Don't Plant Your Fall Pumpkins Next To This Fan-Favorite Vegetable

Fall is all about cozying up as temperatures begin to cool off. Because of this, plenty of seasonal recipes feature hearty fall vegetables that can be easily transformed into comforting dishes, like pumpkins, squash, carrots, and potatoes. Unfortunately, just because some of these ingredients pair well in recipes, it doesn't mean they work as companions in the garden. Though they might both be popular inclusions in delicious soups and side dishes, pumpkins and potatoes are one of these pairings that simply don't allow either plant to thrive.

Thankfully, however, there are plenty of other options to pair with each vegetable to guarantee that you'll be left with a fruitful yield when it comes time to harvest. If you do a bit of research and efficiently plan out your garden, you shouldn't have any issues stocking up on both pumpkin and potato just in time to whip up your favorite fall recipes with produce plucked straight from your own garden.

Why don't pumpkins and potatoes grow well together?

Potatoes and pumpkins don't grow well together for one primary reason: They're both very competitive. Potatoes like to root deep into the soil and absorb all of the nutrients available to them — something that isn't a problem when planted alone — so they effectively steal resources from the pumpkin plants sitting closer to the surface. Pumpkins also need plenty of nutrients to grow, so this combination means a low yield on both sides of the coin.

Additionally, pumpkin shouldn't be planted with fennel or brassicas like broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts for the same reason. Potatoes are also not the most social plant, and their list of bad pairings includes tomatoes, peppers, carrots, onions, fennel, turnips, and cucumbers. Basically, any other plant that requires a large amount of nutrition and resources from the soil isn't the best bet, as both pumpkins and potatoes need a rich environment to thrive.

What you should pair together

Both pumpkins and potatoes require plenty of nutrients to grow, but that doesn't mean there aren't any companion plants that will pair well with them. Pumpkins work well alongside plants that attract squash bees like zucchini, cucumbers, and, of course, squash as these little critters assist with pollination. Additionally, they will flourish next to both corn and sunflowers, allowing you to create the perfect photo-worthy seasonal setup for when the fall months roll around.

Potatoes, on the other hand, do best with plants that stay on the surface and don't root too deeply, such as basil, lettuce, spinach, and parsley. They can also do well with cabbage, corn, and beans, which can help you to gather all of the ingredients you need to cook up a delicious and hearty vegetable stew. Properly planning out how your plants will interact with one another can be a bit of a challenge, but it will all be worth it when you're left with plenty of fresh and flavorful produce come harvest time.