Good and Bad Companion Plants for Cucumbers

Companion Planting is a gardening practice that pairs beneficial plants together to get a bigger harvest and minimize issues with bugs and weeds in the garden. This method has been discovered through centuries of practice, trials, and experimentation for many years. In this article, we’ll explore the good and bad companion plants for cucumbers as well as some general growing tips.

If you are looking for a more general overview of companion planting, I suggest starting with this article and overview chart, or you may want to consider diving deeper into the permaculture principles.

You can also explore our guide to growing cucumbers or how to grow cucumbers in a square foot garden.

Good and Bad Companion Plants for Cucumbers
Good and Bad Companion Plants for Cucumbers


Quick Look at Good and Bad Companion Plants for Cucumbers

Good Companion Plants for Cucumbers

  1. Beans: Beans help fix nitrogen in the soil, which benefits cucumbers.
  2. Radishes: Radishes can help repel cucumber beetles.
  3. Marigolds: These flowers deter many pests that can harm cucumbers.
  4. Nasturtiums: They attract aphids away from cucumbers and also deter beetles.
  5. Lettuce: Lettuce can be planted around cucumbers to act as a living mulch, keeping the soil cool and moist.
  6. Carrots: Carrots do not compete much with cucumbers for space and nutrients.
  7. Peas: Like beans, peas fix nitrogen in the soil, benefiting cucumbers.
  8. Corn: Corn provides natural support for cucumber vines and offers some shade.
  9. Dill: Dill attracts beneficial insects that prey on cucumber pests.
  10. Sunflowers: Sunflowers can act as a trellis for cucumbers to climb.

Bad Companion Plants for Cucumbers

  1. Potatoes: Potatoes and cucumbers compete for nutrients and space, and can make each other more susceptible to pests.
  2. Sage: Sage can inhibit the growth of cucumbers.
  3. Melons: Melons are heavy feeders and compete with cucumbers for nutrients and space.
  4. Pumpkins: Pumpkins, like melons, can overcrowd cucumbers and compete for resources.
  5. Tomatoes: Tomatoes and cucumbers are both susceptible to similar diseases and pests, and can cross-infect each other.
  6. Aromatic Herbs: Some aromatic herbs like basil and mint can inhibit cucumber growth due to their strong scents.
Good and Bad Companion Plants for Cucumbers
Good and Bad Companion Plants for Cucumbers

What is Companion Planting?

Companion planting is a practice where different plants are grown in proximity to each other to enhance growth, deter pests, and improve overall garden health. By strategically placing plants with complementary characteristics—such as nutrient needs, pest repellence, and growth habits—gardeners can create a more balanced and productive ecosystem. This method uses natural plant relationships to reduce the need for chemical interventions and to promote sustainable, organic gardening practices.

There is another approach to companion planting and that is to specifically avoid certain plants (such as the bad companion plants for cucumbers above). It is often easier to avoid certain planting combinations.

Tips for Growing Cucumbers

Cucumber are one of my favorite crops to grow in the garden. Below are a few general tips for growing cucumbers.

  1. Choose the Right Variety: Select cucumber varieties suited to your climate and garden space, such as bush types for small gardens or vining types for larger spaces. You will also want to consider whether you want cucumbers for eating fresh or pickling as there are specific varieties that are best for each purpose.
  2. Plant in Full Sun: Cucumbers thrive in full sunlight, requiring at least 6-8 hours of direct sun each day. Cucumbers are a warm weather crop and grow best when soil temperatures are warm after your last frost.
  3. Prepare the Soil: Ensure well-drained, fertile soil rich in organic matter. Add compost or aged manure to boost fertility and drainage.
  4. Space Plants Properly: Provide ample space between plants. For vining types, space them 36-60 inches apart. For bush types, space them 24-36 inches apart. Good air circulation helps prevent disease in the plants.
  5. Use Trellises: Train vining cucumbers to grow on trellises or supports to save space, improve air circulation, and make harvesting easier. We absolutely love to grow cucumbers vertically as it keeps the cucumbers clean and they are easy to find for harvesting.
  6. Regular Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water deeply once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  7. Regular Harvesting: Pick cucumbers frequently to encourage continued production. Harvest them when they are firm, uniformly green, and reach the desired size.
Good and Bad Companion Plants for Cucumbers
Good and Bad Companion Plants for Cucumbers

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