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Squash Companion Plants: Full List of Pairings
Whether you’re looking to plant summer squash or winter squash (like butternut and acorn), squashes generally enjoy having similar growing conditions. That runs true for the plants they like to be grown with as well, since there are many squash companion plants that all varieties of squash benefit from!
The key thing to remember with squash growing is that they need space. Winter squash varieties tend to need slightly more space than the bushier summer squash varieties, but they both take up much more room than most vegetables.
It can be helpful to have a specific area of the garden set aside for growing squash. Typically, you’ll want to plant any squash companion plants around the perimeter of the squash area so they won’t get choked out, but there are a handful that can grow in with the squash itself.
The best squash companion plants include legumes, corn, lettuce, radishes, and a variety of flowers and herbs. Read on to see the full list.
Full List of Squash Companion Plants
The following vegetables, flowers, and herbs all benefit your squash by deterring pests, attracting pollinators, offering shade or ground cover, or otherwise improving soil conditions for your squash.
Planting squash with beans and corn is known as the “three sisters” method, one of the most common companion planting combinations dating back to the Native Americans. It’s a time-honored tradition that provides growth benefits to all three plants. However, there are many more squash companion plants, as we’ll see here:
Vegetables to Plant with Squash
• Beans, Peas, and Other Legumes – Legumes add nitrogen to the soil, which supports squash growth.
• Corn – Corn offers shade to your squash during hot summer days.
• Lettuce and Spinach – Small leafy greens provide ground cover and weed control for squash, which in turn will offer shade for the greens.
• Pumpkins, Zucchini, and Other Squash Varieties – Because they have similar growth needs, you can plant nearly any combination of squash plant together. Just make sure they have plenty of room to spread out so they don’t choke each other!
The Blue Hubbard squash in particular can be a good companion for your other squashes, as it acts as a sacrificial trap crop for many common squash bugs when planted around the outer edge of your other squashes.
• Radishes – The strong scent of radishes can repel many squash pests.
Flowers to Plant Near Squash
• Alyssum – Sweet alyssum draws pollinators and other beneficial bugs to your squash.
• Calendula – Calendula makes an excellent aphid trap crop when planted a short distance away from squash. It also brings in beneficial pollinators.
• Cosmos – Bright cosmos bring in beneficial insects, like pollinators.
• Marigolds – Marigolds deter common squash pests.
• Nasturtiums – Pretty nasturtiums repel many common bad bugs while bringing in pollinators. They can also act as an aphid trap crop if planted a short distance away.
• Sunflowers – Tall sunflowers can offer shade for your squashes.
Herbs to Plant Near Squash
The following herbs provide pest prevention and other growth benefits for squash.
• Lemon Balm
• Yellow Mustard
What NOT to Plant Next to Squash
Some plants need to be grown far away from squash. Luckily, there aren’t too many you have to avoid:
Plants to Avoid with Squash
• Beets – Large root crops like beets can harm squashes’ delicate root systems.
• Fennel – Fennel will stunt squash growth.
• Melons – Melons rely on the same nutrients that your squash does, so they compete for resources.
• Onions – Onions can disturb squash roots.
• Potatoes – Potatoes feed heavily on the same nutrients as squashes.
You should now have a good list of companion plants for your summer, winter, and butternut squashes. Try them and see what works best!
Want to grow zucchini? Here’s a full list of zucchini companion plants.