Lack of pollination is the main reason for poor yield in pumpkins, so we like to plant companion plants for pumpkins that attract bees as well as plants that support healthy growth.
Pumpkins are in the squash family and that species of plant has a ton of pests. So it’s important to plant things alongside your pumpkins that will support them and protect them from predators. Good companion plants for pumpkins can make a big difference in how well your crop grows.
It’s so much fun to grow pumpkins. They come in many colors and sizes and they are so cute! Kids love planting, harvesting, and decorating pumpkins. We love to eat them.
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What to plant with pumpkins
Pumpkins are vulnerable to aphids, squash bugs, squash vine borers and cucumber beetles as well as other pests. Planting an array of flowers that will repel pests can keep those bugs away. Plus, planting many different colors around your vegetables will confuse pests.
Some plants are trap crops or attract the pests from the vegetables to themselves. And others repel them from the area all together.
Pumpkin vines, with their large leaves, can mulch crops with an upright growing habit to keep their roots cooler and keep the soil moist. Pumpkins are heavy feeders so legumes that fix the nitrigen in the soil will help them. Legumes are crops such as beans and peas.
Companion flowers can also attract bees and other pollinators to your vegetables.
Squash will thrive in zones 3-10. They need a companion plant that has similar growing needs for sun and water. So what makes good companion plants for pumpkins?
Companion planting pumpkins
Mint and other herbs can help repel pests from the pumpkin area. Anything that is strongly scented. Lavender is another great companion for most vegetables including pumpkins. Marjoram often confused with oregano, but a little different will not only repel pests from the pumpkin vines, but they also enhance pumpkin flavor.
Corn is a wonderful companion for pumpkins. The pumpkin vines shade the corn roots and keep weeds at bay and the corn stalks can support the pumpkin vines. Plant the corn first and let it get about a foot tall and then add in the squash seeds.
Marigolds are a powerhouse worker in the garden. They repel root nematodes that damage pumpkin crops and suppress roundworms. They don’t compete with the pumpkins for nutrients and have low water needs too.
Nasturtiums are another wonderful flower to grow in the garden. They help repel squash bugs and they are edible and delicious. In addition, they attract the wonderful ladybug that feeds on cucumber beetles, whiteflies, and aphids.
Pole beans grow well with pumpkins. They feed nitrogen into the soil. They can climb up a trellis while pumpkin vines lay on the ground and share a space.
What not to plant with pumpkins
You don’t want to plant any large root crops near pumpkins because they will damage the roots of the pumpkin. Onions, beets, and potatoes are best not planted with cucurbits. They also compete for nutrients.
Other curcurbits will compete with pumpkins for growing space, so it’s best to separate them. They can also tangle up and one will choke the others out.
In addition, they can cross-pollinate and give you a plant you don’t want. Especially if you are saving seeds for next year. So avoid planting pumpkins with cucumbers, melons, and gourds as well.
For more companion planting information, including the benefits, check this out.
If you are a beginning gardener, maybe this can help.