Are you a gardening person? Then you must love making green friends. Over that, if they come with huge orange gourds, your garden becomes the Halloween land. Yes, you guessed it right. We are talking about your lovely pumpkin garden that shines bright with the taste of your gardening skills.
But do you often find your pumpkin garden empty and vulnerable? Then why not give it some helpful friends with companion planting? Companion planting has come a long way in adding life to your garden.
Pumpkins have many companion plants that you can grow with them. Companion plants can help your pumpkins in many ways. Some companion plants for pumpkins might add value to your pumpkin garden by making up for the nutritional deficiencies in the soil, while others might give a boost to the taste of your lovely pumpkins.
Besides, companion planting also enhances pollination as some companion plants are good points of attraction for pollinators. What’s more, you can also get rid of harmful pests, bugs, worms, and insects that feed on your pumpkins by the insect repelling nature of some companion plants, especially those with a strong smell.
Hence, you must utilize the benefits of companion planting for your pumpkins and give your pumpkin garden new friends to thrive with. Now, if you are confused and blank about what could be good companion plants for your pumpkin garden, we have your back.
What Is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is the process of planting various plants together in one place. It is an effective way of making coexistence beneficial for plants. Plants are susceptible to several diseases, rots, and attacks from insects and pests.
Companion planting strives towards solving such issues. It uses other plants to deter pests or insects or provide essential nutrients to the plant requiring a companion. The plants benefit each other and co-exist as companions, thus providing you with a serene garden to adore.
What Are The Benefits of Companion Planting?
Companion planting helps deter insects, pests, forages, etc., that feed on your plants. Companion planting comes with many benefits. It eradicates the threats associated with the plant and provides it with a safe condition to grow and thrive.
It also helps keep several diseases at bay without requiring any chemicals. Many companion plants attract beneficial insects and pollinators to enhance pollination and scare away unwanted pests and insects.
The best part about companion planting is that it improves plants’ flavor, so you get delicious fruits and vegetables out of your garden. Not only that, but you can also enhance the growing conditions for the plant by using a companion as a shade or ground cover.
Moreover, the companion plants add essential nutrients to the soil, fulfilling the deficiency plants may face. They also enhance nitrogen in the soil, a necessary nutrient for any plant.
11 Pumpkin Companion Plants
Here we have listed the companion plants for pumpkins (with pictures) to help you beautify your orange heaven of pumpkins.
Do you remember the importance of companion plants as an attraction point for pollinators? Well, our first companion plant on the list comes with this benefit. Cucumbers are one of the best companion plants for pumpkins as they can attract squash bees.
If you don’t know, squash bees are beneficial insects for pumpkins as they act as excellent pollinators. Now, if you plant cucumbers around pumpkins or basically up on a trellis, they would help pollinate your pumpkin garden.
The benefit of planting cucumber on a trellis is it would spare a lot of space in your garden, which you can use for planting other companion plants for pumpkins.
Also Read:- 12 Tips for Growing Cucumbers in Containers
2. Korean Licorice mint
The name of this companion plant might sound new and strange to you. But you would be amazed at its versatility as a companion plant for pumpkins. Korean Licorice Mint, scientifically known as Agastache rugosa, is an attraction point for several types of hoverflies.
It is probably due to its vibrant blue-purple flowers that attract hoverflies and lure them into laying eggs on the leaves. What benefits your pumpkins is the larvae that result from the eggs. The larvae feed on many harmful insects lethal to pumpkins, such as mites, mealybugs, aphids, and many other pumpkin pests.
Besides helping deter harmful insects, the radiant flowers of Korean Licorice mint add beauty to your pumpkin garden. Hence, you benefit both ways from this particular member of the mint family.
Corn is the next item on the list of companion plants for pumpkin. It has a unique association with pumpkins and beans. The three are well known as the ‘Three Sisters‘ as they grow the best together.
You would be surprised to know that planting pumpkins, corn, and beans together is a centuries-old tradition.
Corn act as a natural trellis for pumpkins belonging to small cultivars. So you can benefit much from them if you have a mini pumpkin garden. In this case, the pumpkins help their companion by providing them with appropriate shade. It eventually keeps the weeds out of range of your garden.
Corn also acts as a trellis for beans if you plant them along with the combo. It helps in nitrogen retention in the soil. Over that, if you have large pumpkin plants low-lying on the ground, you can keep weeds at bay. Hence, you must reunite the three sisters.
Nutritional deficiencies often arise while growing pumpkins. But what could be a better enhancer of nitrogen in the soil than the peas? Hence, peas also act as great companions for pumpkins. The leaves of the pumpkin plant demand extra nitrogen, which you can provide by planting peas.
Peas can pull nitrogen and add it to the soil. Hence, your pumpkin garden shall never run out of nitrogen in the presence of the peas, harvested in early summer for the pumpkin plants to intake extra nitrogen.
So you eventually get healthier and enriched pumpkins with peas as companion plants.
Melons and pumpkins are pretty good companions. Similar kinds of bees pollinate both plants. Hence, melons act as an attraction for those pollinating bees that also help the pumpkin plants.
Besides, melons also have the capability to attract earthworms. Hence, you can expect better aeration of the soil. The best part about planting melons as companions for the pumpkin plants is that they can make a great compost with spent pumpkins. It is because melons are rich in nutrients. You can use the compost for fruitful growth in the following season.
Now, you must have heard about sacrificial friends. Well, Radishes are such kinds of companions for the pumpkin plants. The radish leaves are the favorite for flea beetles who prefer feeding on them over other plants, such as pumpkins, peppers, squash, spinach, tomatoes, kale, etc.
Hence, you can utilize this unique feature of Radish plants and make them bait for flea beetles to divert them away from the pumpkin plants. Besides, you can also deter striped cucumber beetle from feeding on your pumpkins with Radish as a companion plant.
Sunflowers are all-time beauties for gardens. Imagine if they are your pumpkins’ companions; won’t you land in orange heaven? Sunflowers do much more than add beauty to your garden. They use their radiant blossoms to attract bees that pollinate pumpkins.
The astounding beauty of sunflowers also lures birds, especially during autumn, to feed on the seeds and pests that might affect your ripening pumpkins. You can also get a natural trellis for pumpkin plants.
However, you must be careful with the heavy varieties of pumpkin, for it may weigh down the sunflower plants. You can also consider sunflowers the fourth sister to the trio of beans, pumpkins, and corn.
Marigolds are another addition to your pumpkin garden’s list of charming companions. They also add orange lush to your garden in addition to the pumpkins. The role of marigolds in your pumpkin garden is to repel harmful insects and pests that deteriorate pumpkins.
Marigolds keep aphids away from your garden, the most problematic pests for pumpkin plants. Moreover, the nematodes that are harmful pests in the soil can destroy the roots of pumpkins. And marigolds repel them.
You can also get rid of striped cucumber beetle, squash insect, and cabbage looper with marigolds as companions for your pumpkin plants.
Nasturtium is a companion for many plants due to the fantastic peppery, orange lush it possesses. The nasturtium flowers are excellent means to lure many harmful pests and insects that tend to feed on pumpkins.
These harmful pests can be aphids, squash bugs, pumpkin beetles, cabbage loopers, cucumber beetles, and many more. Nasturtiums keep these pests away by attracting ladybirds that feed on them. Thus, you can enjoy the charming essence of Nasturtium flowers besides keeping the insects at bay.
Who doesn’t love the alluring fragrance of lavenders? Lavender is a luring plant for beneficial insects and bees that pollinate it along with the pumpkin plants.
Besides, you also get flavor-enriched pumpkins with lavenders as companion plants for your pumpkin garden. Hence, you can make use of these beauties.
11. Aromatic Herbs
Aromatic herbs have their own way of benefiting pumpkin plants and hence act as great companions for your pumpkin garden. There are many aromatic herbs that you can use for the purpose, such as Oregano, Marjoram, Tansy, Basil, and Chamomile.
Oregano can act as a cover crop for pumpkins. It also attracts hoverflies that feed on aphids that harm pumpkin plants. Marjoram is an aromatic herb that works towards the flavor enhancement of pumpkins. Tansy acts as a repellent for beetles and enhances the potassium content of the soil.
Basil is effective against pests as it repels them with its fragrance. Lastly, Chamomile helps attract beneficial insects that pollinate pumpkins. Hence, you can use the aromatic herb of your choice as your garden requires and make them a companion for your pumpkins.
Companions To Avoid Planting Nearby
In the previous section, we listed some of the companion plants for Pumpkin, In this section of the article, find some of the plants you should avoid planting near Pumpkin.
When it comes to the golden rule of companion planting, the one thing that you should always keep in mind is that it is essential to understand which plants you cannot put together. One such combination that you should avoid under all circumstances is none other than Kale and pumpkin. Only a few people know this, but Kale is a part of the brassica family.
The brassica family is known to have a detrimental impact on any plant, and it becomes more evident in plants like pumpkins. Consequently, when you put a pumpkin plant near this family, it does not grow very well. You will see that the quality of the plant is not up to the mark, and sometimes it is incredibly sick as well.
2. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are the next plant you should not even think about planting next to your pumpkin plant. Just like Kale, Brussels sprouts fall into the same family of brassicas. Consequently, you will see that the sprouts end up absorbing all the nutrients via their roots.
It will leave the pumpkin malnourished; hence, you do not want that. You will see that planting the brassicas will also attract many harmful insects, and consequently, the pumpkin fruit will bloom into full vigor. If you want suitable production, avoiding this combination is essential.
Are you thinking of planting pumpkins and Kohlrabi together? Well, make sure you do not even think about it because Kohlrabi is also a part of the brassica family. The worst part about this plant is that not only will it absorb all the essential nutrients from the soil, but at the same time, it will also make sure that your pumpkins are not in good health.
Kohlrabi tends to invite a particular form of germ, and the primary characteristic feature of this germ is that it ends up eating fruits and vegetables altogether. It does not matter how many pumpkins you have; even if you plant one Kohlrabi next to your pumpkin plantation, you will see catastrophic repercussions. The worst part is that it will take a little time.
No, pumpkins and cauliflower nerves go well if we follow companion planting rules. Cauliflower is an extremely heavy feeder and is part of the brassica family. The primary nature of this family is that it will absorb all the nutrients and render the other plants futile and malnourished.
The condition of the pumpkin plant will be such that it will be difficult to survive, let alone produce pumpkins. If you keep your cauliflower and pumpkin together, you will notice that the pumpkin plant will die in a few days. You will see that this becomes more evident during the growing season, so make sure you plant these further apart.
There are a lot of people who think that planting vegetables together should be avoided. You must understand that some kinds of vegetables do not become friends with the other plantation, and they will suffer from problems here. The combination of broccoli and pumpkin plantation is one such problematic choice.
Broccoli is known to be extremely taxing, and hence it can absorb essential minerals and vitamins from the soil, even from neighboring areas. Pumpkin, on the other hand, does not have such capabilities. Automatically, it means that in a short period, the pumpkin plant will end up dying.
And finally, the last plant that you should never consider putting next to your pumpkin plant is none other than potatoes. One of the primary reasons behind this is that potatoes often invite a lot of different kinds of insects, which tend to cause harmful diseases for the plants.
The nature of pumpkin plants is such that they will not be able to take such heavy diseases and then end up dying. Not only that, but it is also essential to understand that potato is also a part of the brassica family. Hence, it has similar kinds of implications to Kale or cauliflower.
The ideal season to plant your pumpkin seeds is between May and June, and this is because of the temperature modification during this time. You can go up to July if you live in a warmer area. In this case, one of the significant implications is that August is almost the rainy season in many places, and hence it might not be the ideal time to plant your pumpkin seeds.
You can water pumpkins daily; however, we suggest this only if you live in arid weather conditions. However, if you live in a place with mild conditions, you would not need to water pumpkins daily. You can do away with watering pumpkin plants five times a week.
As you might already know, a pumpkin is a plant that tends to grow on vines. Hence, you don’t have to trim the vines regularly. However, if you notice that sometimes the leaves are becoming too big and a problem to manage, you can cut them a little bit, but it does not mean that you will need to be very proper with the entire process and can trim it from the sides.
The best temperature to grow your pumpkin is between the range of 65°F – 75°F. It is the temperature where you can see the maximum growth of pumpkins. However, if the temperature rises above 85°, there is a very high chance that it will highly compromise the capability of the plant to produce fruits and the growth capacity.
Usually, pumpkin plants grow in vines, so you do not need to protect them often. However, there are times when the temperature rises too high, and in such instances, you can layer the ground with pumpkins and then use some straws. The straws will absorb all the moisture, which, in turn, can be great for the plants.
Companion planting can benefit pumpkin plants in many ways. You can get an enhanced yield of pumpkins as your pumpkin garden faces no nutritional deficiencies or threats of deteriorative pests and insects. Besides, the flavor enhancement of pumpkins with companion planting is yet another cherry on the cake. So why not get some good companions for your pumpkin plants and adorn your garden.