What Plants Can Watermelon Be Planted Close By?
Unlike most vegetables and fruits, watermelons (Citrullus vulgaris) possess no true antagonists in the plant kingdom. But because they need full sun to thrive, be sure not to plant your melons in the shadow of any tall-growing plants. Growing watermelons on a trellis or A-frame is one remedy for this problem. Even though no garden neighbor is detrimental to the melon crop’s production, some plant companions bring definite advantages to the warm-season yearly.
Cucumber beetles are the main insect pests attacking watermelon and, if not controlled, they may transmit bacterial wilt to the melons, causing them to suddenly wilt and die at the time fruit production begins. Radishes repel cucumber beetles, as does corn. Plant corn neighboring only if it does not tower over the growing watermelons. Pole or bush beans are valuable when planted near watermelons because they increase the soil’s nitrogen. Interplanting melons with potatoes may have great consequences, especially if you mulch the potatoes.
Marigolds (Tagetes) and nasturtiums (Tropaeolum) shine as companions in the vegetable garden for almost every edible plant. In the case of watermelons, these two flowers both deter the dreaded cucumber beetle. The flowering herb oregano (Origanum) offers general pest protection, as well as a pleasant scent and leaves to flavor cooking. Actually a weed, lamb’s quarters (Chenopodium album), wealthy in several of minerals, improves the vigor of honey when permitted to develop near it in the garden.
Frequently members of a vegetable family do not make fantastic companions because of the danger of sharing insect pests or diseases or competition for specific nutrients in the soil. This is especially true for the nightshade vegetables, like tomatoes and potatoes, that shouldn’t develop anywhere near each other. For watermelons, however, relatives pumpkin and summer squash generally appear on their list of favorable companions. All of these crops create substantial fruit and also require more than the ordinary quantity of garden space for their sprawling growth habits.
Vertical melon-growing maximizes garden space, allows more surface exposure to sunlight, produces pest management easier and raises the fruit off the ground so that it does not decay. Therefore, you may conquer many possible watermelon problems by training the vines up a support. An A-frame constructed of 2-by-4 boards is a fantastic choice, provided that the structure is tall enough for the length of the vines and capable of supporting the weight of the adult melons. Bend the vines in place with soft cord or fabric strips. Fruit that reaches more than 4 lbs. Needs support from personal slings. An old T-shirt or pillowcase, cut to match the eventual size of the melon and enough fabric to tie it to the framework, has the added advantage of shielding the fruit from pest damage and sunscald as it rises.