Planting Strawberries with Cucumbers

planting strawberries with cucumbersQ: Planting Strawberries with Cucumbers?

On February 25, 2015, Jamie asked:

Hello,

I’ve read the comments to see that cucumbers and beans both should be fine planted close to strawberries. I have a small patch in my small urban garden and would really like to maximize space. My berries are only june bearing, and I am envisioning trellising cucumbers above the patch. You said to keep the trellises on the north side to avoid shading the plants too much, but would full sun matter once my strawberries are done producing? That is, if the climbing cukes do well over the strawberries and they have less light, would I risk losing plants? And how close to the patch do you think I can plant some cukes, if I stay on top of runners who might want to compete? Space is at a premium.

Answer to: Planting Strawberries with Cucumbers?

Jamie,
Full sun would not matter quite as much for June-bearing strawberry varieties since the plants generally produce one big harvest in the spring/early summer and then are finished.  If your cukes don’t shade them early in the season while they are flowering and setting fruit, they should likely produce a normal harvest.  However, other things happen in the plants after they produce the berries: perennating buds are produced (which turn into next year’s strawberry flowers and strawberries) and runners are created.  My guess is that the plants will still be able to produce the buds and runners without full sun, but both might be diminished somewhat.  If space is limited, you don’t want the runners rooting willy-nilly anyway, so they should be snipped off or transplanted elsewhere.  I don’t know of any resources that discuss the effects of shade on either count, but if I were in your situation (needing to make the most of a small area), I would go ahead and try it.  It may make for a slightly smaller yield next year (potentially), but you’ll still get strawberries then.  And, you’ll get a whole lot of cucumbers that you wouldn’t get if you didn’t risk it, right!

Let us know how it goes next year, if you think about it, and good luck!

For reference, see the Companion Planting Strawberries main page.

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