Like practicing crop rotation, companion planting provides many advantages for growing veggies, fruits, and flowers. Companion planting pumpkins helps control pests, attract beneficial insects, and even offers nutrient and structural benefits.
Pumpkins have a rich nutty flavor, perfect for soups, stews, or much-loved pumpkin pie, making them a staple in many home gardens. If you’ve ever thought about what to plant with pumpkins, there are many choices. Whether you prefer to grow beautiful flowers, valuable herbs, or more tasty veggies, pumpkin has many good companions.
All have different and helpful properties to aid your pumpkin patch in producing a fantastic harvest. Since pumpkins, like many squashes, are prone to the dreaded squash vine borer, pest control is a common struggle for those growing them. Companion planting is a natural way to address insect pests, increase pollination, and much more without toxic chemicals or expensive sprays.
- What to Plant with Pumpkins for Brilliant Benefits
What to Plant with Pumpkins for Brilliant Benefits
When deciding what to grow with pumpkins or you are looking at butternut squash companion plants, consider your personal preferences – which vegetables you and your family like to eat- and any goals such as producing more ornamental flowers or ridding your garden of a specific pest.
In addition to enjoying benefits provided by their plant neighbors, companion planting pumpkins means your squash also supplies aid to other plants. Their sprawling and trailing vines cover the ground and provide a living mulch, helping the soil below retain moisture and temperature, which benefits all surrounding plants.
The choice of what to plant with pumpkins is vast and varies between gardeners. A tried-and-true gardening method for enhancing and safeguarding delicate plants, companion planting involves growers placing particular crops next to one another to defend against pests, promote beneficial insects, and accelerate development.
When deciding what to grow with pumpkins, choose something that helps in the garden, whether a squash bug deterrent, attracting pollinators or another vegetable to enjoy and aid in the health of your pumpkin patch. Note that you can grow pumpkins in a container, too, and still take advantage of companion plants grown nearby.
In most growing zones, from May through June is the best time to plant pumpkins for a fall harvest so plan your companions based on this timeline.
Companion Planting Pumpkins with the Three Sisters Approach
Sweet corn, beans, and squash make the trio of plants known by Native American people as the Three Sisters. This trio of vegetables was historically and still is, planted together as they aid each other’s development and provide a staple set of crops to sustain a community.
The squash, whether gourds or pumpkins, provides ground cover like a natural mulch. It helps retain moisture, thanks to its sprawling vines as it grows through pumpkin growth stages. Corn stalks provide a natural trellis for legumes such as bush beans or pole beans to climb, while the bean plants fix nitrogen into the soil for use by the others.
Marigolds are What to Grow with Pumpkins
These vibrant bright orange flowers are a good companion for numerous vegetable and flowering plants, thanks to their pest deterrent capabilities. Most notable is the marigold’s ability to repel root-knot nematodes, a widespread parasitic pest causing devastation to crops globally.
These tiny roundworms penetrate pumpkin roots to lay their eggs inside, leading to the plant failing to thrive, producing smaller fruit, and even death. Fortunately, marigolds ward nematodes away from your pumpkin patch to protect your crop. They also protect against flea beetles.
Chamomile for Pumpkin Companion Planting
Chamomile is a fantastic candidate to be planted with pumpkins as it offers two-fold benefits to the crop. This dainty white flower looks pretty in the garden and serves many purposes in herbal teas and tinctures, including its best-known property of helping promote relaxation and sleep.
The sweet aroma of chamomile draws beneficial insect pollinators to your pumpkin patch and makes excellent gourd companion plants. Similarly, the potent scent of the herb serves to repel pest insects and is said to help avoid fungal illnesses.
Nasturtiums Make Great Companion Plants for Pumpkin Plants
Companion planting helps all garden plants thrive, including vegetables and food crops, and nasturtiums are widely used in this area. Squash bugs, also known as cucumber beetles or squash vine borers, are a well-known pest to many squash species, including pumpkins, cucumbers, zucchini, and butternut squash.
These prolific insects feast on squash plants, causing widespread damage and death if left untreated. A squash bug infestation is often disastrous for a pumpkin patch, so preventing one from occurring by using companion planting is an ideal solution.
Along with their gorgeous coloring and aesthetic appeal, nasturtiums keep squash borer populations down and attract beneficial insects like ladybugs to help control your garden’s population of aphids. These cheerful flowers are easy for any grower to raise, and their flowers, leaves, and seed pods are all edible.
Brassicas are Not a Good Companion
Though an array of veggies make perfect pumpkin companions from germination to fruiting, Brassicas are not one of them. The Brassica family consists of broccoli, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, kale, and more.
This group of plants are heavy feeders and remove a lot of nutrition from the soil, which is particularly problematic for pumpkin plants with similar nutrient requirements.
Other Companion Plants for Pumpkins
In addition to those listed above, other valuable plants for the vegetable garden make excellent companions for your pumpkins.
Carefully consider each companion plant’s benefits and weigh them against your gardening goals to decide the best fit for you and your garden. Pumpkin companion planting is a fun way to expand your food options, explore new crops, and take advantage of garden plants and vegetables’ synergistic effects.
Whether growing heirloom pumpkins for eating or trying to produce giant jack-o-lanterns for fall, companion planting has much to offer. When you’re running an organic garden and wish to limit the exposure of your products to toxic compounds and harmful chemicals found in commercial pesticides, companion planting provides an alternate method of pest control that’s safe and natural.
Companion planting is worthwhile if you want to enjoy additional crops and flowers while bringing positive advantages to your crops.
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