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12 Companion Plants For Squash

In the world of squash cultivation, planting companion plants can greatly benefit not only the growth rate and fruiting of the squash plant but also the entire garden ecosystem.

By selecting the right companion plants, you can boost soil health, provide shade, and suppress weeds, all while naturally deterring pests and attracting beneficial insects.

Some notable advantages of such pairings include improved pollination and increased yields due to the presence of insects drawn by specific companion plants. Moreover, these beneficial partners can alleviate common squash-related issues like pests and diseases. Read on to learn more!

Companion Plants For Squash

Companion Planting Fundamentals

Companion planting is a gardening technique that involves strategically placing different plants close to one another, with the aim of maximizing their mutual benefits. Plants may be chosen for their ability to support each other in various aspects, such as nitrogen-fixing, pest control, and living mulch functions.

Nitrogen Fixing

One key benefit of companion planting is the enhancement of soil fertility through the use of nitrogen-fixing plants. Legumes, such as peas and beans, are capable of pulling nitrogen from the air and fixing it into the soil.

This process benefits heavy feeders, including squash plants, by providing essential nutrients to aid their growth.

Pest Control

Pest control is another important aspect of companion planting. Certain plants can help repel insect pests that commonly plague squash, such as cabbage worms, cucumber beetles, and carrot flies.

By planting these pest-repelling companions near squash plants, gardeners can reduce the dependence on chemical insecticides and promote an organic, eco-friendly garden.

Weed Control

Living mulch is a term used to refer to plants that cover the ground and provide benefits such as weed suppression, soil moisture retention, and habitat creation for beneficial insects.

Some living mulch plants, when paired with squash, can help limit weed competition and maintain a healthy ecosystem within the garden space. Gardeners must ensure, however, that the living mulch does not compete with the squash plants for essential resources like sunlight, water, and nutrients.

Remember to space the plants appropriately to avoid overcrowding and to ensure both the main crops and the companion plants can thrive. As a general guideline, consider the mature size of the companion plants and refer to the seed packets or plant labels for specific spacing recommendations.

Best Squash Companion Plants

Squash plants thrive when grown alongside other plants that provide valuable benefits such as pest control, improved soil conditions, and faster growth rates. Here are some of the best companion plants for squash

1. Beans and Peas

Beans and peas are legumes that add valuable nitrogen to the soil, helping squash plants grow. They also attract pollinators, contributing to increased yields. Beans and peas can be planted close to squash plants, forming a mutually beneficial relationship.

2. Corn

Corn Best companion plants for cucumbers

Corn is an excellent companion plant for squash, as it offers a natural trellis for climbing squash vines. This combination is known as the “Three Sisters” planting method, where corn, beans, and squash support one another’s growth.

3. Dill


Dill is an herb that helps to repel pests such as squash bugs and aphids. It can be planted in the vicinity of your squash to provide an extra layer of protection. Moreover, dill attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and hoverflies.

4. Radish

Radishes serve as a trap crop for flea beetles, which are common pests for squash plants. Planting radishes near your squash can lure these pests away from your main crop, reducing the likelihood of damage.

5. Marigold

marigold sparky mix

Marigolds are a popular choice for companion planting not only with squash, but many other vegetables as well. These flowers release a chemical that deters nematodes and other pests while also attracting beneficial insects like pollinators and predatory bugs.

Three Sisters Planting Method

The Three Sisters planting method is an ancient companion planting technique that involves growing corn, beans, and squash together. This method originated with Native American tribes, who discovered the mutual benefits of interplanting these three crops.

The technique starts with planting corn as the central plant, which serves as a natural trellis for the beans to climb on. As the beans grow, they fix nitrogen in the soil, benefiting the heavy-feeding squash plants.

Finally, the squash plants shade the soil with their broad leaves and sprawling vines, which helps to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

This symbiotic relationship not only improves vegetable yields but also reduces reliance on pesticides and promotes biodiversity. By attracting pollinators and deterring pests, these three plants support each other’s growth while enriching the soil.

In the Three Sisters method, winter squash is the most commonly used variety, but summer squash and other smaller vining squash plants can also be successful companions to corn and beans.

Herbs and Aromatic Companion Plants

Herbs and aromatic companion plants are excellent additions to your squash garden, not only for their culinary value but also for their pest-repellent and soil-enriching properties. A variety of herbs and aromatic plants can be grown alongside squash, creating a more vibrant and harmonious garden.

6. Nasartium


Nasturtium is a prime example of a beneficial companion plant. Its bright flowers attract pollinators while its strong scent repels squash pests like cucumber beetles and aphids.

7. Borage

Borage is another valuable companion, providing beautiful blue flowers that attract beneficial insects such as bees and hoverflies. Borage is also known to help improve the flavor and growth rate of squash plants.

8. Mints

young oregano

Marjoram enhances the growth and flavor of squash while also acting as a natural insect repellent. Similarly, various types of mint, such as peppermint and oregano, ward off pests with their strong aroma while also attracting beneficial pollinators to the garden.

9. Parsley

Parsley provides the added benefit of attracting predatory insects that prey on squash pests, like ladybugs and lacewings.

10. Garlic and Chives

chopped chives

Garlic and chives are both part of the Allium family and are effective in deterring pests with their strong scent. They can help ward off common squash pests like spider mites and thrips.

11. Fennel and Lemon Balm

Herbs like fennel and lemon balm contribute to the garden’s overall health by attracting beneficial insects like hoverflies and parasitic wasps, which prey on common squash pests. In addition, these herbs release compounds into the soil that may help suppress the growth of harmful nematodes.

12. Calendula

Background with Calendula. Medicinal herbs. Summer

Calendula is not only a beautiful flowering plant, but it also provides multiple benefits for squash companion planting. Its bright yellow flowers attract pollinators, while the sticky sap of its stems can help trap aphids and deter pests like whiteflies and spider mites.

What to Avoid Planting Near Squash

When planning your garden, it is important to be aware of which plants can negatively affect the growth and health of squash plants. Certain plants like potatoes, cabbage, brassicas, and lettuce should not be planted near squash.


Potatoes are known to attract certain pests and diseases, which may transfer to your squash plants. Additionally, both potatoes and squash are heavy feeders, meaning they both require a significant amount of nutrients from the soil.

Planting them together could lead to competition for these nutrients and result in reduced yields and stunted growth for both plants.

Cabbage and Brassicas

Cabbage and other brassicas, such as broccoli and cauliflower, should also be avoided when planting near squash. These plants are prone to attracting pests like cabbage loopers and aphids, which can harm squash plants and reduce their yield.

Moreover, brassicas and squash have different growth requirements, with brassicas preferring cooler temperatures and squash thriving in warm soil.


Lettuce is another plant to avoid planting near squash. Although lettuce does not necessarily harm squash plants or attract pests, it can struggle to thrive when planted near squash due to the squash plant’s large, sprawling leaves.

These leaves can overshadow the lettuce, blocking sunlight and hindering its growth.

Growing and Planting Conditions


Squash plants thrive in well-draining soil with a neutral pH. When preparing the garden for squash planting, it’s helpful to amend the soil with organic matter to improve its structure and nutrient content.

Additionally, incorporating a nitrogen-fixing companion, such as beans or peas, offers additional benefits to the squash’s growth.


One of the key factors for successful squash growth is access to sunlight. These plants require at least six to eight hours of sun per day.

Be sure to select a location in your garden that provides ample light for the entire growing season. However, keep in mind that a bit of afternoon shade can be beneficial in protecting the plants from excess heat or direct sun exposure during hot summer days.


Spacing is another important consideration when planting squash in the garden. Proper spacing ensures that plants have enough room to grow without overcrowding, which can lead to increased competition for water, light, and nutrients.

A general guideline for squash planting is to place seeds or seedlings about 18 to 24 inches apart in rows that are four to six feet apart. This spacing should offer enough room for squash vines to stretch out and also promotes improved air circulation, which reduces the risk of disease.


Watering is vital for healthy squash growth, as the plants have a relatively shallow root system and are unable to obtain water from deeper soil layers.

It’s essential to maintain consistent soil moisture throughout the growing season, providing the squash plants with approximately one inch of water per week. Be mindful to water the plants’ base and avoid wetting their leaves, as damp foliage can promote the development of diseases.

Protecting Squash With Trap Crops

Squash plants can sometimes fall prey to various types of wildlife, such as deer, rodents, and raccoons. Protecting your squash plants from these animals is essential to ensure a successful harvest.

One effective method to deter wildlife from damaging your squash plants is by using trap crops. Trap cropping involves planting specific plants that are more attractive to pests around the perimeter of your main crop.

These plants then serve as a sacrificial barrier, drawing the attention of pests away from your valuable squash. For example, planting tall, aromatic herbs like mint or dill near squash plants can distract deer from your main crop.

In addition to trap crops, using physical barriers can be an effective way to keep wildlife from reaching your squash plants.

Erecting a sturdy fence or netting can obstruct access for larger animals like deer, while placing wire mesh or hardware cloth around the base of the plants can prevent rodents from reaching the stalks and roots. Consider burying the edges of the wire mesh a few inches into the ground to block tunneling critters like voles and chipmunks.

Wrapping up Companion Plants for Squash

Companion planting is a valuable technique used in gardening to strategically select plants that provide mutual benefits when grown together. Pairing squash with suitable companion plants can greatly enhance their growth, health, and resistance against pests.

Companion planting with squash requires attention to sunlight, space, and drainage needs, ensuring that the chosen companion plants won’t compete with squash for essential resources.

By learning which plants pair well with squash and understanding their unique requirements, gardeners can create an optimal environment for growing delicious and healthy squash. For more about squash, check out our squash hub page.