Your Cucumbers’ Worst Enemies

Break the mold of the long green cucumber with Lemon Cuke, a tangy, flavorful heirloom!

Break the mold of the long green cucumber with Lemon Cuke, a tangy, flavorful heirloom!

The cucumber is an amiable presence in the garden, not out to offend anyone. Yet, for one reason or another, a few plants should not become its neighbor. When designing your cucumber patch, avoid planting the following:

Sage

So wonderful in the garden elsewhere, Sage is a bit too overpowering for the delicate flavor of cucumbers.

So wonderful elsewhere in the garden, Sage is a bit too overpowering for the delicate flavor of cucumbers.

Gardeners agree on this one: cucumber and sage do not get along. The reason seems to be that sage is pretty powerful, and its intense aroma can actually affect the flavor of your cukes! On the other hand, dill is a welcome friend to cucumber, so rely on it for your herb companion.

Potato

You might think that a tuber such as the potato would be a good friend to an aboveground vine such as cucumber, but these two plants compete for the same nutrients in the soil, and tend to diminish one another instead of helping. A better root vegetable for cucumber is radish.

Squash and Melon

Beautiful and delicious, Squash Partenon will fight for soil nutrients with its cousin the cucumber.

Beautiful and delicious, Squash Partenon will fight for soil nutrients with its cousin the cucumber.

Cucumber is a cousin of the squashes and the melons. Because they are all from the same family, you probably do not want to plant them together, especially not for more than one season in the same garden spot. Like the potato, they all vie for the same nutrients in the soil, and will quickly exhaust it.

Rue

So useful for repelling garden pests, rue does not make a good neighbor to many vegetable crops. Another strongly scented herb that can affect the flavor of cucumbers, it is best kept away from this crop.

Now that you know how to safeguard your cukes from unwanted neighbors, next time let’s look at friends for the third most popular vegetable crop in America: sweet peppers!

 

About Sappho Charney

Sappho Charney is a garden writer living in Lubbock, Texas.

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