Cucumber and tomatoes are popular garden vegetables that gardeners love to grow. Several plants grow perfectly together, and there are others that you need to keep apart. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to hear the question, ‘can you plant tomatoes and cucumbers together?’ If you want to plant tomato plants and cucumber plants and wonder if you’re making the right decision, you’re in the right place. Let’s proceed.
We talked about planting tomatoes and pepper plants together in this piece.
Can you plant tomatoes and cucumbers together?
Yes, you can plant both together since they are both vigorous growers, and they also share vining qualities. You can grow them close together to help you efficiently address their requirements. Allow the cucumber vines to sprawl on the ground between the tomatoes.
This way, the cucumber leaves will act as a live mulch to retain the moisture in the soil while keeping the weeds away. Companion planting also works as it trains the two plants on the same support making it difficult for pests to find their ideal crops. When practicing diversified planting, you need to ensure air circulation for both plants.
Without further ado, let’s dig in.
Should You Plant Tomatoes and Cucumbers Together?
Companion planting isn’t hard, especially when it concerns tomatoes. Many plants grow well together, and cucumbers and tomatoes are amongst them. Yes, you can grow tomatoes and cucumbers next to each other as they’re compatible. Both plants hold mutual benefits for the other.
Both plants make it hard for pests to adapt to the other’s defenses. Additionally, they provide food and shelter for insects that help them grow. On the other hand, you should be wary of planting tomatoes next to other plants from the Brassica family like eggplant, fennel, corn, dill, and many more even though they may be touted as great companion plants.
What You Should Know About Planting Tomatoes and Cucumbers Together
Tomatoes and cucumbers are great companion plants because they share needs. Cucumbers need 50-70 days to mature, while tomatoes need 50-105 days to hit maturity. Most times, the duration depends on the variety you’re planting.
Additionally, both plants love alkaline soil and need a steady supply of water and sunlight to thrive. Since they’re warm-season plants, they need a soil pH level of 5.8 to 6.5 to survive. This is why planting cucumbers and tomatoes in the same space are beneficial.
How Far Apart Can You Plant Them?
Since they’re vining plants and tend to expand in the growing season, they will compete for nutrients, space, water, and sunlight when there is insufficient spacing. Space the plants 18 to 24 inches in rows so that the distance between them is 3 to 4 feet apart.
It would help if you alternated the planting in the same or adjacent rows. Most times, the seed packet of the plant varieties can be informational. You should also make sure your garden plan covers the spacing requirement of the plant.
Needs of Tomatoes and Cucumbers
When planting tomatoes and cucumbers together, it is important to consider the plants’ needs in order to create a successful companion planting arrangement. Some things to keep in mind when companion planting these two crops include:
- Tomatoes need plenty of sunlight, while cucumbers prefer partial shade. When arranging these plants together, try to place the tomatoes on the sunny side and the cucumbers on the shadier side.
- Both plants are often seen as warm-season crops and need the soil pH to be between 5.8 to 6.5. You must also provide deep watering for both plants to ensure that they develop properly.
- Tomatoes are heavy feeders and need a lot of nitrogen to produce bountiful fruit. Cucumbers are light feeders and don’t require as much nitrogen. Be sure to fertilize accordingly to avoid over or under-fertilizing either crop.
- Tomatoes are susceptible to cucumber mosaic virus, which can be transmitted by cucumbers. To avoid this issue, choose disease-resistant varieties of both crops or plant them in different areas of the garden.
Why Should You Not Plant Cucumber Near Tomatoes
While it is obvious that both plants are excellent companions, there are some reasons why you should not plant cucumbers near tomatoes in your vegetable garden.
- The tomatoes will shade the cucumber plants, preventing them from growing well.
- Another reason is that the cucumber bees are affected by the tomato pollen and they will avoid the cucumbers.
- Their root systems can compete for water and nutrients in the soil, which may harm both plants.
- Diseases that affect either plant may also spread to the other if they are grown together. The cucumber mosaic virus is a great example although it also affects other plants.
- Common pests such as thrips, tomato fruit worms, and pinworms can the individual plants and devastate the entire garden.
If you’re curious if you can plant tomatoes and cucumbers together, you have nothing to worry about. These plants are compatible and thrive well together. First, however, you need to know why it’s possible to plant them together and the proper planting process. I hope this plant answered your question ‘can I plant tomatoes and cucumbers together?’ Now, you can also move on to learning how to plant these two garden vegetables together.