Watermelons are large, juicy, and scrumptious. They’re a staple for a lot of gardeners and a favourite summer time deal with. However what about all these vines?
When you have restricted house, you may not need to dedicate half your backyard to vegetation that may solely produce 2-4 fruits every! Fortuitously, you may take advantage of your house with watermelon companion vegetation.
Companion planting is a straightforward approach to make your backyard work double extra time whilst you sit again and chill out. Select your vegetation properly, and also you’ll see pleased vegetation that develop stronger and greater due to their neighbors!
However, once more—what about these vines? Surprisingly, you may companion plant with watermelons regardless of how a lot house they take up and it doesn’t matter what watermelon selection you’ve determined to develop. Let me present you ways a little bit planning will make your vegetation go a good distance.
About Companion Planting
Companion planting isn’t a brand new factor; it’s been round for hundreds of years, if not millennia. It’s the observe of placing vegetation that profit one another collectively in the identical space to allow them to reap the advantages. Whereas rising one sort of plant in a single space could also be simpler for you (that is known as monoculture), it doesn’t profit the ecosystem a lot.
In case you plant watermelons by themselves, you’ll have loads of house for watermelons to develop. However, in case you plant watermelons with nasturtiums and beans, you may have fewer aphids attacking your melons, and your melons will develop extra vigorously due to the nitrogen-giving legumes.
The watermelons aren’t the one factor benefiting, although; they act as a floor cowl for the beans and flowers to maintain them protected.
Companion planting is a part of the observe known as permaculture, which, put merely, is letting nature do its factor!
Earlier than you select companion vegetation in your watermelons, you must in all probability perceive how watermelons behave round others. They’ve good traits and unhealthy traits, so that they’re not a very good neighbor in direction of every thing.
Watermelons can maintain weeds right down to a minimal by choking out undesirable vegetation. They’re actually solely useful as soon as they’ve lengthy vines, so weeds could possibly be an issue when the vegetation are younger. Nonetheless, you gained’t must spend as a lot time weeding in the summertime!
The lengthy vines can even stop wind blowing away all of your soil. In case your backyard isn’t shielded from the wind, watermelons may also help you out. The vines and roots can even stop water from washing away soil, so the melons may also help with injury management if in case you have torrential rain.
Are you aware how I stated they may choke out undesirable vegetation? Effectively, they’ll choke out desired vegetation, too. Whereas intercropping is feasible, you should be strategic and make sure the vines don’t get uncontrolled. Companion planting might seem like vegetation alongside the borders or in containers in case your melons are a little bit rowdy.
Watermelons are thirsty and hungry. You’ll must water them quite a bit (they’re watermelons, in any case!) and provides them some additional fertilizer or compost right here and there. Vegetation that don’t like frequent feedings gained’t work properly within the melon patch, so that you’ll have to think about that.
There are many watermelon companion vegetation to select from. Listed below are a number of the finest selections. Keep in mind, a very good neighbor to watermelons gained’t compete with root house and vitamins or shade out the plant.
Basil is a good friend to many within the backyard. Its robust scent retains away many pests, together with thrips, which may attempt to make their residence in your watermelon vegetation. Plant basil between watermelon rows or on the borders of your patch to throw bugs off the scent.
Basil has a shallow root system and might have a bushy progress behavior. It shouldn’t negatively have an effect on your watermelons in case you house them appropriately, however you may at all times plant them in a container close by if in case you have any issues.
Bush and pole styles of beans and peas are no-brainer companion vegetation due to the nitrogen-fixing roots. They take nitrogen from the air and retailer it of their roots, which then deposit it into the soil as they decompose. When planted earlier than watermelons, you’ll give them a nitrogen enhance that may assist them develop sturdy vines. And when planted subsequent to watermelon, beans don’t compete for the soil’s nitrogen as they’re pulling it from the air!
You may assume pole varieties and vines don’t combine, but it surely’s a longstanding relationship. The Three Sisters technique of agriculture historically utilized by Native People positioned corn, pole beans, and squash altogether, and you need to use this similar technique with watermelons as a substitute of squash
Corn or sunflowers act as a pure trellis for the legumes, legumes present nitrogen, and watermelons act as a floor cowl.
Since cabbage is so massive, you gained’t need it too near your watermelons, but it surely’s nonetheless a very good companion to maintain round as a lure crop for pests. Many bugs that like watermelons additionally get pleasure from a very good cabbage, together with flea beetles, cabbage loopers, aphids, beet armyworms, and thrips.
Plant cabbage on the ends of your watermelon rows to stop them from getting in the best way of the roots and vines. Many bugs ought to flock to the cabbage, so you must see decreased injury in your melon vegetation. It’s as much as you if you wish to attempt to harvest the cabbage or let the critters have it.
You can too use another brassica, like collard greens, kale, or broccoli.
Cilantro works properly with watermelons as a result of they gained’t compete for house or create an excessive amount of shade. You possibly can plant it between or on the ends of watermelon rows.
This lovely-scented annual attracts useful bugs like lacewings and ladybugs, particularly when it goes to flower. These bugs will eat pests like aphids and different soft-bodied bugs that wreak havoc in your melon patch, so that you’ll need to embody this plant for positive!
Corn is an efficient plant to incorporate in your watermelon patch in case you’re making an attempt the Three Sisters technique I discussed earlier. Use it as a trellis for beans or peas, so that you don’t have to fret about placing up trellises your self.
Corn and watermelons share most of the similar pest issues, like thrips and aphids, so you might encounter extra pest stress in case you don’t take preventative measures. Because of this you’ll additionally need to embody vegetation that repel these bugs and why companion planting is such an ideal technique.
Ladybugs love dill virtually as a lot as they love aphids, so that you’ll need to plant just a few of those close to your watermelons. Different aphid-eating bugs will flock to it, too. Be careful, aphids!
Dill gained’t compete too arduous for vitamins and water, and its progress behavior gained’t intervene with the melon vines. It really works properly between watermelon rows and shouldn’t develop vigorously sufficient to grow to be an issue, particularly in case you’re consistently harvesting from it.
Bee balm is a beautiful flower with eye-catching fluffy flowerheads. All types of useful bugs will cease at this flower, so that you may as properly stick it throughout the backyard!
The dwarf selection is one of the best for planting with watermelons due to its compact progress behavior. It’s going to keep self-contained and gained’t get too tall, so overcrowding gained’t be a lot of a priority.
Garlic has a pungent scent that many bugs don’t like, so it’s a very good plant to maintain round for pest management functions.
Until you’re rising elephant garlic, the small bulbs ought to simply match between watermelon rows. Don’t let it get too near watermelon roots, although, or they’ll begin competing for water and vitamins.
Lettuce is a good companion plant as a result of it serves a number of functions. Plant lettuce and watermelon seeds on the similar time. The lettuce will develop faster and act as a floor cowl to stop weeds, which can assist your watermelon seedlings out.
You don’t have to fret about overcrowding as a result of your lettuce will likely be prepared to reap by the point the watermelons want house.
Marigolds are nice companions to virtually every thing within the backyard, together with watermelons. They repel a number of bugs, together with tomato hornworms, squash bugs, and mosquitoes. Additionally they assist management nematode populations within the soil and act as a lure crop for a lot of pests, together with aphids.
Marigolds have a compact progress behavior that may work properly in a watermelon patch. You possibly can plant them on the borders or in between rows, they usually gained’t compete for house.
Mint works wonders with regards to repelling aphids and flea beetles, however this aggressive grower must be contained! Hold it in a container or in a raised mattress close by, and ensure its underground runners don’t infiltrate your watermelon mattress. (I believed I had my mint beneath management, however I used to be improper!)
Conserving mint close by can be handy for time for dinner as a result of mint in a watermelon salad is scrumptious.
Nasturtium is a well-liked lure crop, and for a very good purpose. It’s definitely one among my private favorites as a result of I like its distinctive leaves and shiny flowers. However except for its magnificence, the plant attracts many pests, and planting it close to your watermelon can maintain aphids and caterpillars away out of your melons.
This flower has a compact progress behavior that shouldn’t get in the best way of your watermelons, but it surely’s finest to plant them in a container or on the tip of rows.
Like garlic, onions are nice companions that repel varied pests with their robust scent. Relying on what sort of onion you develop, you will get them fairly near your watermelons with none issues.
Inexperienced onions and chives will match properly between rows, however bulbing onions will have to be on the ends of rows away from watermelon roots. The big bulbs will intervene with the shallow watermelon roots, and each vegetation will likely be sad.
Oregano can develop shortly and sprawl as much as 18 inches huge. It’s possible you’ll assume it gained’t work properly with melons, however they’re really respectable companions. Watermelons have a shallow root system however develop a bit deeper than oregano roots.
So, when planted close by, oregano takes the water it wants, and the watermelons take the remainder of it, which helps the oregano not get overwatered. Fairly neat how they assist one another out!
Poppies are brief vegetation that don’t get too bushy, so that they’re good companions to watermelons as a result of they gained’t forged an excessive amount of shade. They appeal to many pollinators, like bees and butterflies, so that you’ll need them round to assist your melons get pollinated.
Pair these with one other advisable flower, and also you’ll have a ravishing backyard mattress!
You possibly can take advantage of your restricted house with radishes. Plant watermelon and radish seeds on the similar time, and also you’ll be capable to harvest the radishes earlier than watermelons want house. Frequently plant them close to your watermelons to behave as a lure crop for aphids.
Select a small selection just like the Early Scarlet Globe so that you gained’t have to fret concerning the root interfering with melon roots. Some radish varieties are big and gained’t make good companions.
It’s possible you’ll discover that many herbs are good companions due to their shallow roots and pest-repelling powers, and sage is on that record of buddies. It could actually repel flea beetles and cabbage loopers, each of which could be discovered bugging your watermelon vegetation.
Sage has water wants much like oregano, so you may plant it near watermelons as I described earlier. The sage will take the water it wants, and the watermelons will take the remaining.
Snapdragons are lovely flowers that may seize your consideration. It additionally grabs pollinators’ consideration, so that you’ll need to plant them close to your melons!
These flowers can attain as much as 15 inches tall and three ft huge, so that they’re finest used on the ends of watermelon rows away from the roots to stop competitors. They gained’t forged an excessive amount of shade, so that they’re a very good plant to maintain round.
Sunflowers are an ideal various to corn in case you resolve to make use of the Three Sisters gardening technique. Sunflowers develop tall, sturdy stems that gained’t have any issues holding up pole beans and peas and gained’t forged an excessive amount of shade on the watermelons. Be sure that your beans and sunflowers are watered on the base to scale back the chance of powdery mildew!
Many bugs flock to sunflowers, so that you’ll see pollinators and pest predators. They’ll additionally add a shiny pop of colour to your watermelon patch, which is a pleasant added bonus!
Tansy is a ravishing flower that pollinators can’t get sufficient of, but it surely’s usually neglected by gardeners as a result of it’s poisonous and thought of a noxious weed in some areas. Hold this one in a container and deal with it with gloves, and also you’ll be good to go!
This flower will convey bees, butterflies, parasitic wasps, and hummingbirds to your backyard, that means extra vegetation will likely be pollinated, leading to extra watermelons.
Watermelons don’t must be the one factor you develop in a single space. There are such a lot of appropriate combos to check out! Companion planting is a great approach to backyard, so select a few your favourite vegetation and watch the plant friendship flourish.