Watermelon is a must-have fruit in summers, and why wouldn’t it be? It’s like one of the best summertime fruits rich in vitamins and minerals, plus it also keeps you hydrated throughout the day. However, to grow a good healthy watermelon, you need lots of open sunlight and soil rich in nutrients. Along with these, watermelons need something else as well: which is the right watermelon companion plants.
Usually, watermelon can be planted with different kinds of plants, and I will name some of the best ones in this article. But, before we talk about watermelon companion plants, let me shed some light on what exactly is companion planting?
What is companion planting?
Just the way humans feel vulnerable and alone without a companion. The same goes for plants. Hence, they also need compatible companions to grow adequately.
Companion planting is a gardening technique used for many vulnerable plants to be protected by planting certain plants that are compatible with them to avoid pesticides and boost growth and attract such insects that are beneficial for the plant.
Advantages of companion planting
Along with knowing that what is companion planting? You should also be aware of the advantages of companion planting because obviously, if you’re going for a certain kind of gardening technique then, you’ll also want to know the benefits and drawbacks of it.
So, let’s discuss the benefits, and afterward, we will be discussing the drawbacks of companion planting.
Benefits of companion planting
Resist pests: Pests are one of the most major problems for the healthy growth of plants, and at times they completely damage a plant ruining your whole effort of planting and growing your favorite plants in the garden.
The companion plants help keep all kinds of pests away that might affect the plants brutally, for example, beetles, ants, earwigs, dust bites, carrot flies, cabbage moths, and spider mites.
Attract the insects that are beneficial for the plants!
All of us have studied in high school how certain insects such as bees are beneficial for plants in terms of pollination or facilitating any other important process that proves to be advantageous for the plants.
However, sometimes the plants can’t attract the pollinators themselves, so they need companion plants such as borage flowers that produce nectar and scents to attract pollinators.
Enhance the nutrients of the soil
If you’re familiar with gardening then, you may be aware that when you grow a plant and harvest it. The soil gets exhausted as most of the nutrients are used up by the plant. Therefore, it becomes necessary to restore the soil with nutrients to grow more plants, but that’s a lot of work.
What if I told you that some companion plants like bush beans add back the nutrients such as nitrogen which keeps the other plants healthy and cut back the hassle for you?
Boost growth and improve the taste
Everyone wants a good harvest and fruit that tastes amazing, and it won’t be wrong if I say that the companion plants help boost the growth and enhance the taste of the plant. The companion plants release some specific chemicals that facilitate better growth and taste in other plants.
Watermelons require plenty of sunlight. However, some plants need shade to grow adequately: which means tall and leafy companion plants can provide them adequate shade that these sort of plants need to grow.
Act as markers
It is possible that while growing a slow-growth plant, you’re unable to figure the position of the direction. However, you can plant a fast-growing companion plant with it; so, you don’t have to wait till the seeds turn into flowers.
Ensure ground cover
Companion planting also gives ground cover to plants that spread throughout the ground and, so this serves as a cover for the soil through which it stays cooler and fulfills the growing conditions for certain plants.
Limitations of companion planting
Companion planting may be beneficial for plants in various ways, but everything has its limitations and below mentioned ones are the most prominent ones!
All plants aren’t compatible with each other
The first and most important limitation of companion planting is that not all plants are compatible. Some types of plants are rarely compatible with any other plants: which poses a threat to their growth if planted with the wrong companion plant.
Hence you must have extensive knowledge on which plant is compatible with which plant?
Variations in environmental conditions
It is possible that due to the variations in environmental conditions, some plants aren’t able to grow together. Hence, the species which haven’t adapted to their surroundings are difficult to grow with another plant.
Which are the best watermelon companion plants?
It can be a bit tricky to pick up the right companion plant for watermelons as they grow with low vines and long structure: which poses problems for the gardener during the growth period because the vines of watermelon compete with the fruit for nutrients, sunlight, and space.
Thus, the right companion plants planted next to watermelons can prove good for healthy growth for the fruit but make sure you don’t plant too many companion plants and suffocate the place.
The below-mentioned plants will prove to be the best companion plants for watermelons!
As we know, watermelon is rich in water and other sweet substances, so it is obvious that the fruit is produced with the help of different types of beneficial insects like bees, which means it’s important for the plant to attract such kinds of insects.
Therefore, flowers prove to be a perfect companion plant for watermelons because of their irresistible scents that pull the bees towards them, benefiting the watermelon plant. Moreover, flowers are also able to withstand aphids that tend to destroy the watermelon leaves.
The other kind of companion plant that is good for watermelons is herbs. Herbs like mint, basil, catnip are some of the best insect repellents because their natural scents unbearable to the insects.
We’ve talked about attracting beneficial insects above, but some insects that damage watermelons hence prove to be harmful to them. If you think that there are insects in your garden that might harm the watermelons, you should go for herbs as companion plants for watermelons.
Radish is a plant that grows faster than watermelons, and as we discussed above, you need the assistance of fast-growing plants to figure out rows of your slow-growing plants like watermelons.
Moreover, fast-growing plants like radish help keep the weed away from the ground that aids the settlement process of watermelons.
Some plants are greatly effective in keeping away the fungus from other plants because of their anti-fungal properties. Alliums are also one of them, and if planted with watermelons, they can help avoid any fungal threat to the watermelons and stimulate healthy growth in the fruit.
Chenopodium is also known as Lamb’s Quarter, is a kind of weed that is considered good to plant next to watermelons. It is a beneficial weed, unlike other weeds. It gives strength to the plant of watermelon. Plus, it’s rich in minerals that aid the process of enhancing minerals in watermelons.
Plants like pole beans restore nutrients such as nitrogen in the soil: which can be good for the growth of watermelons.
Are watermelons good for your health?
Now that we’ve discussed which plants fit best to be planted next to watermelons. Let’s discuss what benefits watermelon itself provides you!
Keeps you hydrated!
Dehydration is becoming more common in people these days because of the substitutes to water like soft drinks that contribute to dehydration in people that could further result in alarming situations like seizures, heatstroke, kidney problems, etc.
According to Miami CBS, around 75% of Americans face dehydration: which is a huge number indeed. Therefore, to keep you hydrated, watermelon can prove to be an excellent substitute for water as watermelon is 92 % water.
Contains vital nutrients
Watermelon is packed with different vitamins and minerals that are essentials for our body, including Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Potassium, Magnesium, and Vitamin B1, B6, and B5.
Moreover, watermelon also contains antioxidants like Cucurbitacin E along with amino acids like Citrulline.
Effective in preventing cancer
Watermelon is also effective in preventing certain types of cancers, mainly related to the digestive system. It reduces the IGF levels in the body that are mostly the reason for cell divisions in cancer patients.
Furthermore, Cucurbitacin E also prohibits tumor growth in people that can further avoid cancer.
It is understandable that to stay fit, and in shape, one should prefer low in calories. You’ll be surprised to hear that watermelons are extremely low in calories; even berries can’t compete with watermelon on that ground.
Potent for hair and skin!
Well, let’s agree that everyone wants healthy hair and clear skin, but often you can’t find that in cosmetics or prescriptions. Sometimes all of you need is a natural remedy and adding watermelon to your diet is that remedy because it contains Vitamin A & C: which are very important for our skin and hair.
Vitamin A helps repair skin cells and makes them healthy-looking, and Vitamin C stimulates the production of collagen in the body that helps keep hair strong and skin soft.
Good for heart
Chronic heart diseases are known as the number #1 cause of human deaths worldwide, and so you must incorporate such fruits in your diet that might help avoid such kind of diseases.
Watermelon is one of those fruits that help improve your heart health as it is rich in lycopene that is effective in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which ultimately lower the risks of heart strokes and other diseases related to the heart.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What shouldn’t be planted together?
Asparagus shouldn’t be planted with onions and mint. Beets shouldn’t be planted with pole beans and mustard. Lastly, cucumber, tomatoes, radish, pumpkin, and sunflower are not planted near potatoes.
- What can you plant next to cucumber?
Plants like sunflowers and climbing vegetables are preferable to plant next to cucumber. Moreover, you should avoid planting melons, sage, and potatoes.
- Can I plant cucumbers next to tomatoes?
Yes, you can plant cucumber and tomatoes together as they prove to be compatible with each other.
- How close do you plant companion plants?
I’ll keep it simple to make it easy for you. So, you have to take an average of the spacing that plants take to grow then plant them accordingly.
- What is the disadvantage of gardening?
One of the most prominent disadvantages of gardening is that you can encounter legionaries disease while digging in the dirt or other fungal infections. Sometimes, you can be diagnosed with respiratory issues.
A healthy life and gardening go hand in hand. You might be thinking how does that make sense? Well, if you’re going to plant healthy foods in your garden like watermelons and incorporate them in your diet then, I’m sure you will be living a healthy life as well.
However, to grow healthier plants, you need to understand companion planting: which is discussed in detail above. The plants that are best suited as companion plants for watermelons.
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