Watermelon is a delicious and refreshing fruit that is loved by many. If you are planning to grow watermelon in your garden, it is important to know about companion plants that can benefit its growth. Companion planting is a gardening technique where different plants are grown together to enhance their growth and repel pests. In this article, we will explore some of the best companion plants for watermelon in 2023.
Nasturtium is a great companion plant for watermelon as it acts as a natural repellent for pests like aphids, squash bugs, and beetles. Its vibrant flowers also attract pollinators, which can help in better fruit set for watermelon. Nasturtium also acts as a ground cover, preventing weed growth and conserving soil moisture.
Marigold is another excellent companion plant for watermelon. Its strong aroma deters pests like nematodes, beetles, and aphids. Marigold also attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings, which feed on pests that can harm watermelon plants. Additionally, marigold flowers add a pop of color to your garden.
Planting radish alongside watermelon can provide several benefits. Radishes act as a trap crop, attracting root maggots away from watermelon roots. They also help in loosening the soil with their long taproots, improving watermelon’s access to nutrients and water. Radish leaves can be used as a natural mulch to conserve soil moisture.
Beans, such as bush beans or pole beans, can be grown as companion plants for watermelon. They are nitrogen-fixing plants, which means they can convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form that is usable by plants. Watermelon plants require a good amount of nitrogen for healthy growth, and beans can provide it naturally. Additionally, the sprawling vines of beans can provide shade and reduce weed growth around watermelon plants.
Mint is a fragrant herb that can repel pests like ants, aphids, and flea beetles. Planting mint near watermelon can help in keeping these pests away. However, it is important to contain mint’s growth as it can become invasive. Planting mint in a container or using a barrier around its roots can prevent it from taking over your garden.
1. Can I plant watermelon near tomatoes?
Yes, watermelon and tomatoes can be planted near each other. They have similar water and nutrient requirements, making them compatible plants. However, make sure to provide enough spacing between the plants to avoid overcrowding.
2. Are there any plants that should not be planted with watermelon?
Avoid planting watermelon near potatoes, as they can compete for nutrients and space. Watermelon should also be kept away from cucumbers and other melons to prevent the spread of diseases.
3. Can I plant watermelon near corn?
Watermelon can be planted near corn as they have different growth habits. The tall corn plants provide shade to watermelon vines, helping in conserving soil moisture. However, make sure to provide enough spacing between the plants to prevent overcrowding.
4. How often should I water watermelon plants?
Watermelon plants require regular watering, especially during hot and dry periods. It is recommended to water the plants deeply once or twice a week, ensuring that the soil is moist but not waterlogged.
5. When is the best time to harvest watermelon?
The best time to harvest watermelon is when the tendrils near the fruit start to dry out, the bottom side turns yellow, and the fruit sounds hollow when tapped. This usually occurs about 80-90 days after planting, depending on the watermelon variety.