If you are thinking of adding cantaloupe to your garden you will want to put it next to the best plant neighbors that you can. Here are some of the best and worst cantaloupe companion plants you can choose from. This juicy melon producing plant can gain many benefits from choosing the right plants to grow along side it.
In This Article:
Good Cantaloupe Companion Plants
Cantaloupe gets along with so many flowers, herbs and vegetables. Some of the key benefits that you are looking for when choosing companion plants for cantaloupe include pest control, pollination and nitrogen fixation. Cantaloupe is particularly vulnerable to aphids, cabbage loopers, flea and cucumber beetles, cutworms and squash bugs. Additionally, pollinators are vital for fruit production because it won’t occur unless the plant’s flowers are pollinated. This melon plant is also a heavy feeder and needs plenty of nitrogen in the soil to help it grow and produce plenty of fruit.
Cantaloupe plants can take up lot of space as well. Therefore, picking neighbors that won’t compete for space is another factor to consider. However, all that space left around the cantaloupe when it is young can encourage weed growth. Some fast growing crops can occupy this space while your melon plant is small. This helps to keep weeds at bay and keep soil loose and moist.
Flowers Attract Pollinators To Your Cantaloupe
If you want a bountiful melon crop, attracting pollinators is vital. These flowers are some of the best cantaloupe companion plants for that reason. Some flowers even help repel pests from the area while some can be used as a trap crop to lure them away. Flowers are a great way to boost your cantaloupe crop while also making your garden beautiful.
Sunflowers have a unique ability to pair well with cantaloupe. You have heard of planting corn, squash and pole beans together. Well sunflowers can replace corn while cantaloupe replaces squash. You still keep that prefect harmony that exist between the three plants. The cantaloupe will grow on the ground around the sunflower while the beans use the sunflower stem for support to grow upward. The sunflower will attract plenty of pollinators to pollinate your cantaloupe.
Marigolds make for one of the best companion flowers. They offer so many benefits to your garden and cantaloupe takes particularly good advantage of them. First and foremost, marigolds attract pollinators to your cantaloupe flowers. However, they also attract beneficial insects that will pray on harmful pests, such as aphids, that might harm your cantaloupe. The strong smell of marigolds even helps repel pests such as squash bugs. They are a great flower to plant close to your cantaloupe crop.
Borage is a flowering herb that you should consider when looking for cantaloupe companion plants. It deters beetles and cabbage loopers that might snack on your melon plant. Its little blue flowers are also loved by bees and butterflies, which will pollinate your cantaloupe flowers.
Another flowering herb that makes a great plant partner for cantaloupe is lavender. You will find the soothing scent from its flowers delightful. However, flea beetles, cabbage loopers and cabbage worms won’t find this scent to be as nice. In fact, they hate its scent and are repelled by it. Additionally, like most flowering plants, it attracts plenty of pollinators to your garden.
Nasturtiums are a flower that makes an excellent trap crop. Planting these beauties a little ways away from your cantaloupe crop will attract pests to it. Pests such as beetles, cabbage loopers and cabbage worms will all be drawn to nasturtiums and away from your cantaloupe crop. Pollinators will also be drawn to the area making it easier for them to find your cantaloupe.
Another great trap crop is petunias. They attract so many harmful pests to them and away from your most important crops. Their numerous flowers are a haven for bees and butterflies to feast at. They also make an excellent hanging container plants, allowing you to put them just about anywhere in your garden area.
Tansy are wild flowers that bees and butterflies love. They are vigorous growers, however, they should be placed in their own bed to avoid competing for resources. All of that growth comes with loads of flowers that will have your garden swarming with pollinators.
Like Tansy, Beebalms are flowers that pollinators can’t resist. True to their name, beebalms are a favorite of bees. Your cantaloupe will have no trouble getting pollinated with some of these flowers nearby.
Legumes Add Nitrogen To The Soil For Cantaloupe
Legumes are well known for their ability to fix nitrogen into the soil. Cantaloupe plants are heavy feeders that need plenty of nitrogen. That makes most members of the legume family excellent cantaloupe companion plants. Here are some legumes that make excellent neighbors for your cantaloupes.
Bush and Pole Beans
Bush and pole beans all get along well near cantaloupe. Pole beans in particular have tons of companion planting potential when it comes to cantaloupe. Pole beans can grow upwards on support while cantaloupe spreads on the ground, maximizing space and sunlight. Tall sturdy plants like corn or sunflowers can be used as natural support, further increasing harmony in your garden space. Your garden will have plenty of nitrogen in the soil thanks to the beans and all plants involved will thrive.
Peas are legumes that grows vertically like pole beans. Therefore, they can be used in the same way to occupy the vertical garden space above cantaloupe. Simply use a trellis, corn, or a sunflower to support your peas while they add nitrogen to the soil for its neighbors.
Another legume that you should consider planting near your cantaloupe is chickpeas. They are a relatively short plant, growing only about 18 inches tall and needing about 12 inches of space around them. This means that they won’t compete for space with your sprawling cantaloupe plants.
Checkout our Guide on How to Grow Chickpeas!
Corn Is An Excellent Cantaloupe Companion Plant
As previously mentioned in the sections about pole beans and sunflowers, corn is a solid option for cantaloupe companion plants. Particularly, when paired with pole beans or peas, they can maximize your garden space. Cantaloupe will occupy the ground space while corn grows upwards occupying vertical space and giving pole beans support. The three crops get along in perfect harmony. Just be careful not to plant the corn too thickly and risk blocking too much sun from your cantaloupe.
Alliums Help Control Pests When Planted Near Cantaloupe
Alliums are premier pest control crops. Their pungent scents repel many insects that would otherwise find and feast on your crops. You can use this to hide your cantaloupe from some of the harmful pests that might destroy the plant. They don’t even need to be super close to achieve this affect, allowing you to give your cantaloupe plants plenty of room to grow. Try planting a trap crop like petunias in another area to give the pests somewhere else to go and you will find very few attacking your crop.
In particular, chives bring many benefits to boost your cantaloupe crop. Like most alliums, their smell repels pests such as aphids, beetles, cabbageworms and cabbage loopers that might harm cantaloupe plants. However, this plants also grows delightful purple flowers, in turn attracting pollinators. Being a smaller plant, you can put them close to your cantaloupe to keep bad insect away and bring bees and butterflies in.
Onions might not attract pollinators well like chives. However, its stronger scent has an even more powerful pest deterrent effect. They can grow vertically to decent heights and do not occupy much ground space. This allows cantaloupe to grow nearby without too much competition. You can even spread them among your cantaloupe patch and let cantaloupe grow around them. The cantaloupe will appreciate the lack of pests in the area, and the onions will benefit from weed control from the ground cover provided.
Garlic repels pests like aphids, beetles, cabbageworms and cabbage loopers similar to most alliums. This makes it another good choice for a neighbor to cantaloupe. It won’t grow very tall or wide, which means it won’t compete for space in your garden either.
Scallions, also known as green onions, are another allium you should consider planting near your cantaloupe to control pests. A slightly larger plant then chives, it still won’t get in the way of your cantaloupe. This family of plants should be your go to vegetable neighbors of cantaloupe.
Leafy Greens Coexist Well With Cantaloupe
Consider leafy greens when looking for cantaloupe companion plants. They grow extremely fast and help act as ground cover to keep weeds at bay. You can plant them around where you plan to plant your cantaloupe and they will occupy the space until your cantaloupe grows enough to fill the area. By that time, the leafy greens will be ready to harvest. This will allow you to make the most out of your garden space, while keeping weeds from growing around your young cantaloupe plants.
Leafy greens can also occupy their own garden space next to mature cantaloupe. They do not grow very tall or wide and won’t compete for space with your melon plants. Generally, leafy greens make for good neighbors with most other plants.
Many lettuce varieties prefer to be planted in the early spring when the whether is cool, about a month before cantaloupe should be planted. Since lettuce is usually ready to harvest in about 50-80 days, it will be out of the way by the time your cantaloupe plant really starts getting large. This will maximize your yield from this space and keep spring weeds from taking over your cantaloupe patch.
Spinach grows even faster than lettuce and can be planted when you plant your cantaloupe. In 40-50 days you can harvest it and make more room for your cantaloupe. Spinach can also be planted nearby later in the season and it won’t compete for space due to its small size.
Arugula is another fast growing leafy green that you can use in the same way as mentioned above with spinach. It will be ready for harvest in just 20-50 days. Arugula can be planted to occupy space until cantaloupe plants grow bigger or as a small neighbor that coexists well.
Swiss takes a little longer to grow to maturity than some of the previous leafy greens. However, its smaller size and height make it a good neighboring plant that won’t outgrow your cantaloupe plants. It also grows well alongside other leafy greens that you might want to grow alongside your cantaloupe.
Root Crops Are Amazing Cantaloupe Companion Plants
These root crops will make perfect cantaloupe companion plants. They grow quickly and don’t need much space. Their thick roots keep the soil moist and aerated. Additionally, they do a great job keeping weeds at bay. Root crops are a great option to plant nearby cantaloupe to help it thrive and optimize your garden space.
Radishes are one of the best root crops that you can use as a neighbor for cantaloupe. Not only do they stay small and grow to maturity super quickly, they also repel many pests that bother cantaloupe. Pests such as cabbage worms, beetles and squash bugs all dislike the smell of radishes. It’s a great way to make use of garden space around your cantaloupe.
Carrots will get along great with cantaloupe. They will keep the soil loose for good drainage and aeration around your cantaloupe patch. Their fast growing foliage will keep weeds at bay as well. They don’t grow too tall or wide, so you don’t need to worry about them crowding your cantaloupe plants.
Parsnips are very similar to carrots and, therefore, bring the same benefits when planted near cantaloupe. They will make just as good of a neighbor. A great option if your looking for a carrot alternative.
Another root crop you should consider planting with your cantaloupe is turnips. They offer the typical benefits root crops bring, such as breaking up the soil and weed control. Since they only grow about a foot tall, you don’t need to worry about them shading your cantaloupe plants.
Aromatic Herbs Improve Any Garden
Herbs are a great addition to any garden. They bring many benefits that can help neighboring plants thrive. Cantaloupe is not an exception and will approve of any of these herbs as a garden neighbor. Many herbs offer pest control, weed control and attract beneficial insects. They are the perfect plants to choose for cantaloupe companion plants.
Dill is one of the best herbs to pair with cantaloupe. It is known to repel aphids and squash bugs which might feed on your cantaloupe. They also attract many beneficial insects that will prey on harmful pests. Additionally, when it flowers it will attract pollinators to the area to help pollinate your cantaloupe.
This feline favorite herb is also a great companion for cantaloupe. The scent that cats love, aphids happen to dislike. This will help keep them from infesting your cantaloupe patch. Catnip also flowers and attracts pollinators to your garden. As long as you’re okay with a few cats possibly using your garden as a lounge, catnip is a great herb to add.
This delicious culinary herb will do plenty to help cantaloupe flourish. Thyme’s wonderful distinct aroma is a known pest repellant. Beneficial insects, such as the lacewing, are attracted to this herb as well. Lacewings are well known for controlling aphids infestations and keeping cabbage loopers at bay.
Another herb with a pest controlling scent and flowers that will attract pollinators is rosemary. Pests, such as beetles and cabbage moths, will avoid its wonderful smell. Bees and butterflies will come when it flowers helping to bring pollinators to help your cantaloupe.
Sage repels similar insects as rosemary does. It also grows wonderful flowers that pollinators adore. These two herbs can pair up in your garden and in your kitchen. Use them to boost your cantaloupe crop and spice up your food.
The fresh scent of mint is a strong insect repellent. It does a wonderful job of masking your cantaloupe crop from numerous threats, such as aphids, cabbage loopers, beetles and squash bugs. Therefore, it makes for a great garden mate and will help keep your cantaloupe safe from harm.
Planting parsley in your garden is a fantastic way to attract predatory insects such as ladybugs, hoverflies, and lacewings. These helpful bugs will help control harmful pest populations, in turn helping keep your cantaloupe safe. Beetles also find parsley’s fresh herbal aroma off putting which will dissuade them from taking up residence.
Aphids, beetles and cabbage moths all hate cilantro’s strong smell. Use this herb to help keep them away from your cantaloupe. Additionally, just like parsley, cilantro attracts ladybugs, hoverflies and lace wings. Adding to the pest control benefits this plant can bring to your garden.
Another pungent smelling herb that will keep beetles and aphids away is basil. If you let this herb flower it will attract loads of pollinators as well. It is another great option to neighbor with your cantaloupe plants.
Last on our list of aromatic herbs to plant with cantaloupe is oregano. It is another great pest control option since it repels aphids, beetles and cabbage moths. There is no shortage of pungent herbs that can improve your garden.
Bad Cantaloupe Companion Plants
There are a few plants that you shouldn’t choose as cantaloupe companion plants. The biggest red flags are plants that attract similar pests as cantaloupe. This can lead to an infestation because your garden will be giant buffet that pests will smell from miles away. Additionally, you should avoid heavy feeding plants because cantaloupe is a heavy feeder itself. These plants will compete with each other for resources and result in reduced crops.
It should not come as a shock that cucumbers attract cucumber beetles. These hungry insects will gladly feast on your cantaloupe as well. Putting both of these crops together in your garden can attract a lot of them and ruin both crops. It’s best to plant these crops apart and put better companions near them.
Here is another shocker for you, squash bugs are drawn to squash plants. These bugs will also devour your cantaloupe. Just like cucumbers, they should be planted separately from cantaloupe to avoid an infestation. Squash plants also take up a lot of space and vigorously grow vines that might impede the growth of your cantaloupe. There are much better choices of neighbors.
Nightshades are very heavy feeders. Planting them close to your cantaloupe will result in neither plant getting enough nutrients from the soil. Cantaloupe will especially suffer due to nightshade’s deep root systems occupying the soil levels that the plant needs to thrive.
Other melons, such as honeydew melons and watermelons, are best planted separately from each other. This is because they are all heavy feeders and grow to occupy large spaces. This leads to competition for resources that no one benefits from. Not to mention, they all share the same pest threats and planting them all together just creates the perfect restaurant for these insects to munch at.