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There’s nothing more refreshing than a cool, crisp cucumber straight from your garden. Whether you’re growing long heirloom cucumbers or pickling varieties, there’s something special about harvesting your own.

While cucumbers are easy to grow at home, they have specific preferences for their plant neighbors. This is known as companion planting, where certain plants are grown together to benefit each other.

Some companion plants for cucumbers can help deter pests and improve soil nutrients, while others can have negative effects, resulting in poor harvests and weak, disease-prone plants. Ideal companion plants don’t compete with cucumbers for water or nutrients.

No matter which cucumber variety you choose, here are some of the best plants to grow alongside them.

1. Marigolds

marigold plant
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Marigolds are pretty much the superheroes of the vegetable plot. Very few crops don’t benefit from this pretty orange-flowered plant!

The scent of marigolds helps to repel white flies, thrips, and squash bugs and deter deer and squirrels, all of which can wreak havoc on your cucumber crop. Marigolds also attract beneficial insects that improve pollination rates in cucumber plants.

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2. Carrots

Fresh carrots. Harvest fresh organic carrots on the ground.
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Planting carrots and cucumbers in the same area is a great way to maximize the use of space in your garden. Fast-growing cucumber plants climb rapidly upwards, casting shade on carrots planted below. In turn, the carrots act as ground cover, reducing evaporation from the soil and suppressing weeds.

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3. Corn

Young Veggie Garden
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Corn plants grow strong and tall, creating a natural framework that supports your cucumber plants. Corn should always be grown in a block to maximize pollination, so plant cucumbers around the edges to ensure they are easy to harvest. This companion planting method is ideal for smaller cucumber plants such as pickling and mini snack-size varieties.

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4. Nasturtiums

Nasturtium flower bed
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If you struggle with aphids on your cucumber plants, grow some nasturtiums nearby. These colorful edible plants act as a trap crop, luring away aphids and leaving your cucumbers to thrive. Nasturtiums are also great for attracting beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, which help reduce aphid populations throughout the garden.

5. Dill

dill growing on the vegetable bed
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The delightful yellow flowers of dill plants attract parasitoid wasps – nature’s pest control team! These flying insects feed on common garden pests, reducing the need for insecticides in the garden. Dill is also the perfect herby accompaniment to cucumbers, particularly if you’re a big fan of pickles.

6. Peas

A large handful of ripe raw peas in the palms of man's hands. Concept of proper healthy nutrition, agriculture.
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Pea plants can take nitrogen from the atmosphere and lock it into the soil around their roots, making this essential nutrient available to your cucumbers and other plants. Grow single rows of cucumbers and peas side-by-side to boost growth while ensuring both crops are easy to harvest.

10 Natural Ways to Add Nitrogen to Your Garden Soil

7. Radishes

Fresh radishes on old wooden table
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Radishes are a fast-growing crop that benefits from the shade provided by cucumber plants. In turn, they provide excellent ground cover, helping to suppress weeds and reduce evaporation of moisture from the soil. Radishes can be ready to harvest in just a few weeks, so remember to sow them at regular intervals for a continuous crop.

8. Garlic

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Garlic gives off a pungent aroma that is thought to repel many common garden pests. This low-growing allium will not compete with cucumbers for nutrients and will benefit from being grown in the shade. Studies have also shown that garlic can help reduce fusarium wilt, a fungal disease that can quickly decimate cucumber plants.

9. Sunflowers

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Robust, fast-growing varieties of sunflowers can form a natural trellis for vining cucumber plants. In addition, sunflowers have been shown to increase pollination in cucumber crops, thanks to the beneficial insects the flowers attract.

As cucumber plants can get quite heavy you may need to provide additional support later in the growing season.

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10. Bush Beans

Garden beds of green young beans.
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Bush beans are low-growing plants that create excellent ground cover while locking essential nitrogen into the soil. The leafy growth of cucumbers creates the perfect shady conditions for bush beans to thrive, making this a very beneficial partnership.

11. Beets

A man farmer holds beets in his hands. Selective focus. Nature.
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Beets will happily occupy the space around cucumber plants without competing for nutrients. Their leafy growth will shade the soil and suppress weed growth, leaving the cucumber plants free to vine upwards. Beets grow best when sown in small clumps of three or four plants, ideal for filling the gaps between cucumber plants.

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12. Oregano

Portion of fresh Oregano
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Oregano is a perennial herb much loved by gardeners for its pest-repellent abilities. Insects such as aphids and squash bugs steer clear of the pungent aroma of oregano, while the delicate flowers attract beneficial pollinating insects. Like most herbs, a few oregano plants dotted around your vegetable plot can reap huge rewards.

13. Onions

Close-up of growing green onion in the vegetable garden.
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Growing onions through the warmer months can be tricky as they struggle to grow well in the hot sun. However, growing onions in the shade of a row of cucumber plants is a game-changer, resulting in giant crisp onions that flourish in damper ground. In return, the smell of onion leaves will deter troublesome pests that like to colonize cucumber plants.

14. Pole Beans

Pea pod of string beans, tree in the vegetable garden.
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Pole beans will climb happily up the same trellis as cucumber plants, fixing nitrogen in the soil as they go. Bean flowers are highly attractive to pollinating insects, boosting your cucumber crop yield. For easier harvests, space cucumber and pole bean plants slightly further apart than normal.

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15. Lentils

Lentils in the garden.
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Lentil plants grow well in the leafy shade created by cucumber plants and, as they can be planted quite densely, will help to keep weeds at bay. As they are in the same plant family as peas and beans, lentils can fix nitrogen in the soil, which boosts cucumber plant growth. 

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16. Borage

Beautiful close-up of a borage flower .Colourful blue Borage flowers.
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Borage is a fast-growing annual that attracts many beneficial insects to the garden. It can become quite large and bushy, so regular pruning is necessary to prevent it from swamping cucumber plants. Incidentally, borage flowers are edible and taste remarkably like cucumber!

17. Chives

chives purple
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The distinctive aroma of chives is highly effective at deterring cucumber beetles, a common garden pest that decimates cucumber crops. In addition, this delicate onion-flavored herb makes a tasty addition to cucumber salads and other summer dishes.

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A Close up view of a white round plate with bananna peals piled into it on the green grass
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