Because lack of pollination is a primary reason for poor yield, GardenZeus recommends encouraging bees to visit your pumpkins by planting borage, nasturtiums, rosemary, oregano, and other heat-tolerant, bee-attracting herbs and plants nearby. Allowing vegetables like radishes and carrots to flower and persist in your garden through spring and summer may also attract bees and help with squash pollination.
Avoid planting root crops, such as beets, onions, and potatoes, near pumpkins, which may disturb sensitive pumpkin roots when harvested.
The main concern with companion planting for pumpkins is that with the vigorous growth, long vines, and sprawling habit of many varieties, pumpkin plants may simply overwhelm, cover, and starve other plants by blocking sunlight. Vining pumpkins are generally not recommended for interplanting. Pumpkins can be successfully grown with tall or large columnar plants, such as sunflowers, amaranth, and giant corn.
The Three Sisters is a traditional Native American agricultural grouping that includes corn, beans, and squash. Will this combination work with pumpkins in your garden? See Three Sisters Companion Planting Combination for California.
To view customized instructions for growing pumpkin in your area, go to GardenZeus and enter your zip code, then go to pumpkin.