Companion plants are the ones that benefit each other when planted in near proximity. They bring beneficial insects and store away pests, and they provide cultural advantages such as nutrients, shade and support to their garden pals. Cucurbits, including cucumbers and squash, are vegetables commonly found in home gardens, and they’re frequently planted with companion plants that benefit them in some manner. These crops include beans, peas, corn, nasturtium and icicle radishes.
Corns, beans or peas and squash or cucumbers are often referred to as the three sisters’ garden. Native Americans developed the custom of putting these three crops together in a hill. The initial intent was to provide enough food for a balanced diet from one area of territory, but every crop can also be compatible with another two in some manner. Corn is grown in the center of the garden, where it facilitates the bean or pea plants, which are planted in a circle around the corn. Peas and beans fix nitrogen from the soil, so they do not compete with corn for nitrogen since they can create their very own. But peas and beans must be planted after the corn. If planted before or at exactly the exact same period as the corn, peas and beans may overgrow it. Squash or cucumbers planted around the outer edge of the beans and corn planting provides a dense cover that shades out most weeds. The hairy, spiky parts of the plants also make it difficult for insect pests to attain the corn or the beans, as well as the cucumber and squash plants like the shade provided by the corn stalks.
Planting Peas and Beans
Peas and beans must be directly sown into the soil once it’s warmed to between 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit for peas, and 60 and 85 levels for beans. Peas need five to seven days for germination, while beans need three to seven days. Both plants prefer full sunlight and needs to be thinned so that there is about 3 to 4 inches of space between plants following germination.
Corn should be sown into garden soils in squares rather than rows. Sow 2 seeds to a thickness of 1 inch every 18 inches. After the seeds germinate, remove the weaker of the 2 plants and bet the remaining plants if necessary.
Planting Cucumber and Squash
Squash and cucumber plants need full sun and moderate water. When planting, squash and cucumber seeds must be planted in 3-foot-by-3-foot hills, with about four to five seeds per hill, and covered by a thin layer of dirt. Keep squash plants well watered until they germinate, and then lean the weakest plants out so you’ve only three plants per hill.
Other Good Companions
Squash and cucumbers benefit from being planted with icicle radishes, which deter insects. Icicle radishes are also a delicious addition to your garden. They have a rich, spicy flavor and a pure white flesh that’s milder than the common red radish. Sow a couple of radish seeds in cucumber or cucumber hills to repel cucumber beetles and squash bugs. Nasturtiums are edible yearly flowers that are easy to grow and make excellent companions for cucumber and squash. According to North Dakota State University, nasturtiums repel insect pests such as aphids, and improve growth and flavor of cucumber and cucumber plants. Nasturtiums thrive in full sunlight, but will grow in partial shade in climates with hot summers. They prefer cool, moist, well-drained dirt.