Watermelons are large, juicy, and scrumptious. They’re a staple for a lot of gardeners and a favourite summer season deal with. However what about all these vines?
If in case you have restricted area, you may not wish to dedicate half your backyard to crops that may solely produce 2-4 fruits every! Luckily, you possibly can benefit from your area with watermelon companion crops.
Companion planting is a simple solution to make your backyard work double extra time whilst you sit again and loosen up. Select your crops correctly, and also you’ll see completely satisfied crops that develop stronger and greater due to their neighbors!
However, once more—what about these vines? Surprisingly, you possibly can companion plant with watermelons regardless of how a lot area they take up and irrespective of what watermelon selection you’ve determined to develop. Let me present you ways a bit planning will make your crops 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 follow of placing crops that profit one another collectively in the identical space to allow them to reap the advantages. Whereas rising one kind of plant in a single space could also be simpler for you (that is referred to as monoculture), it doesn’t profit the ecosystem a lot.
For those who plant watermelons by themselves, you’ll have loads of area for watermelons to develop. However, if you happen to plant watermelons with nasturtiums and beans, you possibly can 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 reaping rewards, although; they act as a floor cowl for the beans and flowers to maintain them protected.
Companion planting is a part of the follow referred to as permaculture, which, put merely, is letting nature do its factor!
Watermelons as Companion Crops
Earlier than you select companion crops to your watermelons, you must in all probability perceive how watermelons behave round others. They’ve good traits and unhealthy traits, in order that they’re not a very good neighbor in direction of all the pieces.
Watermelons can maintain weeds right down to a minimal by choking out undesirable crops. They’re actually solely useful as soon as they’ve lengthy vines, so weeds might be an issue when the crops are younger. Nonetheless, you gained’t must spend as a lot time weeding in the summertime!
The lengthy vines also can stop wind blowing away all of your soil. In case your backyard isn’t shielded from the wind, watermelons will help you out. The vines and roots also can stop water from washing away soil, so the melons will help with harm management when you have torrential rain.
Have you learnt how I mentioned they may choke out undesirable crops? Properly, they will choke out desired crops, too. Whereas intercropping is feasible, you have to be strategic and make sure the vines don’t get uncontrolled. Companion planting might appear like crops alongside the borders or in containers in case your melons are a bit rowdy.
Watermelons are thirsty and hungry. You’ll have to water them rather a lot (they’re watermelons, in any case!) and provides them some further fertilizer or compost right here and there. Crops that don’t like frequent feedings gained’t work effectively within the melon patch, so that you’ll have to contemplate that.
Companion Crops for Watermelons
There are many watermelon companion crops to select from. Listed here are a few of the greatest decisions. Keep in mind, a very good neighbor to watermelons gained’t compete with root area 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 house in your watermelon crops. 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 if you happen to area them appropriately, however you possibly can all the time plant them in a container close by when you have any considerations.
Beans and Peas
Bush and pole kinds of beans and peas are no-brainer companion crops 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 would possibly suppose pole varieties and vines don’t combine, however it’s a longstanding relationship. The Three Sisters technique of agriculture historically utilized by Native Individuals positioned corn, pole beans, and squash altogether, and you should utilize this similar technique with watermelons as an alternative 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, however it’s nonetheless a very good companion to maintain round as a entice crop for pests. Many bugs that like watermelons additionally take pleasure in 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 way in which of the roots and vines. Many bugs ought to flock to the cabbage, so you must see lowered harm in your melon crops. It’s as much as you if you wish to attempt to harvest the cabbage or let the critters have it.
You can even use some other brassica, like collard greens, kale, or broccoli.
Cilantro works effectively with watermelons as a result of they gained’t compete for area or create an excessive amount of shade. You’ll be able to 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 wish to embrace this plant for positive!
Corn is an efficient plant to incorporate in your watermelon patch if you happen to’re attempting 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 could encounter extra pest stress if you happen to don’t take preventative measures. This is the reason you’ll additionally wish to embrace crops that repel these bugs and why companion planting is such an excellent technique.
Ladybugs love dill nearly as a lot as they love aphids, so that you’ll wish to plant a number of of those close to your watermelons. Different aphid-eating bugs will flock to it, too. Be careful, aphids!
Dill gained’t compete too onerous for vitamins and water, and its progress behavior gained’t intrude with the melon vines. It really works effectively between watermelon rows and shouldn’t develop vigorously sufficient to change into an issue, particularly if you happen to’re always harvesting from it.
Dwarf Bee Balm
Bee balm is a beautiful flower with eye-catching fluffy flowerheads. All types of useful bugs will cease at this flower, so that you would possibly as effectively stick it throughout the backyard!
The dwarf selection is the most effective 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 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 superb 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 is able to assist your watermelon seedlings out.
You don’t have to fret about overcrowding as a result of your lettuce shall be prepared to reap by the point the watermelons want area.
Marigolds are nice companions to nearly all the pieces within the backyard, together with watermelons. They repel a number of bugs, together with tomato hornworms, squash bugs, and mosquitoes. In addition they assist management nematode populations within the soil and act as a entice crop for a lot of pests, together with aphids.
Marigolds have a compact progress behavior that may work effectively in a watermelon patch. You’ll be able to plant them on the borders or in between rows, and so they gained’t compete for area.
Mint works wonders on the subject of 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 below management, however I used to be improper!)
Retaining mint close by can also be handy for meal time as a result of mint in a watermelon salad is scrumptious.
Nasturtium is a well-liked entice crop, and for a very good motive. It’s definitely one among my private favorites as a result of I really like its distinctive leaves and brilliant flowers. However apart from 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 way in which of your watermelons, however it’s greatest to plant them in a container or on the top 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 may get them fairly near your watermelons with none issues.
Inexperienced onions and chives will match properly between rows, however bulbing onions will must be on the ends of rows away from watermelon roots. The massive bulbs will intrude with the shallow watermelon roots, and each crops shall be sad.
Oregano can develop rapidly and sprawl as much as 18 inches large. You might suppose it gained’t work effectively with melons, however they’re truly 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 crops that don’t get too bushy, in order 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 really helpful flower, and also you’ll have a good looking backyard mattress!
You’ll be able to benefit from your restricted area with radishes. Plant watermelon and radish seeds on the similar time, and also you’ll be capable of harvest the radishes earlier than watermelons want area. Regularly plant them close to your watermelons to behave as a entice crop for aphids.
Select a small selection just like the Early Scarlet Globe so that you gained’t have to fret in regards to the root interfering with melon roots. Some radish varieties are large and gained’t make good companions.
You might discover that many herbs are good companions due to their shallow roots and pest-repelling powers, and sage is on that checklist of buddies. It might repel flea beetles and cabbage loopers, each of which will be discovered bugging your watermelon crops.
Sage has water wants just like oregano, so you possibly can plant it near watermelons as I described earlier. The sage will take the water it wants, and the watermelons will take the remainder.
Snapdragons are lovely flowers that may seize your consideration. It additionally grabs pollinators’ consideration, so that you’ll wish to plant them close to your melons!
These flowers can attain as much as 15 inches tall and three ft large, in order that they’re greatest used on the ends of watermelon rows away from the roots to stop competitors. They gained’t forged an excessive amount of shade, in order that they’re a very good plant to maintain round.
Sunflowers are an excellent various to corn if you happen to 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 certain 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 brilliant pop of colour to your watermelon patch, which is a pleasant added bonus!
Tansy is a good looking flower that pollinators can’t get sufficient of, however it’s typically ignored 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 carry bees, butterflies, parasitic wasps, and hummingbirds to your backyard, which means extra crops shall 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 mixtures to check out! Companion planting is a brilliant solution to backyard, so select a few your favourite crops and watch the plant friendship flourish.