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13 Watermelon Companion Vegetation—Plus 6 to Keep away from



Summer season’s candy, juicy watermelons are simple to develop in your individual yard—with the suitable situations. You’ll want heat temperatures, full solar, constant watering, well-draining soil, and loads of room to unfold out. For optimum success, you’ll additionally need to add companion crops that present mutual advantages.

Watermelon companion crops embrace flowers, herbs, and greens that can profit your melons. They assist repel unhealthy bugs and appeal to useful ones, improve soil well being, suppress weeds, present shade and shelter from wind, and deter widespread illnesses. They’ll additionally present bodily assist, like a pure trellis, to maintain fruit off the bottom to scale back the chance of rot and pest injury. Companion crops may even enhance your watermelon’s taste!

We requested gardening consultants to share the most effective watermelon companion crops that can yield happier, more healthy, larger fruit—in addition to which crops you need to keep away from rising close by.

Marigold

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Marigolds (Tagetes spp.) are fast-growing annuals with vibrant daisy-like blooms that act as pest management. “Marigolds naturally deter pests like aphids, nematodes and whiteflies, which may hurt watermelon crops,” says Carrie Spoonemore, co-creator of Park Seed’s From Seed to Spoon app, an app that makes backyard planning simpler.

  •  Zone: 2 to 11 (varies by species)
  •  Mature measurement: 6 inches to three ft tall
  •  Care necessities: Full solar; well-draining soil; common watering

Corn

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Tall, fast-growing stalks of corn (Zea mays) act as a pure trellis for climbing watermelon vines and supply shade and wind safety, says Tony O’Neill, gardening professional at Simplifygardening.com and writer of a number of gardening books together with the bestseller, Simplify Vegetable Gardening. “By rising corn alongside watermelons, you create a microclimate that reduces warmth stress on the watermelon crops and minimizes wind injury to the vines,” he says.

  • Zone: 4 to 10
  • Mature measurement: 4 to 12 ft tall
  • Care necessities: Full solar; well-draining soil; common watering

Nasturtium

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Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) is an annual trailing or climbing plant with colourful, edible flowers that repel dangerous aphids, squash bugs, and whiteflies. Nasturtium additionally attracts useful bugs reminiscent of beetles. “Planting nasturtiums close to watermelons can create a pure pest barrier, lowering the necessity for chemical interventions,” O’Neill says.

  •  Zone: 9 to 11 (grown as annuals elsewhere)
  •  Mature measurement: 12 to 18 inches tall and huge
  •  Care necessities: Full solar to partial shade; well-draining soil; average watering

Borage

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Borage (Borago officinalis) is a hardy annual herb with blue star-shaped flowers and coarse, bushy leaves. “It attracts pollinators like bees, that are important for watermelon fruit set,” says Spoonemore, referring to the transition from flower to fruit that requires fertilization. Borage additionally enriches the soil by including hint minerals and might repel tomato hornworms.

  • Zone: 2 to 11
  • Mature measurement: 18 to 36 inches tall
  • Care necessities: Full solar; well-draining soil; average watering

Garlic

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Garlic (Allium sativum) is a hardy, bulbous perennial with pungent-smelling cloves that individuals love however bugs hate. Garlic additionally has pure antifungal properties that assist stop illnesses reminiscent of powdery mildew, in response to Spoonemore. Plant garlic between watermelon rows with a bit of house in between so that they don’t compete for water and vitamins.

  • Zone: 3 to eight
  • Mature measurement: 12 to 18 inches
  • Care necessities: Full solar; well-draining soil; average watering

Radish

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Radishes (Raphanus sativus) are fast-growing root greens with a spicy tang that deters aphids and cucumber beetles, that are widespread pests for watermelons, in response to Spoonemore. They’ll additionally assist break up compacted soil. As a bonus, radishes ought to be prepared to reap earlier than your watermelons want the house.

  • Zone: 2 to 11
  • Mature measurement: 6 to 18 inches tall
  • Care necessities: Full solar; well-draining soil; constant watering

Mint

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Zesty mint makes a fantastic breath freshener—and a fantastic repellent for aphids and ants. “Mint’s sturdy aroma confuses pests, making it tougher for them to find the watermelon crops,” O’Neill says. However be forewarned: This fast-growing herb can change into invasive, so plant it in containers or raised beds so the roots received’t mingle and compete.

  • Zone: 3 to 11 
  • Mature measurement: 12 to 18 inches tall
  • Care necessities: Full solar to partial shade; well-draining soil

Beans

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Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are legumes identified for “nitrogen fixing,” that means they pull nitrogen from the air and retailer it of their roots, then deposit it within the soil once they decompose. “Nitrogen enriches the soil, benefiting watermelons, that are heavy feeders,” Spoonemore says. In addition they type a floor cowl that retains the soil moist.

  • Zone: 3 to 10
  • Mature measurement: 1 to 10 ft tall (relying on selection)
  • Care necessities: Full solar; well-draining soil; common watering

Basil

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Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is an annual herb with strongly fragrant leaves that repel aphids, thrips, mosquitoes, flies, and extra. “Basil’s scent confuses pests,” O’Neill says. And as a bonus, he provides, “Its flowers appeal to pollinators, making it a dual-purpose companion plant.” For optimum pest management, plant basil between watermelon rows or on the perimeter of the patch. 

  • Zone: 2 to 11
  • Mature measurement: 18 to 24 inches tall x 12 to 24 inches huge
  • Care necessities: Full solar; well-draining soil

Dill

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One other fast-growing plant that makes a fantastic watermelon companion is dill (Anethum graveolens). This annual herb, with feathery leaves and yellow flowers, attracts useful bugs reminiscent of ladybugs and parasitic wasps that assist management pest populations, Spoonemore says.

  • Zone: 2 to 11
  • Mature measurement: 18 to 24 inches tall
  • Care necessities: Full solar; well-draining soil; common watering

Oregano

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Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is a perennial herb with fragrant leaves that repel pests reminiscent of aphids and spider mites. “Its dense foliage may also present shade and moisture retention for close by crops,” Spoonemore says. 

  • Zone: 4 to 9
  • Mature size: 6 to 24 inches tall
  • Care necessities: Full solar; well-draining soil; weekly watering

Sunflowers

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Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus), the tall annuals with cheerful brilliant blooms, carry a number of items to your rising watermelon vines. In response to O’Neill, their flowers appeal to pollinators, their deep roots assist to interrupt up compacted soil, bettering soil construction, and their sturdy stems act as a pure trellis for pole beans and peas, do you have to be planting these close by. 

  • Zone: 2 to 11
  • Mature measurement: 5 to 12 ft tall x 2 to three ft huge
  • Care necessities: Full solar; well-draining soil

Clover

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Clover (Trifolium spp.) is a low-growing perennial floor cowl that can improve the soil in your watermelon patch. “Clover fixes nitrogen within the soil, bettering fertility,” Spoonemore explains. “It additionally reduces weeds and retains soil moisture.”

  • Zone: 3 to 10
  • Mature measurement: 6 to 12 inches tall
  • Care necessities: Full solar to partial shade; well-draining soil; average watering

What To not Plant Close to Watermelon

Simply as some crops can profit watermelon development, different crops can damage it—by competing for assets, together with water, gentle, and vitamins, and by attracting pests that injury each crops. Listed below are some crops you need to keep away from rising subsequent to your watermelons.

  • Potatoes 
  • Cucumbers 
  • Squash 
  • Cantaloupe 
  • Honeydew melon
  • Eucalyptus

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