Place certain fruits, vegetables, and herbs next to one another on a raised bed or soil allotment to stimulate their growth is known as companion planting, a term often used in gardening.
When people hear the word squash, they may picture a wide variety of different crops. Squash includes gourds, chubby pumpkins, savory winter squash, and delicate summer squash. The growth and upkeep of winter squash are essentially the same, despite their fruit’s enormous variances in flavor and appearance.
When designing your garden, pay particular attention to choosing plants with different growth habits and considering which ones to place close together to prevent competition for sunlight and nutrients.
Giving your squash the proper growth conditions and planting it near beneficial plants will help it fourish!
Corn is a component of the three sisters planting that Native Americans used to grow corn, beans, and winter squash.
The helpful rhizobia bacteria that live in bean roots fix nitrogen for use by corn and squash. The beans grow on a living trellis supported by corn. Additionally, research shows that squash plants planted with corn get more visits from predator insects, like ladybugs, than squash plants grown alone.
To get the best results, give the corn a head start; wait to sow the beans and squash when the corn seedlings are 4 to 6 inches tall.
Beans are another traditional component of the three sisters planting, along with corn and squash.
For a quick succession of crops before the squash vines stretch out, plant a crop of beans or cowpeas early in the growing season between the rows of squash. The space will be filled with beans, which will also use to fix atmospheric nitrogen for the squash plant.
Furthermore, it has been shown that cultivating crops with a range of leaves and heights can better deter invertebrate pests than in a monocrop field. Corn and beans visually divert common cucurbit insects, such as squash bugs.
A great plant to grow alongside squash is dill. This flowering plant attracts beneficial insects like pollinators and predators, as well as predators like parasitic wasps, ladybugs, lacewings, and small pirate bugs. Combine plants that bloom for long periods and provide various flower styles to attract more beneficial insects.
Planting radishes and squash together in the same plot should be seriously considered. Radishes are incredible veggies, and one of their many advantages is that they efficiently ward off insects that feed on squash, which is one of the many reasons radishes are so beneficial.
Icicle radishes, which are white, spicy, and crisp, are particularly useful because they deter various pests that, if left uncontrolled, would devour and kill your summer squash crop.
5. Red Clover
Grow squash in a live mulch of red clover to encourage predators such as lacewings, big-eyed bugs, minute pirate bugs, ground beetles, coccinellid beetles, Pennsylvania leather wings, and spiders. Red clover will help keep the squash pest population under control.
Using this living mulch not only improves the health of the soil but also makes it more difficult for weeds to grow.
Marigolds are one of the best plants to cultivate with squash. Marigold flowers not only add beauty to your garden but also aid in reducing the number of nematodes in your soil bed. Marigolds may also attract pollinators and helpful insects, such as parasitic wasps that eat dangerous pests.
Squash yields will rise as pollen is transferred from the male flowers to the female blossoms. Bees often pollinate squash blossoms, so the garden needs companion plants that draw bees and other pollinators.
Nasturtiums, blooming plants, are an attractive companion for squash plants. Growing nasturtiums near your cucurbit crops, especially your squash, will help you avoid and repel pests such as flea beetles.
The blooms of the nasturtium act as a trap crop, meaning they draw certain pests to them, protecting the surrounding plants. Their flowers are among those that have a higher chance of luring in beneficial insects that perform dual roles as both predators and pollinators.