Squash is one of those vegetables that you should grow in your garden. This is a great vegetable to grow and cultivate whether you are new in gardening or a more experienced one.
Also, you will love the fact that they are easy to grow, especially the winter and summer squash. In most cases, the only things they need are water, full sun, and fertile soil. They can also greatly benefit from various winter and summer squash companion plants.
Benefits of Companion Planting for Squash
There are definitely plenty of favorable benefits from choosing to grow plants along with squash. The benefits of companion planting for them include:
You no longer have to waste the soil in between some plants that usually happen in traditional gardening if you do companion planting. This space, if unused, will only become unproductive plus it needs constant weeding. You can grow squash companion plants in these spaces to increase your yield.
Widens crop variety
With companion planting, it is possible for several plants to grow in a similar space. This can add variety to the crops you are growing, giving you the chance to harvest and produce more fresh vegetables.
Nourishes the soil
You can also nourish the soil even further by growing squash companion plants together. By combining various crops correctly, creating synergy is possible. They will work together in nourishing the soil, providing it with plenty of nitrogen, which is necessary for plant growth.
Helps in effective pest control
By using squash companion plants, you can also drive unwanted pests away, like cucumber beetles, bugs, and aphids. Keep in mind that you can also keep pests away from your squash plants if you also grow plants, like garlic and marigold, that can stop their penetration into your garden.
Attracts friendly insects
Some plants also work in such a way that they will invite friendly insects, including pollinators and bees to come to your garden. The good thing about attracting pollinators to your zucchini and squash plants is that this can also result in them blooming more fruits and increasing yields.
In addition to the already mentioned benefits, companion planting for squash also provides the advantage of improving the taste/flavor of your produce. It is also possible to find a good companion plant that works as a groundcover, which is good in preserving the nutrients and moisture in the soil.
Winter and Summer Squash Companion Plants
Regardless of the squash plants to grow, whether it is the winter or the summer squash, they can benefit from growing them next to a wide range of plants that can give them favorable benefits. Let’s tackle a few of those plants that can be truly beneficial when planted near squash through companion planting:
Beans and Peas
When searching for the best companion plants for squash, two of your options will always be beans and peas. The reason is that the two work together in making your summer squash grow well.
The beans, for instance, feature roots that have bacteria designed to help fix the nitrogen content in the soil. As a heavy feeder, squash plants undoubtedly consume a lot of nitrogen and they can use up the one provided by beans.
Squash also works in conserving soil moisture plus it has spikes that can drive away pests. Similar to beans, peas are also among those crops that can fix nitrogen.
You can even use peas as replacements for beans in your garden as the two perform similar functions. You can, therefore, expect peas to fix a few nutrients within the soil so the squash can feed on them.
One fact about squash that you should know is that it belongs to the cucurbit family, along with cucumbers and pumpkins. Note that all these vegetables are prone to get infected by flea beetles. You can drive these beetles away by having nasturtiums classified as flowers planted near them.
By planting nasturtiums next to your cucurbits, especially squash, you can deter and repel pests, including flea beetles. Nasturtium flowers work as a trap crop, meaning they are effective in attracting some pests to themselves so they can protect the other plants that are near them.
After the Nasturtium flowers served their purpose, you can use them in preparing dishes. These are also among those flowers that can invite beneficial insects that act as pollinators and predators. Nasturtium flowers can be expected to grow well if you expose them to full sun.
Similar to Nasturtiums, marigolds can also be classified as flowers. They are beautiful flowers capable of radiating bright and lovely colors when you plant them in your vegetable garden filled with winter and summer squash. You can also use these flower varieties in preparing dishes.
One more reason to love marigolds is that they repel pests, making them perfect squash companion plants. They can specifically help eradicate nematodes known for being harmful pests that tend to inhabit the garden soil.
It would also be a great idea to plant radishes together with squash. What’s great about radishes is that they work in deterring squash bugs. Spicy, white, and crisp icicle radishes even work effectively as they repel a wide range of pests that may only harm your summer squash and feast on them.
Some herbs also work as great companion plants for summer squash – among which are borage, dill, oregano, and mint.
- Borage – Borage refers to an annual, which features wide leaves and bright blue flowers. It is an herb that can benefit summer squash as it can attract beneficial insects to it, including bees. This is good for the large yellow flowers of the squash as the bees can pollinate them, increasing their chance of forming fruits.
- Dill – This is also one of those annual herbs that are compatible with companion planting for squash. You can use them in your kitchen because of their tasty dried seeds and leaves. If you plant dill near yellow and summer squash, you can expect it to work in deterring squash bugs, making them perfect herbs to be added to your vegetable garden.
- Oregano – Oregano is also a beneficial squash companion plant as it works in attracting bees designed for fruitful pollination as well as other beneficial insects. This makes this herb effective in providing you with a bountiful harvest.
- Mint – You may also want to include mint in your vegetable garden. What’s good about various mint plants, like sage and hyssop, is that they have this certain aroma that can repel deer and other grazing animals.
Tomato is also a vegetable that tends to complement well with other vegetables in your garden. It is a perfect match and an amazing companion plant for your summer squash because these two vegetables have similar growing requirements. You can even grow borage along with these two vegetables as doing so can promote an even better yield.
Most gardeners also agree about the usefulness of garlic when added to gardens. The reason is that garlic has a strong scent that can deter aphids.
Note that aphids are among the most atrocious pests that can harm your summer squash. Planting garlic near it is definitely a good idea in completely eliminating aphids and preventing them from feasting on the plants.
Rosemary tends to bring out a strong scent, which works in repelling pests. The good thing about rosemary is that it seems to thrive well in the environment and similar condition where you grow your squash.
In addition, it harbors pollinators. It also has the ability to attract and invite beneficial insects to your garden. Such insects can help eliminate pests, including squash bugs, there.
You will not also go wrong by planting corn along with winter and summer squash. The reason is that it works as a shade for your crops. If you also have beans in your garden, then expect corn to work as a trellis for them.
Squash can also benefit the corn and beans in the sense that it prevents pests and insects from destroying the two. Moreover, squash can stop weeds from gaining complete control over the mentioned plants.
What to Avoid Planting with Squash?
You also have to be extra cautious when it comes to companion planting as there are also those that do not go well with winter and summer squash. Some plants you should avoid growing and planting along with such crops are the following:
Among the plants that belong to Brassicas are cabbage, kale, and cauliflower and they are not good for squash because they are heavy feeders. This means that they consume a lot of nutrients from the soil so they can survive, thereby competing with the squash.
Brassicas are also prone to being damaged by pests, including aphids, cucumber beetles, cabbage worms, and cabbage moths. In other words, planting them together with squash may only cause the latter to get infected with pests that may only inhibit their growth, too.
There are also nightshade crops that will not provide any good to any other plant. One example of such a crop is potatoes. You can’t expect potatoes to work well with squash as it competes for nutrients, thereby hindering the growth and disrupting the root system of squash.
Fennel is capable of attracting beneficial insects. However, you can’t expect it to be compatible with every vegetable – one of which is squash. The reason is that its growth may be only be impeded with fennel around.
Pumpkin belongs to the same family where zucchini and squash come from. However, they are not compatible with squash. The reason is that pumpkin can only negatively impact the growth of squash because of cross-pollination.
Cucumber does not also work well with squash and zucchini. The reason is that it also competes for nourishment and food. Planting it with squash and zucchini may also cause competition in space depending on the manner of growth.
Another problem with this plant is that it tends to steal water from the primary crops, including summer squash and zucchini. This may cause your squash to be unable to get the right supply of water and become extremely dry, so it would be much better not to plant it with cucumbers and zucchini.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What can you not plant next to squash?
You should avoid planting those considered as heavy feeders next to squash. The reason is that squash is a heavy feeder itself, which means that it will not go well with plants with the same quality as it may only result in inhibiting their growth. Among these heavy feeders are potatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, and cucumbers.
What can I plant with a squash companion?
When it comes to selecting plants that serve as great companions for squash, you have to go for those that promote ease in making it grow. These plants should be of help in yielding better crops at the right time.
The plants should also be effective in deterring harmful insects and pests and attracting pollinators and beneficial pests. Among those that meet such traits are beans, nasturtiums, peas, marigolds, some flowering herbs, garlic, and many more.
Can I plant squash and zucchini plants together?
It would be best to avoid growing zucchini along with the squash. The reason is that both zucchini and squash are heavy feeders.
This means that zucchini also has the tendency of monopolizing nutrient absorption when planted along with squash in a similar soil. Avoid planting zucchini and squash together so you will not harm the growth of both plants.
Companion planting for squash is actually easy considering the fact that you have plenty of choices for the plants that complement well with the vegetable. Your goal should be to pick those plants that will never compete with squash as far as absorbing nutrients are concerned. In addition, your chosen companion plants should promote better yields and nourish the soil.