Beans and Cucumbers like each other

Summer Beans
After reading Carrots Love Tomatoes, the past two growing seasons we’ve been experimenting with companions planting. We already have our carrots planted with our tomatoes and now we are trying beans and cucumbers together. Beans, as with most legumes (like our winter fava cover crop), draw up nitrogen from down deep in the soil, brings it up and fixes it as little white nitrogen nodules to their roots. You don’t have to fertilize beans, in fact they really don’t like being fertilized, because they can do it themselves.

Cucumbers on the other hand are heavy feeders and like a lot of fertilization. But we’ve read if you plant them along with plenty of beans, the beans fertilize the cucumbers without you having to do a thing. We like that ‘not having to do a thing’ part, a lot! And so far, its worked. We have both more beans and cucumbers than we can eat and both plants look happy and healthy.

The only issue we’ve found with planting these two together is that cucumbers like a little more water and beans like a little less water. We’ve done our best to accommodate both by focusing our water on the cucumbers and it seems to be working.

If you haven’t read Carrots Love Tomatoes you should give it a try. It has really helped us.

Also, A Sonoma Garden is featured in this week’s Home Preserving Blog Carnival. Go see what other home preservers are doing.


Filed under Companion Planting, just picked, what we've learned

9 responses to “Beans and Cucumbers like each other

  1. Beans look gorgeous! I had no idea about growing cucs and beans together! Darn it. It’s too late now but my cucumbers are not looking so hot. Will have to file this away until next year . . . and check out the book. Thanks for the rec.

  2. I’m growing some purple and yellow beans too. Unfortunately, I don’t have any ready to pick just yet. How early did you plant them? Are you planning to do any bean preserving this year or will you eat them all fresh? I love the book Carrots love Tomatoes. I refer to it all the time 🙂 Have a great day!

  3. asonomagarden

    Sarah, I think we are going to eat them all fresh this year. Actually, we’ve never done any preserving of beans, have you? I love them pickled. Maybe I can talk Scott into doing a few jars of pickled beans. I don’t remember when we planted these. I’m guessing in May, I’ll have to look back in the blog!

  4. Next year I need to remember the companion tips. It’s definitely time for me to read the carrots love tomatoes. Exciting to think about the beans and cucumbers together. I grow tons of beans and maybe just 4 cucumber plants – plenty for tons of cukes for me. Great idea for me to have a normal, large bean section and then a few more with the cukes! Never enough beans.

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  6. Ernest Fields

    You can also plant a type of bean that needs support in with your corn and give your corn a boost.

  7. am

    this is exactly what I was looking for! How did you do the spacing?

  8. Pingback: Four Years of Julys | A Sonoma Garden

  9. Jacqueline

    Why not go big and do it with all stuff since it really does work. Are you familiar at all with live mulch either and layered mulches for a no dig garden??? So easy, so productive!!

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