Squash companion plants love growing alongside squash plants, boosting yields and repelling pests organically. Amazing companion plants are beneficial to help your zucchini, summer squash, yellow squash, and winter squash flourish to their fullest potential.
Whether you want to save space in your small vegetable garden, improve pest control naturally and organically, or grow the most bountiful squash harvest possible, the right strategic pairing of complementary companion plants makes all the difference. So if you want to maximize the size and quantity of your various squash fruits this season, keep reading to discover our selection of the best companion plant options to grow with your squash crops for optimum results!
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Squash Companion Plants To Help You Maximize Garden Yields
1. Sweet Alyssum
Sweet alyssum makes an excellent companion plant for squash due to its many benefits. The primary benefit is its ability to repel common squash insect pests. Sweet alyssum’s sweet fragrance attracts predatory insects that feed on squash pests like aphids. Simply planting sweet alyssum between and around your squash plants can help control these annoying insects organically.
The lush, carpeting foliage of sweet alyssum spreads out to cover the ground underneath and around squash plants. This serves multiple purposes. First, it chokes out weeds that compete with the squash for nutrients and moisture. Second, the foliage helps retain moisture in the soil, which ensures the squash roots have an adequate water supply.
The non-stop flowers of sweet alyssum throughout the squash growing season provide an abundance of energy-rich nectar that attracts and feeds various pollinators like bees and butterflies. This maximizes the number of pollinators visiting your squash blossoms and significantly boosts squash fruit set and yield potential. You’ll harvest the heaviest squash crops when sweet alyssum and other flowering companion plants populate your vegetable garden.
Sweet alyssum is an ideal companion plant for squash due to its natural pest-repellent properties, soil benefits, and ability to improve pollination and yields. Simply by planting and spreading sweet alyssum among your squash plants, you can organically manage pests, optimize soil conditions, and attract the pollinators needed to give your squash the greatest chance of fruiting abundantly.
Marigolds make for excellent companion plants for squash due to their various benefits. Marigold foliage and flowers emit an aroma that helps repel common squash insect pests, especially Mexican bean beetles and squash bugs. Simply planting marigolds around and between your squash plants forms a natural barrier that deters these destructive pests from reaching the squash.
As the marigold plants grow and bloom throughout the summer, their extensive fibrous root system exudes chemicals into the surrounding soil that effectively kills harmful nematodes. This underground activity from the marigold roots benefits the health and growth of the squash plants’ massive taproots by keeping damaging nematodes at bay.
The yellow marigold leaves and faded flower petals that fall to the ground rapidly decompose, releasing their stored nutrients back into the soil where your squash plants can uptake them. This organic matter boosts the soil with nitrogen and other essential minerals that nourish your squash crops, particularly during periods of peak vegetative growth and fruit production.
Marigolds make excellent companion plants for squash due to their multifaceted benefits. Their aromatic foliage and flowers repel damaging insect pests. Their extensive root systems eliminate harmful nematodes and supply squash roots with organic nutrients through leaf drop and petal decomposition.
By surrounding and interplanting your squash with marigolds, you can naturally boost squash yields and quality while keeping pests and soilborne diseases under control. The aromatic marigold barrier plants shield your squash crops every step of the way through the growing season.
Beans make excellent companion plants for squash in several ways. Planting beans alongside or between squash seedlings at the start of the season exploits their symbiotic relationship. As the beans quickly climb trellises and spread their foliage, they attract beneficial insects that prey on common squash garden pests. Ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps are drawn to the beans and help control insect populations that would otherwise damage squash plants.
The bean plants fix nitrogen into the soil through nodules on their roots, enriching the earth with an essential nutrient for plant growth. This organic nitrogen promotes healthy foliage growth and maximum yields from the squash.
The spreading bean leaves also help shade and conserve moisture in the soil surrounding squash roots, encouraging their deep growth. Deeper root systems result in optimally sized squash fruits at harvest time. Beans offer many benefits as companion plants for squash gardens. They naturally attract insect predators that control squash pests.
They boost the soil with fixed nitrogen to feed both themselves and the squash crops. Their foliage also conserves moisture and provides shade to promote large, healthy squash crops. By pairing beans and squash from an early stage, you can take advantage of their built-in synergies for healthier, more productive squash plants throughout the growing season and beyond.
The beans nourish your soil and protect your squash, while the squash repays them with a hospitable growing environment. This mutually beneficial arrangement helps both plants thrive in the garden, making them good companion plants.
Carrots make ideal companion plants for squash species due to their ability to attract and trap many common insect pests. The foliage and roots of carrots act as a trap crop, luring carrot rust flies and other pests away from squash plants where they feed and lay eggs on the carrots instead.
By planting carrot seeds densely around the base of each squash plant, you provide an irresistible trap that distracts pests and weeds from damaging the squash. The carrot trap crops essentially sacrifice themselves to protect the more valuable squash.
The fast-growing carrot root system also helps aerate and loosen the soil for the squash roots to expand optimally. The penetrating carrot roots fracture and divide compacted soil, creating space for the extensive squash root system to stretch out and maximize nutrient absorption.
When the carrots are harvested before the winter squash becomes ripe, the freshly tilled and loosened soil provides an ideal environment for the remaining squash plants to continue bulking up before cold weather arrives. The ready access to soil nutrients and aeration allowed by the harvested carrot roots encourages maximum fruit growth and carbohydrate storage in the squash plants’ roots and stems.
Carrots make excellent companion plants for squash due to their pest-trapping abilities and soil-loosening characteristics. The carrots lure pests away from the squash while their roots fracture compacted soil to accommodate the squash root system. When harvested before the winter squash, the carrots leave behind a loose, nutrient-rich environment perfect for supporting the final stages of squash plant growth and fruit development.
Chives make an excellent herbaceous companion plant for squash for multiple reasons. Planting clumps of chives close to and amongst your squash plants provides pest control and soil nutrient benefits.
The pungent odor emitted by the chive foliage confuses and organically repels many of the common insect pests that typically damage squash, like squash bugs. The allium odor from the chive plants acts as a natural insect repellent, shielding the squash from harmful insect damage.
In addition to pest control, the fallen chive foliage eventually decomposes, adding essential nutrients like sulfur and micronutrients to the surrounding soil. This helps nourish your squash crops by supplying raw materials for robust plant growth and optimal fruit yield.
Snipping chive leaves for use in cooking throughout the season also has benefits. It naturally stimulates the growth of more chive foliage to replace what was cut, further increasing the pest repellency offered to nearby squash plants. The additional chive growth also means more natural fertilizer inputs to the soil through fallen leaves and stems.
Chives make an ideal companion plant for squash for two major reasons. First, their distinctive odor repels many common insect pests that threaten squash crops. Second, their decomposing foliage and stem tissue helps enrich the soil with micronutrients that fortify squash plants, promoting healthier growth and heavier fruit yields.
By judiciously positioning chive plants amongst your squash, you can naturally manage pests and fertilize soil two crucial aspects of raising a bountiful squash harvest.
Corn is a good companion plant for squash since it attracts beneficial insects while shading the soil around its roots. Plant corn seeds or seedlings at the outer edges of your squash planting area so that their mature height allows ample diffuse sunlight to filter down and reach the lower-growing squash plants below.
As the corn plants grow and tassel, they attract predatory and beneficial insects and foraging birds that feed upon many of the same garden pests that plague squash crops. The thick corn stalks and broad corn leaves cast dappled shade over portions of the soil surrounding squash roots, helping to conserve and retain valuable soil moisture that helps your hungry squash crops grow strong and productive.
Once the squash plants begin to sprawl and vine outwards in later summer, the established corn provides a sturdy structure for the squash fruits to climb and grasp onto, allowing them to reach their mature growth without the need for staking or trellising.
Lemongrass is an excellent companion plant for squash and other cucurbit family members due to its pest-repelling and soil-enhancing properties. Plant lemongrass clumps between and surrounding your squash plants to form an organic pest barrier.
As the lemongrass matures and its tall leaves sway in the breeze, they release a powerful lemony scent into the surrounding air that helps naturally control many common insect pests that tend to bother squash crops, including squash bugs, cucumber beetles, and aphids.
The lemongrass’s extensive fibrous root mass also helps to aerate compacted garden soil and breaks up tough, clingy soil clumps to improve conditions for robust root growth within squash plants. Snipping and cooking with the citrusy lemongrass leaves as desired throughout the season will also stimulate fresh growth, ensuring its organic pest-repelling benefits remain full.
While lettuce and squash may seem like bad planting companions at first glance due to possibly competing for the same sunlight as they grow, compact-head lettuce varieties form a great ground cover crop to plant in between individual squash plants. The low-slung growth habit of head lettuce effectively shades the intervening soil, keeping it moist and protected to benefit the root systems of your squash crops.
Plus, lettuce’s shallow and wide-spreading roots typically only compete a little with the mature squash plants’ much deeper and thicker roots. As you continuously harvest fresh head lettuce throughout summer’s heat, it leaves increasingly more room and unfiltered sunlight for your maturing squash fruits to optimize photosynthesis.
An added benefit is that pest damage often seems noticeably lower for lettuce and squash when the two crops are grown together versus separately in the garden.
Basil is a perfect companion plant for your squash. Its powerful aromatic scent helps repel many common insect pests while attracting beneficial insects to your crops. Plant basil strategically around and between individual squash plants to naturally form an organic pest barrier.
As the basil grows and matures, its highly aromatic leaves release chemicals into the surrounding air that help organically control insects like squash bugs, cucumber beetles, and aphids that are typically attracted to squash crops.
At the same time, the basil attracts beneficial predatory insects like ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps that feed upon the pests plaguing your squash garden. For an extra boost of squash plant health, crush fresh basil leaves and directly rub them on the vines and foliage of your squash, leaving behind an essential oil coating that tends to repel pests for several days.
Fennel is an ambivalent planting companion for squash since the tall and sturdy fennel plants tend to shade out low-growing squash crops. However, fennel’s powerful and penetrating licorice-like odor deters many common insect pests typically attracted to squash.
At the same time, its deep roots exude chemicals that help to aerate compacted garden soil for optimum squash root growth naturally. Plant individual fennel clumps or groups far apart from your squash plants so they do not create too much shade through competing for sunlight but close enough that their strong foliage odor and presence still benefits your crops.
Regularly harvesting the fennel seed heads or snipping off occasional amounts of foliage will stimulate fresh new leaf and root growth that continues releasing pest-repellent chemicals into the surrounding soil. The eventual decomposition of fallen fennel plants will also enrich the soil for your squash with organic matter and valuable nutrients released back into the earth.
Lavender makes a great companion plant for your squash due to its insect repelling and soil conditioning properties. Plant lavender bushes between and surrounding individual squash plants to naturally form an organic barrier to pests.
As the lavender grows and matures throughout summer, its highly aromatic and medicinal foliage releases chemicals into the surrounding air that help organically control many common insect pests typically attracted to cucurbits like various types of squash. These include squash bugs, cucumber beetles, and aphids.
Lavender’s extensive and deep root system also regenerates compacted garden soil and enriches it with nutrients as the fallen leaves and spent flower petals drop and decompose. Regularly shearing or trimming back lavender plants will encourage fresh new growth, keeping the pest-repellent and soil-enhancing benefits at full maximum potency for benefitting your entire crop of squash plants.
Oregano is an aromatic herb that is a good companion for squash and other leafy vegetables in the garden. Plant oregano clumps in various locations scattered strategically amongst your squash plants to help repel pests organically.
As the oregano grows and spreads during summer, its highly scented foliage releases various chemical-based compounds that naturally control many of the airborne and soil-dwelling insect pests that routinely plague squash crops, such as squash bugs, cucumber beetles and aphids.
The extensive fibrous oregano root system also binds together and aerates the surrounding soil to help your squash roots grow strong and absorb the maximum available nutrients for optimum productivity. Regularly clipping off and using oregano leaves in cooking throughout the summer will stimulate fresh new leaf growth, replenishing the organic pest-repellent benefits oregano regularly offers to your entire surrounding vegetable patch ecosystem.
13. Red Clover
Red clover is an excellent companion plant for squash and other vegetables as it fixes nitrogen into the surrounding soil while attracting various beneficial insects. Sow red clover seeds in open spaces between and surrounding freshly planted squash seedlings to create a helpful dual-purpose ground cover crop.
As the clover plants mature and spread during the growing season, they attract many predatory insects, including ladybugs, lacewings, and pirate bugs, that will also prey heavily upon the pests plaguing your squash garden.
The clover plants fix abundant nitrogen into the surrounding earth through nodules on their roots, which enriches the soil to provide your squash crops with a major boost of readily available nutrition. This is helpful for promoting vigorous leafy growth and maximizing fruit yields. The lush red clover foliage also shades the soil surrounding squash roots, keeping it moist and protected to encourage squash growth and optimal fruit formation and flowering.
Planting the right combination of companion plants around your squash crops can significantly boost yields, repel pests naturally, and improve soil health in your vegetable garden. Try growing a few companion plants with your squash this season and observe how your squash plants and overall garden respond and modify your companion plantings as needed next year to maximize the benefits.
- Lemongrass is an excellent companion plant for squash and other cucurbit family members due to its pest-repelling and soil-enhancing properties.
- Corn is a good companion plant for squash since it attracts beneficial insects while shading the soil around its roots.
- Basil is a perfect companion plant for your squash thanks to its powerful aromatic scent that helps repel many common insect pests while attracting beneficial insects to your crops.
- Lavender makes a great companion plant for your squash due to its insect repelling and soil conditioning properties.
- Carrots make ideal companion plants for squash species due to their ability to attract and trap many common insect pests.
With the right partners by their side, your squash plants will reward you with an abundant harvest you can proudly share with family and friends. Plant some companions around your squash now and watch your yields increase this year!