If you own a cucumber farm and you are thinking of maximizing the use of your space by planting cucumber companion crops, then this article is for you.
Perhaps, space is not your problem.
It could be that you want to control cucumber pests and diseases, or probably you just want to add flavour to your cucumbers.
Whatever your reason may be, you just hit jackpot.
In this article, you will see several benefits of cucumber companion planting that will make you want to start practising it immediately.
Also, you will get to see the best type of plants to grow together with cucumbers and those you must never use as companion plants for cucumber.
From the list of cucumber companion plants in this guide, you will learn about those crops that will chase off pests from your farm.
At the same time, you will learn about the ones that help to keep deadly diseases that lead to great losses out of your cucumber farm.
If you are already excited to see this list like I am, then let’s get to work!
Is companion planting good for cucumber?
To know if companion planting is a wise practice for your cucumber, you will have to know what companion planting is and why you should do it for your cucumber.
Firstly, you need to understand that companion planting is simply the planting of two or more crops close-by for the purpose of helping each other.
Benefits of cucumber companion planting
You may be forced to ask the question of
“How does cucumber benefit from planting other crops with it?”
Well, your question will be answered in 5 points.
1. Cucumber companion plants supply nutrients to the soil:
The presence of a certain amount of certain nutrients in the soil is very important to ensure you get a profitable yield.
These nutrients can be supplied by some crops that naturally produce them.
Nutrients like nitrogen are needed by cucumbers to grow healthy.
Nitrogen can be provided in the soil by planting beans with your cucumber.
2. Some cucumber companion plants act as natural pesticides:
You can not grow a healthy cucumber with the presence of pests, and diseases as a resultant effect.
Therefore, the practise of companion planting will help your cucumber fight against those harmful pests.
As such, planting crops like Marigold alongside your cucumber can help repeal certain pests.
Some plants like sunflowers can serve as a trap crop for aphids.
3. Practising cucumber companion planting helps to attract pollinators:
A plant will need pollinators to develop its fruits.
The cucumber plant is definitely not an exception to this rule.
Having crops that attract pollinating agents as bees and ladybugs planted close to your cucumber will make the job very easy for you.
Sunflowers, with their beautiful petals, are up to doing this job.
4. Companion crops act as natural trellises for cucumber plants:
The vines of cucumber need enough space to spread and breathe properly.
Planting corn with your cucumber is a sure way of saving yourself the stress and cost of building trellises to help you maximise your farm space.
Although the need for natural trellises are dependent on the variety of cucumber, as the bush cucumber will need to require enough space and sunlight, and without the need for a trellises
5. Companion crops can improve the taste of Taste improvement:
Some plants, when grown with cucumber, can help enhance the taste of your cucumber.
There are chemicals they naturally produce and release that help to ensure that the plant tastes better than when planted alone.
What you should know about cucumber
Cucumber is a plant that can blossom in warm/hot temperatures.
This plant is made up of vines that can spread abroad.
How the vine spreads to occupy space determines the healthy state of the cucumber.
You should always remember that it is best to keep the cucumber fruit off the ground.
By doing so, you safeguard your fruit from certain diseases that can be easily transmitted when it is on the ground.
If your cucumber is planted in a place where the weather is mostly cold or mild, then you have to be ready for great losses.
It is either your plant starts decaying, or you will experience some abnormalities by its fruit, stem or leaf, or the plant may eventually die.
That is how much the cucumber plant dislikes cold weather.
The fact that it likes warm/hot weather condition does not mean that it should not be properly watered.
What pests attack cucumber?
You will definitely not want your cucumber farm to be attacked by some insects and diseases that cause harm to your crops.
It is better not to permit pests into your farm than to be constantly pressured to take off these pests.
So, you will need to know the following pests that affect cucumbers.
1. Cucumber Beetles:
This pest is known to carry on its body and transmit bacterial wilt disease.
2. Spider mites:
This pest is one that enjoys feeding on the cucumber plant.
To repel this pest, it is best to plant crops that attract beneficial insects that feed on them.
Cutworms can be very dangerous because they reside in the soil.
It is a chewing insect that attacks the roots, stems and leaves of the plant.
Aphid, once it has affected your cucumber, can get very complicated to manage.
This is because it has the ability to reproduce in multiples.
It can comfortably infect your cucumber with the mosaic virus.
5. Leaf miner:
This pest specifically feeds on the cucumber leaves.
They are found under the leaves.
All the leaves that are infested should be taken off to prevent their spread.
This is a piercing and sucking insect.
It will suck, from the leaves and stem, the juice of the cucumber.
This physically visible pest is funnily a lover of cucumber.
It can comfortably feed on the plant, leaving holes in the leaves and the fruit.
It can be handpicked and cleared off your farm.
Slugs are also pests that enjoy feasting on cucumbers.
Handpick them if possible, or plant crops that repel them.
What are the plants to grow with cucumber?
In many cases, the major crop will need other crops to serve as weed controllers, but in this case, the cucumber plant itself is a weed control plant.
The advantages of planting other crops with cucumber are numerous.
But then, there are crops that are necessary for cucumber to blossom.
These crops are mentioned below:
One of the major characteristics of the radish plant is that it is a natural repellent.
When planted with cucumber, it repels the cucumber beetles, thereby keeping your plant free from bacteria wilt.
This is a powerful flower that is known for its ability to repel beetles with its fragrance.
Aside from beetles, it is also a good plant that fights nematodes in the soil.
This flower can confidently repel aphids, cucumber beetles and some other pests that attack your cucumber.
It also does not compete with cucumber for necessities.
The growth of cucumber is boosted when planted with nasturtium.
Also, it helps to make the cucumber taste better.
One crop that is also important on your farm is Dill.
Dill is a beneficial attractant.
This feature is unique because it is able to attract beneficial pests that help fight off harmful pests.
Aside from this, Dill can also improve the taste of cucumber.
The vines of cucumber can use the corn stalks as trellises.
It is one great companion for cucumber because it is also a plant that does not need to be in a really cold environment.
In addition, the root of the corn has the ability to increase the level of nitrogen in the soil.
It might be surprising for you to know that sunflowers can also serve as trellises for your cucumber.
Aside from that, its beautiful coloured petals attract pollinating insects to your cucumber.
Of course, you know that your cucumber needs those insects for reproduction.
Aa a leguminous crop, the root system of beans will provide and increase the nitrogen in the soil.
Remember that pole beans will also need trellises.
Getting on trellises for both beans and cucumber can be very beneficial to both plants.
Another legume that is needed to be planted with cucumber is peas.
Just like beans, it can help provide, fix and increase nitrogen needed in the soil for healthy growth.
This vegetable plant is one that can be easily grown.
Growing alongside cucumber is not an exception.
Both plants can comfortably grow side-by-side.
This plant helps cucumbers to fight against ants, cucumber beetles and whiteflies.
This is a herb that is a very good repellent against pests of cucumber.
Other plants that are very beneficial to cucumber are:
What are the plants that should not be planted with cucumber?
Potatoes are plants that need a lot of nutrients and water to have healthy growth.
In this case, it will struggle for these soil nutrients, as well as water with cucumber.
Also, cucumber is greatly affected by potato blight, a disease of potato.
The sage plant is also a bad companion for cucumber because it stunts the growth of the plant.
Seeing that cucumbers and melons are of the same family, they both attract similar pests.
Planting both of them together is definitely a suicide mission.
Mint, though repels insects, can be a harsh crop for your cucumber.
In the same vein, it competes with cucumber for soil nutrients and space.
It is best to plant them in containers or pots and place them round about your cucumber farm with distance in consideration.
Basil, just like mint, can be harsh to your cucumber.
You are therefore advised to avoid planting basil with cucumber.
The cucumber plant is one that demands space and seeks to survive in a weather condition that is warm/hot.
This, therefore, demands that whatever companion you wish to plant with your cucumber must be one that will be comfortable with the weather condition and will not struggle with your farm space.
Nutrients like nitrogen are needed in a considerable measure.
As such, avoid planting crops that demand high levels of such nutrients.
Also, plant those crops that will naturally make the nutrients available to your cucumber and every other crop in your companion farm.
Do not forget to also plant crops that are beneficial predators against unwanted pests.
Planting your cucumbers with other crops can be a very exciting exercise.
You sure will be pleased with the process.
Do have a profitable planting season.