Your Squashes’ Worst Enemies

Beautiful in blossom as well as fruit, squash belong in every sunny garden!

Beautiful in blossom as well as fruit, squash belong in every sunny garden!

Squash has many good neighbors in the vegetable garden, receiving help from a wide range of other vegetable plants as well as herbs and flowers. There are only a few plants that should not be grown alongside it.

Potato

Lurking under the soil like submarines, potatoes mean your squash no good!

Lurking under the soil like submarines, potatoes mean your squash no good!

Potato is not a friend of squash, and squash is positively a sworn enemy of potato! Planted together, they stunt one another’s growth. And because squash attracts insects that can infest the potato plant, blight is a real possibility when these two get together.

Cucumbers and Melons of Yore

Melons and cukes get along too well with squash -- they attract the same pests, which can overwinter in the veggie patch and lie in wait for next year's crop!

Melons and cukes get along too well with squash — they attract the same pests, which can overwinter in the veggie patch and lie in wait for next year’s crop!

If you had a vegetable garden last year, try not to plant your squash in the same place occupied last year by the cukes and melons. These three types of veggies all attract the same predatory insects, and you may be harboring some pests in the soil and surrounding area left over from last season. They will fall upon the squash with delight! If possible, site your squash elsewhere.

Sunflower

Although it is the Fourth Sister

Tall, strong-stemmed, and large-flowered, sunflowers eat up a lot of soil nutrients!

Tall, strong-stemmed, and large-flowered, sunflowers eat up a lot of soil nutrients!

in the Native American Three Sisters planting, sunflower is really a frenemy to squash. Not everyone agrees about this, but many gardeners believe that sunflower is a ruthless competitor for soil nutrients, and that it can reduce the yields of the squash patch simply by being planted in or near it. When squash and sunflowers compete, sunflowers win. So if you want a big squash yield, think about distancing the Fourth Sister!

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These are the only real foes to squash, so you should plant a large crop of your favorite crooknecks, zucchinis, pattypans, and all the winter varieties. Squash is a great presence in the sunny garden, and a friend to nearly all!

 

About Sappho Charney

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

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