Can You Plant Zucchini Squash Next to a Better Bush Tomato in a Planter Box?


Both zucchini and tomatoes are common choices for plants to cultivate in a home garden due to the ease with which they can be cared for and the abundant produce they provide. Even in more restricted spaces, such as a planter box on a balcony, it is common practise to grow tomatoes and squash beside one another. Both the tomatoes and the squash may provide magnificent crops if you take the necessary precautions and prepare ahead.


You may grow zucchini squash alongside a ‘Better Bush’ tomato if the planter box that you use is spacious enough. However, you are need to provide sufficient space between each plant.

Tomatoes and Squash Planted Together

Certain plants exhibit a synergistic enhancement when they are planted in close proximity to one another. Companion planting, often known as building a polyculture garden bed, is what Rural Sprout refers to this method as. It describes the different kinds of companion planting partners that you can choose as dynamic accumulators. Dynamic accumulators are plants that can pull certain nutrients up from the deeper earth or the air and make them available in the upper layers of soil. These nutrients can then be used by companion plants to grow faster or stronger.

It is reasonable to expect that pest controllers will be able to discourage or chase away bugs that might otherwise be lured to their companions. Trap plants are a kind of pest controllers. These are plants that are grown close and then sacrificed in order to keep pests away from the main crop that you are cultivating. Trap plants do this by appealing to a specific kind of insect that is more aggressive than the crop that they are intended to protect, so diverting prospective invaders away from your prize.

The last two types of companion plants are environmental assistance plants and helpful attractants. Environmental aid plants may serve to shed shade or offer a framework for companions to climb, while useful attractants attract beneficial insects and other organisms. Attractants are substances that entice pollinators to a plant, particularly those that a companion plant needs but may not be able to attract on its own. These pollinators may include ones that are predatory against unwanted insects, such as wasps. Tomatoes and zucchini may make wonderful garden partners, according to Un Assaggio, which agrees with Rural Sprout on this point. The abundant flowers of tomatoes serve as lures, while the large number of leaves produced by zucchini plants provide a benefit to the surrounding environment. These leaves help to keep the soil cool and reduce the amount of evaporation that causes the soil to dry up.

Tomato Varieties for Planters

The ‘Better Bush’ tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum ‘Better Bush,’ a perennial that can only be grown in USDA zones 11 and 12) is an excellent option to consider if your objective is to maximise output while minimising space requirements. Because of the way the roots develop on the ‘Better Bush’ tomato plant, you will need to provide between 1 and 1 1/2 feet of space between each plant if they are staked, but you need leave between 4 and 5 feet of space if you let the plants spread on the ground. This may be done with big planters, but you should limit yourself to growing just one tomato plant in each container if possible.

This particular type of grape has shorter vines, and according to Park Seed, this results in shorter internodes, which in turn produces more fruit. You can boost the ‘Better Bush’s’ stability by anchoring it or providing a tomato cage for your plant to climb on. Even though the ‘Better Bush’ will grow into a solid 4 foot tall, 2 to 3 foot wide bush on its own, you can speed up this process.

If you are worried about plant diseases, you should consider selecting this plant since it is resistant to both verticillium wilt and fusarium wilt race 1, making it an excellent option. Be sure to wait until the frost risk has completely passed before putting your containers out in the fresh air. To ensure the health and growth of your ‘Better Bush’ tomatoes, you need maintain overnight temperatures that are higher than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Planter Varieties of Zucchini

Fresh and Verdant Simple says that there are two sorts of zucchini: bushy zucchini and vining zucchini. The vining kind of zucchini, also known as the creeping variety, is the most common and is the one that climbs trellises and trails along the ground. At the very tip of each vine is where their fruit may be found. It’s possible that some gardeners have never heard of bushy zucchini. This kind is much more compact than others and grows its fruit and leaves from a single spot in the centre of the plant.

If you want to grow zucchini in a planter box, you should choose bushy varieties since they take up less space and provide a better fit for the container. In addition to other varieties, Gardener’s Path recommends cultivating zucchini in planter boxes using the ‘Astia’ (Cucurbita pepo ‘Astia,’ grown as an annual) and ‘Buckingham’ (Cucurbita pepo ‘Buckingham,’ produced as an annual) cultivars of the Cucurbita pepo genus. Although bushy zucchini plants have the potential to produce a harvest that is both dense and substantial, it is recommended that you use a small trellis or stake to support the plants as they grow.

Other Companion Plants

Borage is often recommended as a third companion plant to both tomatoes and zucchini (Borago officinalis, can be grown as a biennial or in zones 3 to 10, says Harvest to Table). This edible herb has a taste that is reminiscent of cucumber and is a favourite of pollinators. It will assist to discourage pests from tomatoes and zucchini by growing in your garden. In terms of beneficial attractants and warding off pests, this will serve as the “glue” that binds together zucchini and tomatoes as a trio. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum, perennial in zones 9 through 11) can likewise attract pollinators while functioning as a trap crop for aphids; however, unlike borage, nasturtium cannot be consumed and does not operate as a repellent. Basil (Ocimum basilicum, perennial in zones 10 and 11) has an additional advantage of warding off pests while also improving the taste and output of tomato plants. In fact, according to This Is My Garden, many chefs prefer that tomatoes be planted alongside basil plants. Although they provide the same level of defence for zucchini plants, they do not come with nearly as many additional advantages as peppers do.

Due to the fact that tomatoes and peppers need fairly similar growing circumstances, peppers may make good companion plants for tomatoes; nonetheless, it is generally advised to keep these two plants apart by at least a foot or two and to place another plant in between them. The companion planting of basil, tomatoes, and peppers creates a growth environment that is good to all three plants and helps to deter aphid infestations. When plants are grown in environments that are quite similar to one another, it is common to find that they are susceptible to the same fungus, blights, and diseases. Because of this, most gardeners will maintain these plants at a distance from one another to reduce the risk of a widespread infection that would destroy the whole crop yield. You may try growing tomatoes and peppers together to improve the taste and yield, but you should be aware that it is a hazardous strategy. If you are certain that your garden and plants are sterile, you can attempt growing tomatoes and peppers together to improve the flavour and production.

It is possible to effectively cultivate companion plants in separate pots as long as they are located in close proximity to one another. The only exceptions to this rule are dynamic accumulator companions and very few pest controllers that depend on their roots. Some designs for farming by the square foot may be found in The Old Farmer’s Almanac. This method allows for more space to be left between plants that could otherwise be in competition for nutrients or that might share blights and pests. As long as you do some study on why this tiered sequence has been developed, you should be able to place smaller planter boxes with herbs safely between bigger planter boxes that contain vegetables like tomatoes and zucchini without causing any harm.

Companion Plants and Planter Boxes

According to Native American tradition, the vegetables squash, beans or peas, and maize are known as the “three sisters of the garden.” When corn and squash are planted in close proximity to one another, the large ground-covering leaves of the squash provide a mulching effect for the corn, while the corn planted next to the squash confuses and deters the squash vine borer that preys on the squash plant. The beans, on the other hand, take in nitrogen from the air and fix it in the topsoil. This makes nitrogen accessible to both the corn and the squash, while at the same time the beans use the ground cover and the higher stems to boost their own growth. Corn and tomatoes, according to Taste of Home, are another pair that share pests and blights, and as a result, they shouldn’t be planted in the same garden bed unless you are certain in your ability to decontaminate the soil and are willing to forego two harvests in the event that you make a mistake.

There is a wealth of information to be gleaned from examining Venn diagrams of overlapping advantages and drawbacks associated with companion planting. Growing veggies in a planter box may be difficult; nevertheless, as long as you don’t mind maintaining many planter boxes with bigger plants as primary and lesser herbs put around the perimeter or in smaller surrounding pots, you can still take pleasure in a bountiful harvest and a charming garden.

There is much you can study in looking at Venn diagrams of overlapping benefits and detriments to companion gardening. Growing vegetables in a planter box can be challenging, but as long as you don’t mind managing multiple planter boxes with larger plants as primary and smaller herbs planted along the perimeter or in smaller nearby pots, you can still enjoy a prodigious harvest and a delightful garden.