Planting two or more plants together to benefit all the plants is called companion planting. Native Americans used this idea to plant their three staple crops: corn, beans, and squash. They planted beans at the base of corn stalks so the bean vines could climb the stalks to reach sunlight. The beans supplied nitrogen so the corn and squash could grow, and the squashes’ large leaves protected the beans from wildlife.
Considering this method, can you plant cucumber and cantaloupe together?
Yes, you can, but you shouldn’t. Each plant can bring in unwanted pests and diseases that can easily spread to the other plant.
Read on to learn more about proper companion gardening when it comes to cucumbers and cantaloupe!
Why You Shouldn’t Plant Cucumbers and Cantaloupe Together
The purpose behind companion planting is for each plant to help the others. Not only do cucumbers and cantaloupes not benefit one another, but they can also do each other harm. Because they are from the same plant family, Cucurbitaceae, they suffer from the same pests and diseases. Pests include cucumber beetles, aphids, and flea beetles; diseases include powdery mildew, bacterial wilt, scab, and fungal leaf spot.
Mingling cucumbers and cantaloupes allows these pests and diseases to move from plant to plant more easily. By planting them together, you’re risking the loss of your cucumbers and your cantaloupes! You can plant them in the same garden, but make sure they aren’t too close together.
What Are The Benefits Of Companion Planting?
Companion planting gives your garden space for more plants, but that’s only one reason you should do it. Other benefits include:
Attracting bees and other pollinators while at the same time resisting damaging insects and other pests. Pollination allows a plant to produce seeds, fruit, vegetables, and nuts. Pollinators are animals that move from plant to plant, transferring pollen from male parts of plants to female parts of plants. Bees are the most well-known pollinators, but other animals that perform this job include bats, birds, moths, butterflies, wasps, flies, and small mammals.
Repelling damaging insects and other pests. Companion planting brings more diversity to your garden, and with that diversity comes fewer pests. By including herbs and flowers in your vegetable garden, you’ll attract the good insects and confuse the harmful ones. The smell of some flowers and herbs can interfere with the sense of smell insects use to find the plants it likes. This allows you to avoid using chemical pesticides.
Providing more nutrients to the soil. Nitrogen is an important nutrient for plants. Without it, a plant can’t grow. Legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) have a mutually beneficial relationship with bacteria that live in the soil. The bacteria take nitrogen from the soil and release it to the beans. In turn, the beans give needed carbohydrates to the bacteria, which increases the nitrogen available to other plants.
Improving growing conditions. Tall plants such as corn stalks and sunflowers can improve growing conditions for certain plants in a couple of ways. They can serve as support for beans and small vining cucumbers. Plants, including cucumbers, that need at least a little shade benefit from the height of corn and sunflowers. Plant them to the west of your cucumbers to help provide shade on hot afternoons for your plants that need it.
Reducing weeds. A garden full of a variety of plants leaves little room for weeds. Plants that are low to the ground, such as lettuce, raspberries, and squashes, are particularly good for reducing weeds.
Improving the flavor of vegetables by planting herbs next to them. Think of tomatoes and basil or carrots and chives.
What Plants Do Well With Cucumbers and Cantaloupes?
- Plants that improve the soil
- Plants that control pests
- Collard Greens
- Plants that improve growing conditions
What Plants Should You Avoid?
For cantaloupe, avoid planting watermelon, potatoes, and cucumbers nearby. Watermelon, like cucumber, is in the same plant family as cantaloupe and will attract the same pests and possibly compete for the same nutrients, moisture, and light. Along with competing for the same benefits, potatoes also draw melon aphids, which feed on cantaloupes and can kill the plant.
You should not plant cucumbers next to aromatic herbs, such as basil, sage, peppermint, melons, or potatoes. Basil can enhance the flavor of tomatoes, but not cucumbers; sage can stunt growth; peppermint (or any mint) needs a lot of space to grow. Potatoes compete for the same nutrients, moisture, and soil, and cucumbers can cause potato blight.
What Are The Benefits of Eating Cucumbers
- Cucumbers have high water content, contain electrolytes, and are one of the most hydrating foods.
- Cucumbers contain Vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting and helps improve the absorption of calcium, contributing to good bone health.
- It’s thought that cucumbers may be able to reduce inflammation. Inflammation may contribute to heart disease, diabetes, and depression.
- When placed on the skin, cucumber may be able to reduce swelling and irritation. Cucumber slices on the eyes aren’t just a Hollywood cliche; they can decrease puffiness or be used to make toner and face masks.
- Cucumbers are high in fiber.
What Are the Benefits of Eating Cantaloupes
- Like other orange fruits and vegetables, cantaloupe is high in beta-carotene, which keeps your eyes healthy.
- All melons help improve digestion when eaten on an empty stomach.
- Cantaloupe is a great source of Vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and protects against infection
- Cantaloupe can enhance your skin and hair. The high levels of Vitamin C build collagen, which gives the hair and skin a better structure. It also contains Vitamin A, which is needed to produce the sebum that keeps your skin and hair moisturized.
- Cantaloupe is loaded with potassium, Vitamin C, fiber, and choline, decreasing blood pressure and reducing the risk of stroke.
Cucumbers and cantaloupes are both delicious and healthy. They would be a great addition to your garden. Just remember to plant them in different areas of your gardens since they are not healthy for one another.
Hi there, my name is Allie and welcome to my blog; GareningWithAllie!
Much of what you see written here is just our personal experiences with gardening. Along with the content I write here, there is also a unique collection of gardening topics covered by some of our close friends. I hope you find everything you read here to be helpful, informative, and something that can make your gardening journey the most lovely experience ever! With that said, Happy Gardening!