Cucumber Plant Companions: Plants That Grow Well With Cucumbers
The following are some of the most common cucurbit companions that grow well with cucumbers. They are all native to North America, but there are many others from other parts of the world. All these plants have similar characteristics such as hardyness, drought tolerance, ease of care and their ability to thrive in hot climates. Some may even be invasive species if they become established enough in your area.
Citrus bromeliads (also known as dahlias) are a group of flowering shrubs and trees that grow in warm temperate regions. They are native to South America, but have been introduced into many areas around the world including North America. These plants tend to bloom in late summer or early fall and produce large clusters of small flowers called bracts which contain numerous tiny white seeds. These seeds germinate when soil temperatures reach between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
When planted in water, these seeds will float to the top where they germinate and grow roots. If you want to grow them indoors, it’s best to keep them away from direct sunlight since they don’t like it too much. Citrus bromeliads prefer full sun and do not tolerate shade very well.
These plants are easy to grow, tolerating most soils and conditions. They’re relatively low maintenance as long as you provide adequate light and moisture during dry periods. It is very easy to propagate new plants from the seeds produced by the flowers. When grown from seed, these plants will take two to three years to bloom.
They also produce yellow flowers which are smaller than the original bromeliad flowers.
Scuppernongs are native to the Southeastern part of North America where they grow wild in thickets and low trees. They can grow up to 25 feet in height, but are more commonly around 4-5 feet tall. These vines produce white or greenish flowers that are attached to the leaf axils. These flowers give way to oval, green fruits that turn yellow as they ripen.
The skin of the fruit contains small hairs and is inedible, but the pulp around the seeds is sweet and edible. If you want to eat the fruit, make sure you pick it when it’s completely yellow since the fruit will continue to ripen after it has been picked.
These plants prefer full sun but can tolerate a little bit of shade. They do well in most well drained soils, but do not like rich soils. Their roots can become invasive if they have an easy access to soil beyond your garden’s growing area. You should also plant them at least 10 feet away from your garden if you want to keep them away from your other plants.
Goji berries are native to the mountainous regions of western China. The plant is a deciduous woody vine that can reach up to 30 feet in length. It produces finger-like leaves and oval-shaped berries which contain bright red seeds. These berries grow in clusters and ripen at different times so you will have a continual supply to pick from through the fall months.
These plants prefer dry soil and are very drought resistant once they’re mature. They can tolerate partial shade but require at least 5 hours of direct sunlight each day. They are susceptible to frost, so make sure you plant them somewhere that they can endure colder temperatures.
Strawberries come in a wide variety of types. The most common varieties are June-bearing and everbearing. June-bearers produce a large harvest all at once during the season while everbearers produce a smaller harvest throughout the season. Most varieties require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day.
They also require well-draining soil with a neutral pH.
Strawberries are one of the easier fruits to grow. They prefer warmer climates but will produce in colder areas as long as they’re planted in the right conditions.
If you want to save your seeds, let the berries fully ripen on the vine and then rinse them off before drying.
Gooseberries are deciduous shrubs that grow up to 6 feet tall. They have prickly branches with oval-shaped leaves that are dark green in color. The shrub produces yellow flowers during the spring and oblong berries during the summer. These berries turn from green to a light orange when they’re ripe.
These plants prefer growing in partially shaded areas but can tolerate a small amount of sunlight. They prefer dry soil and will not grow well in rich soils. Overly watering or fertilizing them will make them perish.
These plants prefer colder climates but can survive in warmer ones as long as the temperatures don’t get too high. They need at least 5 hours of direct sunlight each day.
These plants prefer growing in sandy and well-draining soil. They will not produce fruit unless they’re planted in an area that gets a lot of sunlight. If you live in a colder climate, you should mulch around the base of the plants to maintain moisture and keep the roots from rotting. Too much moisture around the roots will cause them to rot.
Gooseberries produce small yellow flowers during the spring and oval-shaped berries in the summer. The berries grow in clusters and ripen from green to a light orange color. They’re very tart until they fully ripen.
I included a basic list of fruits and vegetables that you can find at your local nursery or grow in your garden. Some of these seeds are easier to find than others so I’ll leave that part up to you. It is best to buy locally since you can make sure that the seeds are good and they aren’t treated with any chemicals. If you do have problems finding seeds for some of the fruits or vegetables on the list, try looking for heirloom seeds.
These are old varieties of plants that have been passed down from previous generations and haven’t been modified like the ones you buy in the store today. You can find natural food stores in your area or order heirloom seeds online.
The most important thing to remember when storing these seeds is to keep them somewhere safe and dry. You don’t want water to damage the seeds or for them to become covered in moisture. Many survival experts recommend keeping seeds in a hermetically sealed container, such as a glass jar that hasn’t been opened before. This will help protect them from moisture and insects.
If you need to, you can also store seeds in the hulls of certain nuts or in sawdust. The only problem with this method is most people don’t know which nuts or woods work best for seed storage so you’ll have to experiment.
The final option is to place your seeds in a metal container a few days before you need to use them. During this time, the seeds will go through what’s known as “cold treatment.” This process helps to kill parasites, mold, bacteria and other things that can affect the seeds when they are placed in a hermetically sealed container.
Some survival experts recommend the last two methods but I’m only a beginner when it comes to seeds so you’ll have to try them yourself and see which ones work best for you.
If you have extra seeds or know someone who has seeds that aren’t good anymore, it might be a good idea to try the cold treatment on those seeds before placing them in long-term storage. This will kill off any potential threats to your future garden.
Good luck and happy farming!
Sources & references used in this article:
Pollinator-attracting Companion Plantings Increase Crop Yield of Cucumbers and Habanero Peppers by JE Montoya, MA Arnold, J Rangel, LR Stein… – …, 2020 – journals.ashs.org
Effects of seven different companion plants on cucumber productivity, soil chemical characteristics and Pseudomonas community by C CHANG, X FU, X ZHOU, M GUO, F WU – Journal of Integrative …, 2017 – Elsevier
Companion plants and how to use them by H Philbrick, RB Gregg – 2012 – books.google.com