Companion Plants for Corn
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Companion planting vegetables that grow well together in the garden helps boost your production. Find what makes great companion plants for corn.
Corn companion plants
Companion planting is a way of interplanting crops that protect and nourish each other. Some plants give off odors or chemicals that repel pests that harm other plants. And some plants give off nutrients that other plants can use.
You want to avoid planting plants together that have the same needs or attract the same pests. A big field of yummy squash, cucumbers, melons, and pumpkins looks like paradise to squash bugs.
There is nothing like growing corn at home in your own garden. Even if you have a small garden, you can yield corn.
Cucumbers make a great companion plant for corn. The vines grow around the bottoms of the corn stalks providing shade and weed protection for the corn.
Melons support corn growth in the same way. Both of these vines help keep moisture in the soil by growing along the ground as well.
Potatoes and radishes are both great to plant with corn as well. Corn is a heavy feeder with shallow roots. Potatoes and radishes grow underground and are light feeders.
Sweet corn companion plants
Nasturtiums are not an herb, but rather an edible flower. They are gorgeous and attractive to aphids. Aphids are voracious eaters and attack corn silks. Planting nasturtiums to attract aphids is what is called a trap crop or planting something to attract pests away from your vegetable plants.
Another edible flower that is great for corn crops is marigolds. They are a workhorse in the vegetable garden. They repel a wide variety of pests.
What to plant with corn
There are several herbs that make wonderful companions for corn. Dill is an aromatic that attracts pollinators and parasitic wasps that keep pest levels down.
Mint is super aromatic and it repels deer and other grazing animals that can decimate a corn crop.
Thyme repels corn earworms which are the biggest pest of growing corn. Basil also is a great companion plant for corn.
The three sisters method uses corn, pole beans and winter squash. This is an ancient Cherokee practice. Each of the three parts of the three sisters supports and helps the other. The corn provides shade and trellis, the beans and squash need the trellis and provide weed protection, water retention, and shade to the roots of the corn.
In addition, corn is a heavy feeder, or needs lots of nitrigen to produce. Pole beans have small nodes of nitrogen on their roots that feed corn plants as they both grow.
Also, as an added feature, squash vines are prickly which deters raccoons from approaching corn. They are a match made in heaven.
Pumpkins are also a good companion plant for corn for the same reasons as winter squash. Since, actually, pumpkins are a winter squash.
What not to plant with corn
Corn should not be grown with brassicas or cole crops. These are plants like cabbage, broccoli and kale. They need lots of sunshine and corn wil shade them out.
Tomatoes will attract similar pests as corn, so plant them on opposite sides of your garden as well.
Knowing what plants make great companion plants for corn will help you yield even more yummy delicious corn this year. So remember when planing your garden, what will support the growth of corn.
For a month by month garden planting guide, check this out.
And for how to start a garden for beginners, check this out.
If you find yourself with a ton of one thing producing in your garden, check out this excess produce guide for what to do with it.
For more ideas on companion planting, check these out: