If you’re looking to maximize space and promote pollination in your pumpkin patch, companion planting is the way to go. In this article, we’ll explore the best plants to grow alongside pumpkins, as well as which ones to avoid. By choosing the right companions, you can provide your pumpkins with necessary nutrients, attract beneficial pollinators, and even deter pests. Whether it’s legumes like pole beans and peas, tall crops like corn and sunflowers, or flowers that attract pollinators such as beebalms, there are plenty of options to create a thriving and diverse pumpkin patch. So read on to learn how to make the most out of your garden space with companion planting for pumpkins. will also help pollinate your pumpkin flowers. This increased pollination will lead to a higher yield of pumpkins in your patch. Beebalm plants also release compounds that repel many common pests, making them an excellent choice for companion planting with pumpkins.
Tansy is a hardy perennial plant that is known for its ability to repel pests. It has a strong scent that deters many insects, including squash bugs, cucumber beetles, and aphids, which are common pests that can damage pumpkin plants. By planting tansy near your pumpkins, you can help protect them from these harmful pests. Tansy also attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings, which are natural predators of pests.
Marigolds are another flower that can attract pollinators and repel pests. They have a strong scent that repels aphids, nematodes, and other garden pests. Marigolds also produce a natural insecticide in their roots called thiophenes, which can help control soil-borne pests like root knot nematodes. Planting marigolds around your pumpkins can help keep your plants healthy and pest-free.
Nasturtiums are not only beautiful flowers, but they also serve as a trap crop for aphids. Aphids are a common pest that can infest pumpkins, causing damage to the leaves and fruits. By planting nasturtiums near your pumpkins, you can attract aphids away from your pumpkins and onto the nasturtium plants. This sacrificial plant will divert the aphids’ attention, protecting your pumpkin plants.
Petunias are vibrant and colorful flowers that attract a variety of pollinators to your garden. Their trumpet-shaped blooms are a favorite among bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. By planting petunias near your pumpkin patch, you can ensure that there are plenty of pollinators around to help fertilize your pumpkin flowers. This will lead to better fruit set and a more abundant harvest.
Shallow Root Crops Are Nice Neighbors
Pumpkins have shallow roots that spread out over a wide area. This means that plants with shallow roots can be planted nearby without competing for nutrients or space. Shallow root crops are nice neighbors for pumpkins because they can fill in the spaces between the pumpkin plants and make use of the available soil. Additionally, these shallow root crops can be harvested before the pumpkin plants start to grow vigorously, allowing you to make the most of your garden space.
Carrots are a popular crop that can be grown alongside pumpkins. They have shallow roots that do not interfere with the pumpkin plants’ root system. Carrots also benefit from the nitrogen-rich soil that pumpkins create, as it helps them grow healthy and strong. In return, the carrot plants help fill in the gaps between the pumpkin plants, maximizing the use of space in your garden.
Radishes are another shallow-rooted crop that can be planted near pumpkins. They grow quickly and can be harvested in just a few weeks, making them an ideal companion plant for pumpkins. Radishes also help break up compacted soil with their taproots, improving the overall soil structure in your garden. This can benefit the pumpkin plants by allowing water and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the soil.
Turnips, like radishes, have shallow roots and can be planted near pumpkins without competing for space or nutrients. They are fast-growing and can be harvested in a relatively short amount of time. Turnips also help improve soil structure with their taproots, making them a beneficial companion plant for pumpkins. Plus, you get the added bonus of enjoying fresh turnips from your garden!
Leafy Greens Can Be Planted Near Pumpkins
Leafy greens, such as lettuce, spinach, and kale, can be planted near pumpkins without causing any harm. These vegetables have shallow root systems, and their small size allows them to fit well between pumpkin plants. Plus, leafy greens appreciate the shade that pumpkins can provide, as they prefer cooler temperatures. This combination makes them great companions in the garden.
Herbs Are Always Great Companion Plants
Herbs are always great companion plants for a variety of vegetables, and pumpkins are no exception. They can help repel pests, attract beneficial insects, and improve the flavors of neighboring plants. Herbs also have the added benefit of being useful in the kitchen, so you can harvest them throughout the season and enjoy their flavors in your meals. Planting herbs near your pumpkins will not only benefit your garden but also enhance your culinary adventures.
Lavender is a beautiful and fragrant herb that can be planted near pumpkins. Its scent repels pests like aphids, moths, and fleas, which can damage pumpkin plants. Lavender also attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies, which can help with the pollination of your pumpkin flowers. Additionally, lavender is a calming herb and its presence in the garden can create a soothing environment.
Borage is an herb that is known for attracting pollinators to the garden. Its blue flowers are a favorite among bees and butterflies. By planting borage near your pumpkins, you can ensure that there are plenty of pollinators around to help with the fertilization of your pumpkin flowers. Borage also improves the flavor of tomatoes when planted nearby, so it may have a similar effect on pumpkins.
Rosemary is an aromatic herb that can help repel pests like aphids, mosquitoes, and cabbage moths. It has a strong scent that deters these pests from feeding on your pumpkin plants. Rosemary also adds a delightful flavor to many dishes and can be harvested throughout the season for culinary use.
Dill is an herb that attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies, which are natural predators of common garden pests. By planting dill near your pumpkins, you can help control pests and reduce the need for chemical pesticides. Dill also has a unique flavor that can enhance the taste of many dishes.
Thyme is a versatile herb that can be planted near pumpkins. It has antimicrobial properties that can help protect your pumpkin plants from fungal and bacterial diseases. Thyme also attracts bees and other pollinators to the garden and can be used to add flavor to a variety of dishes.
Basil is a popular herb that can be planted near pumpkins. Its strong scent helps repel pests like aphids, mosquitoes, and flies. Basil also attracts beneficial insects like bees and wasps, which can help with pollination and pest control. Plus, basil leaves are delicious and can be used in a variety of recipes.
Sage is an herb that can help repel pests and attract beneficial insects to your garden. Its strong scent deters pests like cabbage moths, carrot flies, and slugs. Sage also attracts bees and butterflies, which are important pollinators for pumpkins. Additionally, sage leaves have a savory flavor that can enhance the taste of many dishes.
Oregano is an herb that can help repel pests and improve the flavors of neighboring plants. Its strong scent deters pests like aphids, cabbage loopers, and cucumber beetles. Oregano also attracts bees and butterflies, which are essential for pollinating your pumpkin flowers. Plus, oregano leaves are a popular ingredient in many Italian and Mediterranean dishes.
Parsley is an herb that can help repel pests and attract beneficial insects to your garden. Its strong scent deters pests like aphids, carrot flies, and cabbage loopers. Parsley also attracts predatory insects like ladybugs and lacewings, which can help control pests in your garden. Plus, parsley leaves are rich in vitamins and can be used as a garnish or in cooking.
Cilantro is an herb that can help repel pests and attract beneficial insects to your garden. Its scent deters pests like aphids, spider mites, and cabbage worms. Cilantro also attracts beneficial insects like parasitic wasps and tachinid flies, which can help control pest populations. Plus, cilantro leaves are a popular ingredient in many cuisines, including Mexican and Asian dishes.
Bad Companion Planting for Pumpkins
While there are many plants that can thrive alongside pumpkins, there are also some plants that should be kept at a distance. These plants can compete for resources, attract pests, or inhibit the growth of your pumpkin plants. It is best to avoid planting these unfavorable companions near your pumpkin patch.
Squashes are closely related to pumpkins and can cross-pollinate with them, resulting in hybrid fruits. This can affect the flavor and appearance of both the pumpkins and the squashes. To avoid this, it is best to keep squash plants separate from your pumpkin patch. If you do want to grow both pumpkins and squashes, it is recommended to grow different varieties at least 1/4 mile apart to prevent cross-pollination.
Melons, like squashes, are also closely related to pumpkins and can cross-pollinate with them. This can affect the flavor and quality of both the pumpkins and the melons. To prevent cross-pollination, it is best to keep melon plants separate from your pumpkin patch. If you do want to grow both pumpkins and melons, it is recommended to grow different varieties at least 1/4 mile apart.
Cucumbers are not ideal companions for pumpkins. They are both heavy-feeders and can compete for nutrients in the soil. Additionally, cucumbers are susceptible to the same pests and diseases as pumpkins, such as cucumber beetles and powdery mildew. Planting them together can increase the risk of infestation and disease spread. It is best to keep cucumbers separate from your pumpkin patch.
Brassicas, which include cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, are not recommended as companions for pumpkins. These plants have similar nutrient requirements and can compete for resources in the soil. They are also susceptible to common pests like aphids and cabbage worms, which can also affect pumpkin plants. It is best to keep brassicas separate from your pumpkin patch.
Large Root Crops
Large root crops like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beets are not suitable companions for pumpkins. These plants have extensive root systems that can compete with pumpkin plants for water and nutrients in the soil. Additionally, large root crops can shade out pumpkin plants and inhibit their growth. It is best to keep large root crops separate from your pumpkin patch.
By choosing the right companion plants for your pumpkins, you can create a thriving and productive garden. Legumes like pole beans and peas provide nitrogen to the soil, while tall crops like corn and sunflowers optimize space. Flowers like beebalms, tansy, marigolds, nasturtiums, and petunias attract pollinators, and shallow root crops like carrots, radishes, and turnips are nice neighbors. Leafy greens and herbs are also great companion plants for pumpkins. Just be sure to avoid planting squashes, melons, cucumbers, brassicas, and large root crops near your pumpkins. With these companion planting tips, you can create a bountiful pumpkin patch that thrives and supports a diverse ecosystem.