Courgette companion planting: good & bad neighbours for courgettes

Regina
Regina
Regina
Regina

I studied horticultural sciences at university and in my free time you can find me in my own patch of land, growing anything with roots. I am particularly passionate about self-sufficiency and seasonal food.

Favourite fruit: quince, cornelian cherry and blueberries
Favourite vegetables: peas, tomatoes and garlic

What are the best plants to grow alongside courgettes? Here is our guide to mixed cultivation with courgettes with tips on which plants make good or bad neighbours.

Courgettes and onions growing together in a raised garden row.
Interplanting courgettes and onions is an efficient way to save space and increase yields [Photo: Dmitriy Petrov/ Shutterstock.com]

In veg patches and raised beds, companion planting is a more natural way of vegetable gardening. By interplanting different species, you avoid the soil being drained of just one set of nutrients and can even keep pests at bay too. At the same time, soil is less exposed and unprotected, and more plants attract more pollinators. This is our guide to courgette companion planting.

Good courgette companion plants

Courgettes (Cucurbita pepo subsp. pepo convar. giromontiina) grow well with flowering herbs such as dill (Anethum graveolens) and borage (Borago officinalis). Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) is a helpful neighbouring plant, as it is able to deter whiteflies (Aleyrodidae) and various species of aphids. Calendulas (Calendula officinalis) and marigolds (Tagetes) are also beneficial as they not only attract pollinating insects, but also keep away harmful nematodes with the chemicals they release from their roots underground.

Vegetables that consume low to moderate levels of nutrients from the soil, such as peas (Pisum sativum), beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), spinach (Spinacia oleracea) and beetroot (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris), are good neighbours for the heavy-feeding courgettes. You can plant corn (Zea mays) and onions (Allium cepa) close to courgettes and protect the otherwise exposed soil from erosion − these plants need little growing space and also benefit from the shade cast by the large courgette leaves.

A courgette plant growing next to borage
Courgettes do well next to flowering herbs, such as borage [Photo: Peter Turner Photography/ Shutterstock.com]

Good courgette neighbours:

  • Dill
  • Borage
  • Nasturtium
  • Calendula
  • Marigold
  • Pea
  • Beans
  • Corn
  • Beetroot
  • Spinach
  • Onions

Bad companion plants for courgettes

Not only do courgettes need plenty of water, but they are also heavy feeders, meaning they extract large amounts of nutrients from the soil compared to other vegetables. Therefore, courgettes should not be grown together with plants that have similar water and nutrient demands.

Plants that are unfit neighbours include many plants in the nightshade family (Solanaceae), various types of cabbage (Brassica sp.) and other squash plants (Cucurbitaceae). You should therefore not plant courgettes and tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) or potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) together. Peppers (Capsicum annuum) and aubergines (Solanum melongena) also clash with courgettes. Avoid planting heavy-feeding plants from the cabbage family, such as broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica), brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera) or savoy cabbage (Brassica oleracea convar. capitata var. sabauda) right next to courgettes too. The same goes for other squash (Cucurbita maxima, C. moschata & C. pepo), cucumbers (Cucumis sativus). Just like melons (Cucumis melo & Citrullus lanatus), courgettes are susceptible to squash diseases − infections can spread rapidly within related species and endanger the whole crop. On top of this, other varieties of squash, with their characteristic sprawling vines, compete with courgettes for growing space.

Squash and courgettes growing near each other
Courgettes, squash and tomatoes, which are all nutrient-demanding species, should not be planted together in a mixed crop [Photo: Peter Turner Photography/ Shutterstock.com]

Bad courgette neighbours:

  • Potato
  • Tomato
  • Pepper
  • Aubergine
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumber
  • Squash
  • Melon
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