Enhance the harvest of your zucchini by planting a variety of zucchini companion plants alongside. And as important, learn what plants to keep away from zucchini.
Another popular plant in home vegetable gardens is the zucchini! Just one plant produces numerous tasty fruits to harvest and use for your next home-cooked meal. The slightly sweet and mild flavor makes it extremely versatile and one of the favorite squash varieties.
However, knowing their needs is not enough if you want to get the most from your zucchini plants. You’ll also need to know all about zucchini companion plants– the herbs, flowers, veggies, and fruits that not only get along with zucchini but also help them thrive!
In our journey through this Companion Planting Guide and Chart, we’ve explored companion planting with strawberries, potatoes, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and onions. It’s about time we cover companion planting with the delicious zucchini plant!
But before we continue, read the introduction to this fascinating series. There, you will learn all the basics of companion planting and see precisely why it’s worth your time and effort.
what does a zucchini plant need to thrive?
Before digging more into companion planting with zucchini, let’s get familiar with its needs and challenges. Zucchini is a summer squash plant that sprawls or climbs up a structure, taking up lots of garden space. They also have deep roots to soak up as many nutrients as possible.
Basic zucchini needs are:
- water: the top inch of soil should constantly be moist. If possible, avoid watering the leaves– aim for the ground, instead
- light: sunny spots in the garden where they receive around 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight
- soil: plant zucchini in soil rich in nutrients, with a ph of 6 to 7.5.
- trellising is optional but does help to prevent disease and damage from pests as it keeps the leaves and vegetables off of the ground.
what are the zucchini plant’s biggest challenges?
Like other plants, disease, and pests are the zucchini’s biggest threats. Besides the basics, a couple of challenges are unique to this summer squash.
- Zucchinis can never have too much nutrition. They require rich soil and will compete with other plants with similar needs.
- Stick to a consistent watering routine. While it’s good for zucchini to be placed in a sunny location, this will cause their soil to dry out quickly– and zucchinis need moist soil at all times to prevent disease and produce a healthy harvest.
- Plant them with plenty of room to grow. Zucchini plants tend to sprawl out as they grow, especially if you choose not to use a trellis.
- Zucchini are bothered by numerous garden pests. While growing this delicious and versatile fruit, look for squash vine borers, bugs, aphids, ants, and whiteflies.
all about companion planting with zucchini
Suffice it to say; the best zucchini companion plants will be those that won’t fight for room and nutrients. And even better are the plants that have no adverse effect on the plant’s growth but instead repel pests or attract pollinators.
With the correct care and companion planting methods, expect an abundant harvest from your zucchini plants. Companion planting can work in both raised bed gardens and in-ground gardens.
Now, let’s discover the most beneficial and strategic zucchini companion plants!
10 zucchini companion plants
the three sisters
We’ll begin our list of zucchini companion plants with a tried and true trio. Known as the Three Sisters, beans, corn, and squash are practically made for each other. They taste delicious when combined in a recipe and get along well in the garden.
The beans add lots of nutrients into the soil for the nutrient-hungry zucchini plant, while the corn provides a sturdy backbone for the zucchini vines to climb. Plus, zucchini and corn share similar watering and soil needs, making them an excellent pair.
Tomatoes and zucchini have a lovely, mutually beneficial relationship. And while tomatoes grow tall, zucchini stay low, meaning that they don’t compete for space in the garden. Zucchini’s broad leaves keep the soil cool for tomatoes.
They share growing requirements; a location with full sun and nutrient-rich and well-drained soil that is consistently moist throughout the growing season.
Peas also add nutrients to the soil through nitrogen fixation. Like beans, peas are an excellent zucchini companion plant, providing your zucchini with plenty of nitrogen! Plant snow peas, snap peas, or shelling peas around the zucchini plants, and watch the magic work!
These flowering plants are a must in just about any home garden. Marigolds are the ultimate natural pest control plant and welcome bees and butterflies to pollinate the vegetables and fruits, yielding a healthier and more abundant harvest.
The colorful blooms attract butterflies, bees, and other vital pollinators, while the roots beneath the ground release a nematode-repelling chemical. And to top it all off, marigolds attract beneficial insects, like ladybugs and lacewings.
Herbs like dill, marjoram, thyme, and oregano entice lacewings, ladybugs, butterflies, bees, wasps, and other beneficial insects to your vegetable garden. The blooms of these herbs lure in some of the best insects for pollination and preying on destructive pests.
When your zucchini plants bloom with small yellow flowers but fail to produce fruit, your garden may lack pollinators. Bees and other beneficial insects are drawn to the shape and color of borage blooms. Invite pollinators to the garden by planting borage throughout and see an increase in your harvest!
If you’ve noticed chewed-on fruits or dug-up soil, you may have a sneaky critter after your zucchini. Catnip is a zucchini companion plant that will not only deter aphids and ants but will also repel larger pests, like rats and mice.
Sunflowers are an excellent addition to any home garden, especially when growing zucchini plants. The tall and strong stalks provide shade and a sturdy structure for the zucchini plants to climb. The sunflower’s gorgeous yellow bloom also brings in pollinators.
flowers such as nasturtiums, calendula, and sweet alyssum
The vibrant flowers of nasturtium and calendula are great for luring in pollinators. Not only does sweet alyssum attract pollinators, but it is known to repel aphids.
lettuce + other leafy greens
Lettuce and other leafy greens are ideal zucchini companion plants for several reasons. Greens grow low to the ground, take up little space, and have very shallow roots. Because of these traits, they rarely compete with zucchini plants for space and nutrients.
what NOT to plant with zucchini
Your biggest concerns when growing zucchini are having plenty of space and nutrient-rich soil, deterring pests, preventing disease, and producing a healthy harvest. While many plants will aid in zucchini growth by providing some of its needs, there are also several plants you should never have near your zucchini.
Zucchini plants have deep roots and like to sprawl, taking up valuable garden space. Therefore, plants that also have deep roots and leave little spare room are a threat to your zucchini plants, as they will compete for nutrients and space.
The other dangers you’ll want to be familiar with are the plants that easily spread disease to zucchinis, attract the same destructive pests, and stunts their growth.
Keep the following plants far from your zucchini to have the best chance at success:
Both zucchini and potatoes are heavy feeders and require ongoing nutrients from the soil. Planting them together may result in competition for nutrients, leading to stunted growth or reduced yield.
Fennel is known to inhibit the growth of many plants, including zucchini. The roots of fennel contain chemicals that can stunt the growth of nearby plants. It is believed that Fennel also attracts pests such as aphids.
Plants in the brassica family, such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, can attract the same pests that attack zucchini, such as cucumber beetles and squash bugs. Planting them together may increase the pest pressure on the zucchini plants.
Zucchini and melons are both members of the Cucurbitaceae family, and they can cross-pollinate with each other, resulting in hybrid fruits that may not be desirable. Additionally, planting them together may also increase the risk of spreading diseases that affect both plants.
While strawberries can be beneficial when planted with some plants, such as tomatoes, they are not recommended to be planted with zucchini. Strawberries are prone to the same pests as zucchini, and planting them together may increase the pest pressure on both plants.
It’s important to note that these recommendations are not set in stone, and there may be exceptions depending on your specific garden conditions and planting goals. However, it’s generally a good idea to avoid planting these plants together with zucchini to minimize the risk of negative effects.
more information about companion planting
what’s next for your companion planting guide?
If you’ve kept up with this super helpful Companion Planting Guide thus far, you’ve got a great start with making your home garden reach its maximum potential! Knowing what to and what not to plant near each other is a game changer in how home gardeners design their space to have flourishing, healthy fruits, veggies, flowers, and herbs.
Now, add zucchini companion plants to your bank of companion planting knowledge! And don’t forget to get all you can out of this incredible series by printing out the guide for companion plants.
At the end of this guide, it will be exciting to continue putting your companion planting practice to work. The more you learn and apply the concepts, the better you will get with this unique gardening method.
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