squash growing on the vine, zucchini

Companion Plants for Squash

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Companion plants for squash can be a number of different plants that have properties that help squash grow and prevent pests from bothering them. There are many companion plants for squash that can help deter the dreaded squash vine borer.

Squash growing on the vine

And even some that deter the really annoying squash bugs that decimate crops. So interplanting several different kinds of plants with your squash is very helpful for garden success.

Three sisters

Many native American communities consider corn, beans, and squash the most important crops. When planted together, the Three Sisters work together to help one another thrive. These three crops complement each other nutritionally as well.

Corn provides tall stalks for the beans to climb. Beans provide nitrogen to fertilize the soil for corn which is a heavy feeder. And the large leaves of the squash plants shade the ground which prevents weeds and provides shade to the roots of all the plants.

Here’s a link to a great vegetable garden planner you can print right out and use at home! So cute!

These are all warm season crops that don’t tolerate frost. Check for your local last frost date here. In Oklahoma, we plant around April 15. Corn should be planted first so it can grow tall before the other plants are planted. Wait about 3 weeks to plant the beans and then another week to plant the squash.

The corn you choose should be a tall variety and don’t plant it too close. The beans should be a climbing pole type of bean. Non-vigorous varieties are best so they don’t overtake the corn. Runner beans work great. Compact summer squash varieties are the best choice.

Companion plants for squash

There are many varieties of plants that grow well with squash and support its health. Squash is a vigorous grower, but obviously, the squash bug and squash vine borer are a huge problem. Especially in the south. So anything you can do to deter them and other pests is a great plan.

Squash is a heavy feeder and vigorous grower. It’s best to plant other plants that are the opposite for optimal success.

Companion plants for summer squash

Nasturtiums and marigolds are great trap crops to grow with summer squash. They attract flea beetles and aphids which bother squash. Both plants bear bright flowers and can be eaten.

Fragrant herbs like peppermint, dill, lemon balm, parsley and oregano can ward off pests from your squash.

Companion plants for zucchini

Radishes can easily be planted amid zucchini and summer squash. They repel aphids, squash bugs, and cucumber beetles. If you allow a few of them to go to seed they are even more effective.

Check out my favorite brand of seeds here.

Garlic is a great companion to zucchini for the same reasons. Beans and peas of any kind will help feed nitrogen to the zucchini so they are great companions.

long squash vine with blossoms

Pumpkin companion plants

Pumpkin and other winter squash are other varieties of squash that benefit from being grown with any of the previously mentioned companions. In addition, they can all benefit from being grown with lavender and petunias which draw pollinators and deter pests.

There are a few things that you should avoid growing with pumpkins and other winter and summer squashes. And remember all squash are heavy feeders, so it’s best not to plant them with each other.

Sunflowers impede the growth of other plants, so they don’t make a great companion for pumpkins. Melons are heavy feeders and compete with pumpkin and squash. Fennel slows down the growth of squash.

Carrots and potatoes can damage the roots of squash plants. Beets feed on similar nutrients and shouldn’t be grown with pumpkins or other squash. Kale and cabbage remove too much nutrients from the soil to be a good companion to squash.

Squash blossom on the vine

There are many good companion plants to grow with squash and following these guidelines, there’s no reason why you won’t have a wonderful bountiful harvest of squash.

There are some crops that are easier to grow and are more nutrient and calorie dense that will save you the most money on your food budget as money gets tighter and tighter. Check out the essential crops to grow for a survival garden here.

For more easy vegetables to grow from seed, click here. 

For more ideas on companion planting, check these out:

What to do with Excess Squash from the Garden

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