucumbers and their yields. I’ve included a full list of great companions and what to avoid below.
One of the most important things to remember when growing cucumbers is that they need space. Whether you have a bush variety or a climbing one, your cucumbers are going to grow and take up space. Select and space your companion plants based on the size and shape a cucumber will grow to be. You can find that information on the seed packet or from the nursery where they were purchased.
The best cucumber companion plants include legumes, root vegetables, corn, and select flowers and herbs.
Full List of Cucumber Companion Plants
The following vegetables, flowers, and herbs all help cucumbers by deterring pests, attracting pollinators, offering a natural trellis, shade, or ground cover, or otherwise improving soil conditions for your cucumbers.
Vegetables to Plant with Cucumbers
• Beans, Peas, and Other Legumes – Legumes fix nitrogen in the soil, which helps your cucumbers grow. Pole beans and peas can also climb with your cucumbers if you use a trellis.
• Beets, Carrots, Radishes, Onions, Parsnips, and Turnips – Root vegetables use space underground, while cucumbers occupy more space above ground. This means they won’t compete for room. Radishes in particular are great cucumber companion plants, since their scent deters cucumber beetles.
• Corn – A small cucumber variety can effectively use corn as a trellis while offering ground cover to prevent weeds and retain moisture. Make sure you plant the corn a few weeks ahead of your cucumbers.
• Eggplants, Peppers, and Tomatoes – These nightshade family members have similar needs to cucumbers and grow happily together.
• Lettuce – Lettuce grows well near cucumbers, since its size and nutrient needs don’t compete with cucumbers. The cucumbers may also provide lettuce with some much-needed shade.
Flowers to Plant Near Cucumbers
• Alyssum – Alyssum attracts many beneficial insects, like pollinators.
• Calendula – Pretty calendula attracts beneficial insects and works well as an aphid trap crop when planted nearby in the garden.
• Chrysanthemums – Chrysanthemums repel the cucumber beetle, along with many other bad bugs.
• Marigolds – The strong scent of marigolds repels a variety of cucumber pests.
• Nasturtiums – Nasturtiums make an excellent aphid trap crop when planted on the outskirts of your cucumber bed.
• Sunflowers – A small cucumber variety can climb sunflowers, using them as a trellis without harming the sunflowers. Plant the sunflowers ahead of time so they’ll be well established by the time the cukes start climbing.
Herbs to Plant Near Cucumbers
The following herbs may help prevent pests, attract beneficial insects, and improve cucumber flavor.
What NOT to Plant Next to Cucumbers
Some vegetables and herbs need to be planted farther away from cucumbers. Here’s why:
Plants to Avoid with Cucumbers
• Fennel – Fennel inhibits cucumber growth.
• Melons, Pumpkins, and Other Squashes – All members of the cucurbit family (which cucumbers are part of) can compete with each other for space and share pests. Squashes in particular are much larger than cucumbers and may choke them out if they aren’t spaced properly.
• Basil, Hyssop, Mint, and Sage – These strongly scented herbs can negatively affect your cucumbers’ flavor and may stunt their growth.
• Potatoes – Cucumbers and potatoes compete for resources like nutrients and water. Planting them near each other also increases the likelihood of both catching blight.
You now have plenty of options when it comes to companion plants for cucumbers, along with some you should avoid. Try a few and see what works best!
Keep your cukes healthy! Find out why cucumbers get yellow leaves, along with what you can do about it.