You might have heard of companion planting to keep pests away, and want to learn more about it. So, what are good companion plants for tomatoes? What can you plant next to your tomatoes that will ensure your tomato crop is bountiful?
What is companion planting?
Companion planting is a combination of folklore, wishful thinking, and expertise. The idea of companion planting refers to planting other plants in close proximity to one another. The benefits of companion planting provide a natural insecticide against predatory insects. It encourages the pollinating of other garden plants, and the entire crop production is advanced.
If you want to learn more about companion planting, reading the Carrots Love Tomatoes book by Louise Riotte is a must!
What Are The Best Companion Plants For Tomatoes?
Tomatoes are a popular and nutritious crop that many gardeners choose to grow every year. Growing tomatoes alongside other vegetables will ensure healthy tomatoes and a great harvest. Here are a few of the best companion plants that should be planted next to your tomatoes:
Basil is a great companion for tomato plants because it helps to repel some pesky insects, including aphids, whiteflies, and the tomato hornworm, but is also known for enhancing tomato taste. So, add a few basil plants around the garden: you’ll love adding a few leaves to your tomato sandwiches too!
Planting parsley next to your tomatoes can be used as a great trap crop that attracts hoverflies, which prey on aphids that can attack tomato plants.
Garlic repels garden pests such as spider mites, whiteflies, and aphids but it also protects against late blight, making it one of the best plant partners.
Learn more about how to grow garlic.
Borage attracts the tomato hornworm, leaving your tomatoes alone. The bushy nature of borage’s foliage can also act as a shade for the base of the tomato plants, keeping them cool and providing a refuge for beneficial insects.
Squash and tomatoes share similar needs in terms of water, light, and soil type. So, when planted together, the squash will provide a ground cover that reduces loss of water and maintains humidity.
This beautiful flower can be planted near your tomato has a strong aroma that repels pests like flies and mites, allowing your plant to be unharmed by their damaging effects. Planting French marigolds next to tomatoes can help deter nematodes and root-knot.
A peppery and bitter plant, nasturtium is more than just a pretty flower to tomatoes: it is a trap crop for aphids. Please be mindful of where you plant this flower because it will grow quickly if not controlled. One way to solve this problem is to train it to go up a trellis.
Additionally, nasturtiums are a yummy addition to your salads, and they make delicious pesto and soup.
Planting asparagus next to tomatoes can help deter nematodes. Additionally, the asparagus’ roots are known to produce a natural fungicide that could be beneficial in preventing fungal diseases like botrytis and early blight from attacking your tomatoes.
Asparagus is also great at attracting predatory wasps whose larvae feed on the hornworms. Learn more about growing asparagus.
Chives have been known to repel a number of pests that affect tomatoes, such as aphids, nematodes, and spider mites. The odor these plants emit is strong enough to repel away insect pests such as flea beetles, cucumber beetles, and the carrot fly.
Lettuce is another great companion plant of tomatoes: it loves the shade tomatoes provide, as well as the moist soil there. Lettuce also acts as a living mulch by aiding in maintaining moist and cool soil.
Bee Balm, lemon balm, and mint are other plants that make good tomato neighbors. Yet, be careful, as these plants are sometimes invasive.
What Should NOT Be Planted With Tomatoes?
- If you want healthy tomatoes, brassicas, such as cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, should not be grown near them.
- Corn is another vegetable you don’t want next to your tomatoes because it attracts the tomato fruitworm as well as the corn earworm.
- Planting Kohlrabi close to tomatoes will hinder tomato plant growth.
- Dill will also limit the healthy growth of a tomato plant.
- The nightshade family, including pepper plants and potatoes, will increase the chance of early and late blight.
- Fennel is best to plant by itself as it not only affects tomatoes but other plants as well since its roots secrete a substance that stunts growth.
- Leafy greens, such as spinach and leaf lettuce attract the white butterfly-like cabbage moths and cabbage worms.
What are plants that will benefit from being planted next to tomatoes?
So far we have discussed how other plants can be beneficial to tomatoes. However, tomatoes can also be an excellent companion as well. Here are some examples:
- will repel the asparagus beetles from asparagus
- keep away insect pests from gooseberries
- can guard roses against black spots
Frequently Asked Questions
What should not be planted with tomatoes?
Any plant that will invite pests or fungal diseases to your tomatoes. Corn, cabbage, and broccoli are just a few examples (scroll back up for more examples).
What to plant with tomatoes to keep bugs away?
A good guard crop around your tomatoes is a great way to create natural pest control. It will also give you the added benefit of a great vegetable garden.
Can I plant tomatoes and cucumbers next to each other?
In short, yes. Tomatoes and cucumbers, along with pole beans and peas, grow well together. Make sure to keep a calendar handy for varying harvest times for each of the different plants. We recommend a week apart. Also, keep an eye out for pests that can cross over each plant.
Can peppers and tomatoes be planted together?
Peppers and tomatoes share many of the same needs for optimal growth, making them a good fit with one another in the garden.
So, as you plant your garden this spring, remember these best companion plants for tomatoes and add them to your garden: your tomatoes will love you for it. Happy gardening!