Should You Plant Zucchini With Tomatoes This Season? (2024)

As you start to plan your vegetable garden, you may be wondering how to arrange your plants this year. You probably want to grow a variety of tasty summer veggies, including tomatoes and zucchini. Can you plant these two together? Do they make good companion plants?

Gardeners have reliably used companion plantings for generations. Companion planting is the use of two or more different plants, that when grown together, benefit each other. Companion plants may help each other by providing shade, providing support, enriching the soil, attracting pollinators, or repelling pests. The “three sisters:” winter squash, corn, and beans, is a well-known companion planting arrangement.

Some plants actually should not be planted together. Sometimes plants may seem to have an adverse effect on each other. Two different plants may both be very heavy feeders and overly compete with each other for nutrients. A tall plant may shade out a smaller plant as they compete for light. Or two different plants may be highly susceptible to the same pests and diseases, thereby increasing the likelihood that both plants will become infected.

Other plants can be grown together in peaceful harmony without any noticeable benefits or problems. In a neutral situation like this, many plants can be grown together, as long as they aren’t overly competitive or directly causing each other harm. Let’s take a closer look at both tomatoes and zucchini to see how well they grow together.

The Short Answer

You can plant tomatoes with zucchini. They may not offer any overwhelmingly positive benefits to each other, although they can help each other in several small ways. More importantly, they won’t cause each other any harm. Both tomatoes and zucchini enjoy the same environmental growing conditions. Just be sure to give each plant enough space to grow and spread because they each need abundant sunlight and good airflow.

The Long Answer

Should You Plant Zucchini With Tomatoes This Season? (1)

Zucchini and tomatoes can be grown as close neighbors and will make satisfactory companion plants. Both vegetables thrive in the same environmental conditions, so a garden plot that is ideal for one plant is therefore ideal for the other.

They both need a location with full sun and benefit from nutrient-rich soil. Both vegetables need well-drained soil that is consistently moist throughout the growing season.

Zucchini and tomatoes offer each other some benefits. Zucchini has jumbo-sized leaves and acts like a ground cover. The leaves provide shade for the soil, helping prevent the soil from drying out. These large leaves will also help shade out weed growth. The flowers of both vegetables attract many pollinators, and these pollinators will benefit both species.

As you are planning your garden, there are other companion plants to consider growing nearby. You can plant multiple different species in the same raised bed, in the same row, or in neighboring rows.

Most of the companion plants in this list are beneficial because they repel pests, attract pollinators, or help enrich the soil.

Tomato Companion PlantsZucchini Companion Plants


Should You Plant Zucchini With Tomatoes This Season? (2)

Tomatoes are an annual garden plant with delicious, rounded, juicy fruits. There are numerous hybrids and cultivars available, including small tomato varieties that are ideal for smaller containers and large, sprawling plants that produce vigorous harvests for almost the entire growing season.

Tomato fruits come in various shapes and colors, from bite-sized yellow pear-shaped fruits to giant meaty red-orange slicing tomatoes. If you love tomatoes, you can grow a rainbow assortment of delicious fruits!


Should You Plant Zucchini With Tomatoes This Season? (3)

Zucchini is a variety of summer squash that is perhaps best known for being long and green, and very prolific. But there are many more varieties of summer squash waiting to be discovered.

Summer squash may be small and white, large and green, flattened or oblong. Some are solid yellow, green, or white, while others are striped or patterned. All are tasty and easy to grow and have the same basic needs.

Timing of Planting

Should You Plant Zucchini With Tomatoes This Season? (4)

The timing of your planting is something to plan for. Both zucchini and tomatoes can be started from seed, but zucchini is best directly sown outdoors after the last frost, and tomatoes should be started indoors before the last frost. If you plan to purchase nursery-grown tomatoes, you will probably start with fairly small plants.

Once your zucchini seeds sprout, they will quickly develop big leaves. Make sure your tomatoes will have the necessary space and time to grow towards the sun before being shaded out by the zucchini.

Set your tomato plants in the ground before starting your zucchini seeds to give the tomatoes a head start. This also allows you to set up any tomato cages or other supports you need without the giant zucchini leaves getting in the way.

Gardening Style

Should You Plant Zucchini With Tomatoes This Season? (5)

Did you know that both zucchini and tomatoes can be grown in containers? That makes these plants highly versatile. You can garden on your back porch, from your fifth-floor balcony, or in a convenient spot anywhere in your yard.

You can grow these plants in large containers or have them in a more traditional garden setting. They also grow well in raised beds and rows. Unless you are growing compact, dwarf varieties, just remember that these plants both sprawl and will need a lot of space to grow.

Ideal Growing Conditions

Should You Plant Zucchini With Tomatoes This Season? (6)

Fortunately, both zucchini and tomatoes thrive in the same conditions, which makes them very easy to grow together. If you follow these basic guidelines for your plants, they should do well, whether you have them growing as neighbors or on opposite ends of your garden.

LightFull sun, ideally at least 8 hours of direct sunlight each day.
WaterThese plants like consistent moisture. If there’s a dry spell, don’t wait too long to water your plants. Soil can dry briefly between waterings, but if the plants stay dry for too long, the leaves and fruits will suffer. Also don’t allow the roots of either vegetable to sit in wet or waterlogged soil.
SoilSoil should be nutrient-rich and high in organic matter. Soil should also be loose and well-drained. Avoid heavy clay soil.
NutrientsAdd organic compost into the soil before planting. This will ensure your plants have a good source of nutrients to get them started. You can add a second round of compost or garden fertilizer just as your plants start fruiting. This can help them develop larger, more robust fruits.
MulchMulch around your plants early in the season to help maintain and regulate soil moisture.
SpaceBoth vegetables each need plenty of space and good airflow. Unless you are growing dwarf varieties, both tomato and zucchini plants can occupy a lot of space. Allow at least 2 feet between plants so they have enough room to grow without crowding their neighbors.
SupportZucchini doesn’t need support, but tomatoes will benefit from staking or using tomato cages. Install your support system while the plants are still small so you won’t need to damage any leaves while trying in install something after plants have significantly matured.
SeasonBoth tomatoes and zucchini are warm-season crops. They do best in warm weather and can be planted outside after the last spring frost. They will each die after the first fall frost.
HarvestTomatoes take anywhere from 60 to 100 days, or more, from seed to harvest. Zucchini takes an average of about 60 days to grow from seed to the first harvest. This means you will be harvesting your fruits from mid-summer into fall. Different varieties of plants will have slightly different ripening times.

Common Pests

Should You Plant Zucchini With Tomatoes This Season? (7)

Fortunately, both vegetables don’t share too many garden pests. You should still keep an eye on your plants throughout the growing season, however. Catching any pest or disease early greatly increases your plant’s chances of recovery. Keep your plants well-spaced to improve air circulation and reduce favorable disease conditions.

One of the most common tomato pests is the tomato hornworm. This giant caterpillar happily eats the leaves of the tomato plant and can cause a great deal of damage. Keep an eye out for other pests, such as spider mites, aphids, and flea beetles.

There are also some common fungal diseases that can cause your plants to wither and die and cause fruits to develop mushy black spots.

Zucchini is highly prone to squash bugs and squash vine borers. Both of these insect pests can do a lot of damage in a very short time. Keep an eye out for aphids and flea beetles as well.

Zucchini can also develop fungal diseases that can wilt or kill the leaves and cause fruits to get moldy and rotten. Fungal diseases are most likely to occur in warm, high-humidity areas with poor airflow.

Final Thoughts

Now you’ve learned the basics about growing tomatoes and zucchini. Both of these delicious garden fruits are rewarding and easy to grow. Grow them together as companion plants, or incorporate them into other mixed gardening arrangements.

Get creative with your planting arrangements and don’t be afraid to try growing different plants together. Many plants act as beneficial companions and can be grown in close proximity. As long as you provide your plants with their preferred conditions and companions, they will reward you with a bountiful harvest.

Should You Plant Zucchini With Tomatoes This Season? (2024)


Should You Plant Zucchini With Tomatoes This Season? ›

Zucchini and tomatoes can be grown as close neighbors and will make satisfactory companion plants

companion plants
Companion planting in gardening and agriculture is the planting of different crops in proximity for any of a number of different reasons, including weed suppression, pest control, pollination, providing habitat for beneficial insects, maximizing use of space, and to otherwise increase crop productivity. › wiki › Companion_planting
. Both vegetables thrive in the same environmental conditions, so a garden plot that is ideal for one plant is therefore ideal for the other. They both need a location with full sun and benefit from nutrient-rich soil.

Is it okay to plant zucchini next to tomatoes? ›

These crops belong to different plant families, but have similar nutrient requirements and need a lot of light. If you were to decide according to location and soil requirements, these crops would go well together. However, tomatoes and peppers require more heat than zucchini plants.

What not to plant next to zucchini? ›

Root Vegetables: Some root vegetables such as carrots and beets can be poor companions for zucchini. These plants prefer well-drained, loose soil while zucchini wants rich soil. Zucchini also prefer a lot of water while that can be problematic for some root vegetables.

What should you not plant next to tomatoes? ›

10 Plants You Should Never Grow Next to Your Tomatoes
  • 01 of 10. Fennel. Fennel is not a good companion for any garden crop. ...
  • 02 of 10. Cabbage. Getty Images. ...
  • 03 of 10. Pole Beans. Neyya / Getty Images. ...
  • 04 of 10. Dill. Oxana Medvedeva / Getty Images. ...
  • 05 of 10. Corn. ...
  • 06 of 10. Okra. ...
  • 07 of 10. Potatoes. ...
  • 08 of 10. Broccoli.
May 18, 2024

What is the best crop rotation after tomatoes? ›

Legumes and then the cruciferous crops, including brassicas, are what to plant after tomatoes. Legumes are known to trap nitrogen in nodules that form on their roots, adding nitrogen to the soil.

Will zucchini climb a tomato cage? ›

You can also use a trellis or a fence. The vine tendrils will support the plants when they are mature but not when they are mature. The leaves will grow upwards, keeping the zucchini off the ground. Hence, you can grow a zucchini in a tomato cage.

Can bell peppers and zucchini be planted together? ›

Zucchini can offer some shade and ground cover for peppers and the two crops grow well together. Peppers do not add any specific benefit for zucchini, but you can grow both together and have a good crop of both.

What is the best companion plant for zucchini? ›

Radishes, peas, peppermint, dill, parsley, oregano, and even flowers like marigolds or nasturtiums are a few other options for gardeners. Most importantly, zucchini and squash should grow with plants that also need regular watering but don't take up too much space.

Should zucchini be planted in rows or hills? ›

A “hill” of three or four seeds sown close together is another way to plant squash in the garden. Allow five to six feet between hills. You can plant bush types, with very short vines, in closely spaced hills, or in closely spaced rows, with only two to three feet between rows or hills.

Is May too late to plant zucchini? ›

We recommend planting zucchini and summer squash from late May to early July, depending on the season's temperatures and rainfall. It's a warm season crop, so it needs warm air, warm soil, and no chance of frost.

Why should you not plant cucumbers near tomatoes? ›

Planting cucumbers and tomatoes right next to each other is often not recommended. These two plants often have similar requirements for nutrients, water and light, which can lead to competition. Both plants are heavy feeders and require a lot of nitrogen for healthy growth.

Can I plant peppers next to tomatoes? ›

Growing them together, therefore, can sometimes be a better option, especially when space is limited. By planting tomatoes and peppers together, you can move them together in a crop rotation system. This may make things easier in a smaller space.

What not to plant with bell peppers? ›

Brassicas: Almanacs and home gardeners recommend avoiding planting brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, kale, collards, cauliflower) near peppers because they require different soil acidity levels and can deter pepper plant growth.

What can I plant in old tomato soil? ›

Good vegetables to rotate in after tomatoes include beans and peas because they naturally fortify soils with nitrogen, and greens, because they are not too demanding.

Can I plant tomatoes in the same spot every year? ›

Try to plant tomatoes in a different spot every year, rotating through your garden space every three to four years. Planting them in the same place allows disease pathogens that are specific to tomatoes to build up in the soil. By moving them around in the garden each year, you can break up the disease cycle.

How do you get the highest yield on tomatoes? ›

  1. SUNLIGHT, SUNLIGHT, SUNLIGHT. Tomato plants need 10+ hours a day of direct sunlight. ...
  2. DON'T OVER WATER. One of the biggest issues people face when gardening is over watering. ...
Aug 5, 2021

Are there vegetables you should not plant next to each other? ›

Beans and onions: Onions can inhibit the growth of beans. Brassicas and nightshades: Brassicas, such as broccoli and cabbage, can stunt the growth of nightshades, such as tomatoes and peppers. Fennel and most other plants: Fennel can produce allelopathic chemicals that can inhibit the growth of most other plants.

How far apart to plant tomatoes and squash? ›

I typically grow four plants every year, with a foot and a half of space between each plant. With my garden bed being a two-foot tall raised bed, the tomato roots can grow deep and the plants receive enough air flow.

Can I plant cucumbers next to tomatoes? ›

Tomatoes and cucumbers can be grown together successfully, and there are actually some benefits to planting them together. Both plants have similar growing needs when it comes to sunlight, soil conditions, and watering. And if space is at a premium, interplanting the two will allow you to get more out of your garden.

What is a bad companion plant for squash? ›

You may want to experiment with different companion crops until you find the perfect combination to fit your personal tastes and growing conditions. Avoid planting zucchini and summer squash with all other vining plants which include cucumbers and sweet potatoes as well as pumpkins, winter squashes, and melons.

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