What not to plant with cucumbers?

Answered by Randy McIntyre

When it comes to growing cucumbers, it is important to be mindful of the plants you choose to grow alongside them. Certain plants can have negative effects on the growth and health of cucumbers, so it’s best to avoid planting them together. Here are some plants that you should avoid growing with cucumbers:

1. Brassicas: Plants in the brassica family, such as brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and kohlrabi, have a mixed relationship with cucumbers. While some sources suggest that cucumbers can benefit from the shade provided by these plants, others argue that brassicas release substances that inhibit the growth of cucumbers. To err on the side of caution, it’s best to keep cucumbers away from brassicas.

2. Melons: While cucumbers and melons may seem like natural companions, they actually belong to the same plant family, Cucurbitaceae. Planting them together can lead to cross-pollination, resulting in undesirable hybrid fruits. Additionally, both cucumbers and melons are heavy feeders, competing for nutrients in the soil. It’s best to give them separate growing spaces to ensure optimal growth.

3. Potatoes: Cucumbers and potatoes should not be planted together due to their differing growth habits and nutrient requirements. Potatoes are known to spread aggressively and can shade out the cucumber plants, hindering their growth. Moreover, planting cucumbers and potatoes together increases the risk of diseases that affect both plants, such as late blight.

4. Sage: While herbs can often be beneficial companions for plants, sage is an exception when it comes to cucumbers. Sage contains substances that can inhibit the growth of cucumbers and other plants. It’s better to keep these two plants separate to prevent any negative effects on cucumber growth.

5. Fennel: Fennel is another plant that should be avoided when planting cucumbers. Fennel produces chemicals that can inhibit the growth of nearby plants, including cucumbers. Additionally, fennel’s tall and bushy growth can shade out the cucumber plants, affecting their development.

It’s important to note that these are general guidelines, and there may be exceptions or variations depending on specific growing conditions. It’s always a good idea to observe and experiment in your own garden to find the best companion plants for cucumbers. Remember to rotate your crops each year to prevent the buildup of diseases and pests in the soil. Happy gardening!