Tomatoes are one of the most popular edible plants and they are quite easy to grow at home. Companion planting is great for tomatoes and depending on your climate, you may grow them in the greenhouse, outdoors, or polytunnels. The benefits of grouping plants together in the garden might have no scientific backing but this is as old as farming itself and it’s supposed to enhance growth, flavor and protect plants from pests.
Wherever you grow your tomatoes, companion planting can help your tomatoes cope with pests, increase your crop yield, and increase resilience in your garden. Companion planting is a far better alternative to mono-crop cultivation.
Companion planting is not just about attracting beneficial insects but also about encouraging growth, optimizing overall input, and its’ a balancing act between providing the right setting for your plants to grow. Companion planting is not just about cramming in random plants as much as we can but about carefully thinking of ways plants can be of benefit to each other.
Tomato Companion Plants: 10 Best Plants to Grow With Tomatoes
Tomatoes are easy to grow from seeds and the more beneficial interactions you can create, the more resilient and stable the ecosystem would be. If you are planning on companion planting for your tomatoes, here are the best plants to grow with it.
Carrot is an effective companion plant for tomatoes although many people believe carrots can become smaller as a result of this the overall yield will be improved. It is recommended to plant a crop of carrots early in the season with your tomatoes before the tomatoes take off.
There are mutual benefits to be gained when both are planted together and planting and harvesting early carrots in the tomato bed before they really take off are really best.
One of the best herbs that grow well as companion plants with tomatoes. They go well together in the plates and the garden as well. Planting these two together as companion plants are recommended for both professionals amateur gardeners as well. Pairing basil protects tomatoes from pests and it’s notably beneficial against the tomato hornworm and in turn, tomatoes improve the growth of basil.
Rosemary is another Meditteranean herb that makes a great companion plant to tomatoes and while it won’t want to get too wet but it can thrive in similar temperatures to tomatoes.
Tomatoes and cucumbers grow together as companions and other members of that same family. They both share similar needs in terms of their environment and growing needs.
Companion planting of asparagus and tomatoes allows asparagus to grow to maturity and complete harvest before the taller tomatoes reach mature size thereby saving space. Asparagus illustrates the give and take of companion planting. Tomatoes help repel asparagus beetles with a chemical called solanine and in return, asparagus helps deter root nematodes that are attracted to tomatoes.
6. Garlic, Onions, Chives (and other Alliums)
Garlic, Onions, Chives, and other alliums make a great companion with any plant and they are said to repel spider mites due to the strong smell.
A spray made with garlic can help protect plants and soil against blight.
You can use parsley as a trap crop to lure aphids away from your tomatoes which makes it a great companion plant for your tomatoes. Parsley is a classic pairing for your tomatoes and they both benefit each other. Not all varieties of tomatoes do well with parsley though hence it is best to research your varieties very well before planting as a companion plant.
Companion planting of parsley with the right tomato variety boosts growth and attracts predators of the tomato hornworms like ladybugs but be sure to keep it well away from a mint plant.
Celery and tomatoes can be planted near each other without any harm to either crop. Celery is one of the most difficult plants to grow as it requires lots of preparation and care nut the effort is always considered worth it and tomatoes can also be planted in the same bed with celery. Celery can also benefit from the shade from the tomato plants.
The strong scent of marigolds is perfect for keeping bugs away from tomatoes. Research suggests that playing marigold in between tomatoes is beneficial because they both like similar conditions and it can also help them excrete a chemical from their root which kills harmful root-knot nematodes.
10. Borage And Squash
Tomato, borage, and squash are common trio in companion planting and this is mostly to their timing and growing conditions. Borage is a flowering herb with a blue start shaped blossom and is a big favorite of pollinators and also repels hornworms from tomatoes. Borage and squash improve the growth and flavor of tomatoes while it protects them.
What to plant with tomatoes to keep bugs away?
Companion planting might not guarantee pest-free tomatoes but it can help to reduce the numbers of harmful insects. Some companion plants repel harmful insects which attracts beneficial insects and planting strong plants is the best way to keep bugs away from tomatoes. Here are some of the companion plants to keep bugs away from tomatoes:
- Sweet asylum
What should not be planted with tomatoes?
Plants that should not share space with tomatoes include:
- Brassicas such as cabbage and broccoli
- Corn tends to attract tomato fruit worm hence it’s a no-no
- Kohlrabi thwarts the growth of tomatoes
- Potatoes are likely to increase the chance of potato blight disease
There are lots of possible setbacks to deal with if your tomatoes are not well cared for, from, blossom rot end to fungal diseases. The right companion planting helps attract beneficial insects and can protect and manage plants until it’s time to harvest.
How effective companion planting is might have no scientific backings but what can’t be debated is how easy the recommended plants are to grow. Growing these plants listed above near your tomatoes is definitely going to increase your overall garden harvest.