What is useful to plant next to a watermelon and melon?
Watermelons and melons, as a rule, are grown separately from other plants - in a specially designated area called melon (from the Persian word “bāğčä” - “kindergarten”). Often on melon, they are combined with each other, but other neighbors, because of the powerful growth of the lashes, are usually not selected for them. But watermelons and melons can have reliable neighbors that will help to avoid problems when growing these crops. In this article I will tell you which plants can be planted with melons, to protect watermelons and melons from pests and attract beneficial insects.
How can Companion plants help melons?
Melons and watermelons grow well in well-warmed and fertile soil and are considered relatively unpretentious plants. However, they often suffer from numerous pests, such as melons, melon flies, whiteflies, various beetles and nematodes.
Of course, the use of specialized chemicals can radically solve such problems, but many gardeners prefer to grow plants using organic farming methods. In this case, you can resort to "biological weapons", an important component of which are companion plants.
Growing suitable neighbors on a melon next to a watermelon and melon mainly helps to attract beneficial insects. Among them, there are those that actively feed on pests, and those that pollinate the flowers of watermelons and melons, contributing to an increase in the number of ovaries, and therefore - increasing the yield of melon. The right plant neighbors can scare away the voracious pests from melons or take a blow on themselves.
Useful flowers for melon
Beautiful flowering companion plants, annual and perennial flowers, not only add an attractive look to your garden, but also help protect watermelons and melons from pests. Some flowers, in addition to decorative value, have other useful qualities that will bring great benefit to the melon. They attract beneficial insects or repel typical melons pests. Therefore, they need to be planted next to watermelons, melons and even pumpkin. What flowers will bring the greatest benefit in this case?
According to the observations of experienced gardeners, nasturtiums will be an excellent choice for growing next to melons and watermelons. These bright cheerful flowers "work" at once in several directions. First of all, a strong specific smell repels leaf-eating insects, which can damage representatives of the Pumpkin family.
In addition, they attract predatory insects (for example, create suitable conditions for the habitat of spiders and some beetles), which feed on pests that damage watermelons and melons.
With their colorful flowers, they also inevitably attract bees to melon. In addition, nasturtiums can be successfully used as a living trap for gourds. Since the succulent foliage of nasturtium attracts aphids, it prefers to settle on the bushes of nasturtium, ignoring the watermelons and melons growing nearby.
As an additional bonus, it can be noted that nasturtium is edible and can be used as a colorful and tasty addition to salads and soups, and in the marinated form from unripe fruits, an original snack is obtained - capers.
Nasturtium has many varieties of all kinds of colors - from catchy and multicolor to restrained pastel. There are even terry forms and varieties with colorful foliage. The shape of the bush of these plants also varies. For growing in the garden, you can pick up both bushy and climbing forms.
Different types of marigolds planted next to watermelons and other melons attract useful insects that control the number of pests of watermelons and melons and scare away pests (bugs, melons and gourds, etc.). The most fragrant types of marigolds are the most effective. Therefore, when choosing varieties for melon, you need to be guided not by external attractiveness, but by the strength of their specific aroma, which is most strong in varieties close to the original form.
Marigolds not only protect melons from land pests, scaring away leaf-eating and sucking insects. In gardening, tagetes are highly valued for the substance produced by their roots, as it kills pests underground. Marigolds are most effective for reducing the nematode population during carpet growing for two months before planting watermelons and melons. If the climate does not allow you to fit into these dates, then if you have nematodes, you can grow marigolds on this site in the previous season.
The strongest aroma of foliage differ marigolds rejected and marigold thin-leaved. They independently form strong branching bushes, which, when planted close, form a reliable barrier around watermelons and melons. Another valuable quality - numerous bright inflorescences - decoration of beds and a magnet for pollinating insects on melon.
Flowers to attract pollinators for melon
Attracting pollinators to the area where watermelons grow is especially important because watermelon flowers are not particularly attractive to pollinating insects. Plants with fragrant colorful inflorescences that bloom at the same time as watermelon flowers, when planted next to them, effectively attract pollinating insects and indirectly contribute to the pollination of watermelons and melons.
For example, in order to attract pollinating insects, you can plant alissum on the edges of melon or plant such tall flowers between watermelons and melons: glue, zinnia, cosmea, gaillardia, rudbeckia and others. Echinacea, gelenium and window sill are also effective in attracting beneficial insects.
Sunflowers are another successful companion for watermelon melons. These gigantic plants are able to take on the role of a “lightning rod”, since like a nasturtium they attract aphids, distracting them from the main culture. Sunflower seeds are a favorite treat for almost all small birds. Fascinated by sunflowers, they will simultaneously destroy insects on the tops of watermelons and melons growing next to sunflowers.
Sunflowers come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes - from tall to dwarf. Florists may be interested in varieties of sunflowers of an unusual color, for example, two-tone, almost white and dark red. As an unpretentious annual plant, they can be grown in a variety of climatic conditions.
Common tansy is not the most attractive plant, which often grows in meadows, forming large curtains. As you know, tansy is toxic to livestock, but at the same time it is very effective in scaring away ants (which settle aphids) and various beetles (including Japanese chrusher), which can seriously damage watermelons and melons.
It is believed that tansy, grown with sunflowers, inhibits flying pests and even repels mice. When growing this plant on melon, it is important to remember that tansy can be aggressive and turn into a malicious weed.
If you decide to try using tansy as a companion for watermelons and melons, try planting it in containers dug on melons, and it is better to cut off faded tansy inflorescences to avoid self-seeding. Tansy is a perennial plant that winters well in the middle lane.
Vegetables and herbs for melons
Many vegetable or spice plants turn out to be very valuable companions for watermelon and melon. Of course, they do not have such a decorative effect as bright flowers, but nevertheless they are also recommended to be grown next to Pumpkin.
Radish is an excellent companion for watermelons and other members of the Pumpkin family. It inhibits the attacks of bedbugs and serves as an effective “living trap” for fleas. Spicy and fragrant herbs - basil, mint, oregano, catnip, anise and borago (borage) - inhibit pests, attract beneficial insects and, in addition, are widely used in cooking.
Tomatoes are also good neighbors for gourds. Tomatoes scare away pests with their specific smell: firepit, gourd aphid, sawfly and others. Growing watermelons and tomatoes in a greenhouse or in the open field positively affects the development of both crops. In addition, watermelons and melons successfully grow next to peppers, as they prefer similar growing conditions and do not compete with each other.
How to plant companion plants on melon?
Melons and watermelons with creeping vines need a lot of space for the growth and spread of their powerful lashes. In this regard, growing satellite plants on melon is not easy. Compact marigolds or other short flowers or herbs can be planted as a border along the edge of the melon. Then they will create an effective fence, while doing their job as a companion plant.
Planting several shrubs of radish, marigolds or nasturtiums on a watermelon bed between plants will also provide additional protection. But at the same time, it is important to ensure that the lashes are not covered by low bushes and do not deprive them of sunlight.
Tall varieties of tomatoes, peppers and annual flowers, as well as "huts" for climbing nasturtiums can be placed between the bushes of melons and gourds. At the same time, such companions should not grow too densely so as not to obscure light-loving watermelons and melons.
Is it possible to plant melons and watermelons nearby?
Against the joint cultivation of watermelons and melons, there are no serious contraindications. Both cultures have approximately the same requirements for growing conditions. They need to provide an open, sunny place and fairly fertile soil. Although watermelons prefer looser soils and sparse watering, this usually does not matter.
Watermelons and melons belong to the same family, but possible pollination does not affect the quality of the fruit in the first year. As for the seeds obtained from co-growing plants, here opinions on the likelihood of pollination differ. But, in any case, in order to maintain all the varietal qualities of a watermelon or melon, it is better to resort to artificial pollination.
Both cultures spread long lashes, so it is very important to maintain the interval when planting plants (about 1x1 or 1.5x1.5 between the holes), and then they get along with each other quite well.