Can you plant cucumbers and tomatoes together? Gardening experts reveal whether these two are good companion plants

Cucumbers and tomatoes taste great together – but can they grow together?

A garden with a chair and blanket and tomato plants
(Image credit: Future PLC)

It’s springtime! And that means it’s time to get your hands in the soil and get planting. And while deciding what you’d like to plant is one thing, another factor to consider is what crops can and cannot go next to each other. For example, can you plant cucumbers and tomatoes together?

This principle is called companion planting and it’s all about grouping plants in your borders or greenhouse that benefit each other. And as tomatoes and cucumbers are among the most popular veggies people take to growing, it’s useful to know whether they can make good companions.

So if you are wondering how to grow tomatoes and whether pairing them with cucumbers is the way to go, then our gardening experts have the answers. While also revealing what other plants should never be paired with these two crops if you want to learn how to grow your cucumbers and tomatoes for an abundant harvest.

A basket of cherry tomatoes

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Can you plant cucumbers and tomatoes together?

If you are wondering how to start a small vegetable garden, tomatoes and cucumbers are a good place to start. Especially since gardening experts say they can make excellent companion plants.

‘Planting cucumbers and tomatoes next to each other is a good idea as they need similar amounts of light and water and as they thrive on similar soil types and both need something to grow up on, it can simplify your gardening,’ says Fiona Jenkins, gardening expert at MyJobQuote.co.uk, the UK’s leading trades matching site.

Fiona Jenkins
Fiona Jenkins

Fiona Jenkins is a UK-based landscaper with over twenty five years of experience in the industry. As a gardening expert for MyJobQuote, one of the UK's top trades-matching sites, Fiona offers her expert advice to MyJobQuote's tradespeople and homeowners, and has also been featured as a gardening expert for a range of reputable publications.

A vegetable garden with a basket of crops

(Image credit: Future PLC)

But while their similar needs make them easy partners in growth, there are factors you need to be aware of when planting these two together.

‘Both of them are heavy feeders and require lots of moisture and light to grow and they can start competing with each other for nutrients and resources,’ warns Petar Ivanov, Fantastic Gardeners' gardening expert. ‘Still, despite these potential problems, many gardeners claim there are benefits to growing them together.’

So just make sure you provide the plants with enough water, sunlight and nutrients by regularly adding a fertiliser like the Levington Tomorite Concentrated Tomato Food available at Amazon.

Petar Ivanov portrait
Petar Ivanov

Petar Ivanov is one of the company's top-performing experts and manages over six teams of gardeners, delivering stunning landscape results and fostering a deep connection with nature through his work.

A kitchen with tomatoes and tomato plants

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Scott)

Is there a universally good companion plant?

While the best companion plants differ from one variety to the next, there is one plant that most can benefit from to have in their borders.

‘I’d say the best companion plant for almost any plant would be marigolds, specifically for vegetable gardens. These flowers attract beneficial insects and nematodes in the soil, which can help vegetables grow better,’ Petar says.

A garden with a chair and blanket and tomato plants

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Scott)

Where to buy tomato plants:

Where to buy cucumber plants:

A vegetable garden border

(Image credit: Future PLC/Howard Walker)

FAQs

What should you not plant next to cucumbers?

Surprisingly enough, the plants that shouldn’t be planted with cucumbers are vegetables from the same family as cucumbers themselves.

‘Fruit and vegetables from the same family as cucumbers will typically be susceptible to the same diseases. So, planting zucchinis, melons and pumpkins next to cucumbers does risk spreading problems between plants. However, like tomatoes, they have similar needs, so it can make gardening easier. Some aromatic herbs can help to deter pests but they also contain oils that are thought to stunt the growth of cucumbers. So, you do need to be careful about how closely you plant different edibles to cucumbers and weigh up the pros and cons of different companion plants before you start growing,’ explains Fiona Jenkins, gardening expert at MyJobQuote.co.uk.

A greenhouse with sunflowers outside

(Image credit: Future PLC/Clive Nichols)

What should not be planted next to tomatoes?

When it comes to companion planting with tomatoes, the key is to avoid plants that will compete for nutrients too much.

‘Vegetables such as brassicas that need a lot of nutrients to grow might compete too heavily with tomatoes if they’re planted in the same soil. So can potatoes, and as they’re part of the same family of plants, they can suffer from the same diseases and pests,’ says Fiona Jenkins, gardening expert at MyJobQuote.co.uk.

And as long as you follow these guidelines you should be all good.

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.