If I didn’t use companion planting, I wouldn’t be able to grow such a wide array of vegetables, fruits, and herbs.In addition, monocropping or filling an area with groups of the same vegetable serves as an open invitation to that plant’s most common pests to come hither and feast.Plus, gardening legend has it that all the different colors – a sea of lavender, marigold, and nasturtium, for example – can serve to confuse potential pests.Trailing pumpkin vines, with their large leaves, can act as a living mulch for crops with an upright growth habit, and help to keep their roots cool, and the soil moist.Pumpkins are heavy feeders, and legumes such as beans and peas “fix” nitrogen, or add more of this essential plant nutrient to the soil.These tasty summer annuals require companions who favor similar growing conditions.Squash thrives in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-10 as long as you keep plants warm in cold weather, and provide some protection from excessive heat.Early Native American peoples – including the Muscogee (Creek), Maya, and Haudenosaunee – planted these crops together to take advantage of their mutual benefits.The corn, in turn, provides a trellis for your pole beans, which will also fix nitrogen in the soil.Korean licorice mint, Agastache rugosa, attracts several types of beneficial hoverflies.The hoverflies will lay their eggs on the leaves, and the larvae that hatch out love to feed on aphids, mealybugs, mites, and other pumpkin pests.That’s the benefit lavender provides for pumpkins: it helps attract bees, which are an important pollinator for these plants.Find your own ‘Hidcote Promise Compact’ lavender seeds to plant with your gourds at Eden Brothers.Marigolds may repel root-knot nematodes, harmful soil-borne pests that can damage your pumpkin crops, as their roots secrete bioactive chemicals that suppress roundworms.You can plant them as a cover crop, and till them into your garden at the end of the season to help improve the soil and keep it nematode-free.Not to be confused with its close cousin, oregano, marjoram tastes sweeter, with a lightly spicy, floral scent.Growing this in your garden means you can enjoy a bevy of tasty dishes, like this fresh tomato, egg, and goat-cheese tart from our sister site, Foodal.Garden legend has it that marjoram can improve the flavor of many veggies, pumpkins included, if the sweet herb is planted among the vines.According to Louise Riotte, author of “Carrots Love Tomatoes,” available on Amazon, colorful nasturtiums help keep squash bug infestations down.Besides, you can toss peppery nasturtium flowers and leaves in a salad or simply enjoy the feast of color in your garden.The plant also attracts the beneficial insects – such as ladybugs – that feed on common cucurbit pests, like cucumber beetles, aphids, and whiteflies.Plant compact nasturtiums in the middle of your patch, like the ‘Dwarf Apricot,’ available from Eden Brothers.They benefit from the living mulch provided by squash vines and the trellis of a cornstalk, but they also add nitrogen to the soil.Since pumpkins need nitrogen and Sister Corn absolutely guzzles it out of the soil, growing beans is helpful for next year’s crop.Any legume can perform this beneficial task, but pole beans are ideal for the Three Sisters grouping because they climb up corn stalks, and save space in the garden.Often referred to as the Fourth Sister, sunflowers can attract pollinators to the pumpkin patch and help distract birds away from juicy corn kernels in a companion plant grouping.Next year, I’m going to try my hand at growing a Four Sisters garden with pole beans, corn, pumpkins, and sunflowers.They may also cross-pollinate with other cucurbits, which can be an issue if you’re trying to save seeds from your gourds to replant specific cultivars next season. .
15 Companion Plants For Pumpkins (And What Not To Plant Nearby
Great companion plants for pumpkins include corn, peas, melons, radish, lettuce, marigold, nasturtium, sunflowers, and borage.These plants have a host of benefits, including attracting beneficial pollinators to the pumpkin blossoms, repelling pest insects, and providing natural weed suppression.Squash bees are excellent at pollinating pumpkins, melons, cucumbers, zucchini, et cetera.So, avoid tilling the garden soil because squash bees build their solitary nests in the ground.Similar to zucchini and pumpkins, cucumbers attract squash bees that help pollinate the surrounding plants.Cucumbers can be grown up a trellis above the pumpkins so as to maximize space in the garden (and attract even more beneficial pollinators).Peas are beneficial companions for pumpkins because they are capable of pulling nitrogen from the air down into the soil.Peas are generally harvested in early summer, leaving the roots in the soil to provide extra nitrogen to the pumpkin plants as they grow those giant leaves (that require quite a bit of nitrogen to thrive).The sunflowers lure the bees to them and pollinate the nearby pumpkin blossoms as a result.As a result, these birds may also consume some of the pest insects, keeping them away from your ripening pumpkins.Marigold, like nasturtiums, repels the striped cucumber beetle, cabbage looper, and squash insect.Marigold is also known for repelling nematodes, which are harmful pests in the soil that damage pumpkins.Lettuce has short roots that will not compete with pumpkin plants for space and nutrients.Dill has a pleasant aroma and helps deter cabbage worms from laying eggs in pumpkin leaves.Dill also attracts many different beneficial insects when its many flowers start to bloom in summer, which often aligns with the timing of pumpkin blossoms requiring pollination.In addition, chamomile is a wonderful companion for pumpkin plants because it can prevent beetles from damaging them by repelling them from the garden.Lavender makes a great companion for pumpkin plants because it attracts beneficial pollinators such as bees.Flea beetles consume the leaves of numerous vegetable plants (pumpkins, peppers, tomatoes, kale, spinach, squash, and so on).Radish plants are also effective in repelling the striped cucumber beetle (a common pest insect).Planting brassicas (kale, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, cauliflower, broccoli, and so on) near pumpkins is not recommended. .
Pumpkin Planting & Growing
Growing pumpkins stands as an enduring symbol of fall, whether they end up as smiling jack-o'-lanterns or stacked near cornstalks for a lovely autumn scene.Meet those requirements, and these sprawling vines will bear a bumper crop, especially when you start with strong young pumpkin plants from Bonnie Plants®, the company that has been lending a hand to home gardeners for over 100 years.Improve your native soil by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter.Plan to give each vine at least a 3-foot diameter mound, or hill, of warm, enriched soil.In cool climates, warm the soil a week before planting by covering it with a piece of black plastic.It is best to use a drip system or soaker hose to directly water soil at the base of vines so as to avoid wetting foliage.Wet foliage is more susceptible to fungus, such as powdery mildew, which can slowly kill all the leaves on a vine.Some gardeners promote branching to get more pumpkins by pinching the tips out of main vines when they reach about 2 feet long.You can also increase the yield on a vine by removing all female flowers (these have a small swelling at the base of the bloom) for the first 3 weeks.These practices may produce a sturdier vine that can set more, albeit smaller, pumpkins during the growing season if you have good soil, sun, and moisture.Insect pests of pumpkins include spotted and striped cucumber beetles, which can transmit bacterial wilt disease, which causes vines to collapse and die.As pumpkins form, you can slip a piece of cardboard or folded newspaper beneath the fruit to prevent contact with soil and possible rot, especially if you are growing a precious few.Fruit is ripe when the outside is fully coloured, skin is hard, and the stem begins to shrivel and dry.Before storing, cure pumpkins by setting them in the sun for 10 to 14 days to harden the skin, seal the stem, and improve taste.Dry, warm weather is best; protect curing pumpkins from frosty nights with old blankets or by moving them into a shed or garage. .
Companion Plants for Pumpkins
Companion plants are plant species that grow well near each other because they have similar light and water requirements, inhibit pests or diseases through chemical secretions or attract beneficial insects which prey on garden pests.We have a complete list of companion plants for pumpkins you can add to your patch that will ensure a healthy, bountiful harvest.Some pumpkin plants need excess sunlight to produce fruit, while others can thrive in partial shade.So plant pole beans at the base of your pumpkin vines, and they’ll provide support as well as shade.Some flowers are also good companion plants for pumpkins because they attract beneficial insects like bees, butterflies, wasps, and ladybugs.Marigolds will deter nematodes and other soil pests and attract bees and other beneficial insects.Nasturtiums also make a lovely ground cover which helps prevent weeds.Sunflowers planted around the edge of the pumpkin patch can offer shade from direct sunlight as well as create a barrier for raccoons.Melons and pumpkins benefit from each other’s company as they help repel harmful pests and attract earthworms, which turn and aerate the soil.Tansy is a mostly ornamental plant that both boosts potassium in soil and repels Japanese beetles.Growing mint can help prevent ants from taking over your pumpkin patch. .
The Best (+worst) Pumpkin Companion Plants
Companion plants can help improve the growth and health of each other, while also repelling pests or attracting beneficial insects.This gardening method can be used to benefit other crops and improve overall yields through increased production or better quality fruit/vegetables.Companion planting can help to protect from pests and diseases without using toxic chemicals, improve growth and vigor, and in some cases, even flavor!Additionally, companion plants can attract pollinators and beneficial insects, which will then prey on pests.Finally, companion plants can also improve soil health, through nitrogen fixation and nutrient cycling.All of these benefits provide optimal growing conditions for pumpkin plants, leading to a healthy and productive crop!The benefit to using pole beans is that they have the ability to fix nitrogen into the soil for the hungry pumpkins!Planting marigolds around your pumpkin patch is a great deterrent for pests and will help to attract pollinators.Additionally, they're tall and slender like corn stalks, meaning they're great for climbing pole beans or vining nasturtiums, making them an ideal companion for pumpkins in the garden.Chives, if left to flower, attract pollinators to ensure good harvests, and will also deter the cucumber beetle.Additionally, pumpkins are hungry for sunlight and are ruthless when it comes to getting it, they can easily grow over and overtake your potato plant, choking it out or limiting its production.These brassicas are heavy feeders and can really uptake a ton of nutrients from the soil during the growing season leaving your pumpkin plant lacking.Most plants in the cucurbit family have a sprawling growth habit and an insatiable appetite for sunlight.By avoiding some plants and utilizing the benefits of others, you can help ensure your pumpkins reach their full potential!The best pumpkin companions include radishes, nasturtiums, marigolds and other flowers that attract pollinators like bees or butterflies with their bright colors and strong scents or herbs such as basil which repel pests without the use of pesticides.If you want to reduce competition between neighboring plants for resources (sunlight) it's best to avoid growing pumpkins near potatoes, cabbage, kale and broccoli. .
When to plant pumpkins: for a bumper crop
You need to prepare well ahead for the fall arrival of plump, orange pumpkins, ready to carve for Jack O’Lanterns, or varieties to roast for pies, add to stews and soups and many other culinary uses.Because they have a long growing season, it is important to plant pumpkins as early as possible as part of your vegetable garden ideas.'It is best to wait about 2-3 weeks after the last average frost date in your area, or until soil has reliably warmed to 70 °F,' says Shannie McCabe, horticulturist for Baker Creek Seeds (opens in new tab) based in Mansfield, Missouri.The best month for planting pumpkins depends on whether you live in a warmer or colder region, and the hardiness zone for that area.'Pumpkin seeds are ideal for planting directly outside once the danger of frost has passed,' says Matthew Stevens, Agriculture Extension Agent at NC State University Extension-Nash County Center (opens in new tab) in North Carolina.If you want to give the pumpkin plants a bit of a head start, you could seed them indoors when planning greenhouse crops, 'but they will be ready to be transplanted after just a few weeks,' explains Matthew.Chris Rusch, member of the Douglas County Master Gardeners program (opens in new tab) at Oregon State University, advises to start your plants in early April in a greenhouse or cold frame for transplanting out in May.If you plant pumpkin seeds indoors, it is important to transplant them outside 'before they are three weeks old, as they will become stunted from being even the slightest bit pot bound,' says Shannie McCabe.Many typical pumpkin varieties can grow vines as much as 10 to 30 feet long, although there are some that are more compact,' explains Matthew Stevens.A pumpkin seed sown into a regular garden bed does not have a great chance of surviving a hard winter,' she adds.'Also consider that a fall sown pumpkin seed may germinate with the first warm days of spring, only to be killed with a late frost.'. .