Tomatoes are one of the most popular edible plants and they are quite easy to grow at home. Companion plantings are ideal for tomatoes and, depending on your climate, you can grow them in the greenhouse, outdoors or in polythene tunnels. The benefits of grouping plants together in the garden may have no scientific basis, but it is as old as agriculture itself and is said to improve growth and flavor and protect plants from pests.
Wherever you grow your tomatoes, planting companion plants can help your tomatoes fight off pests, boost your crop yields, and increase the resilience of your garden. Companion planting is a much better alternative to monoculture.
Companion planting isn’t just about attracting beneficial insects, it’s also about encouraging growth, maximizing overall supply, and striking a balance between providing the right environment for your plants to grow. . Companion planting is not just about including as many random plants as possible, but also about carefully considering the ways plants can benefit each other.
The best companion plants for tomatoes
Tomatoes are easy to grow from seed, and the more beneficial interactions you can create, the more resilient and stable the ecosystem will be. If you are considering planting companion plants for your tomatoes, these are the best plants to grow with them.
Carrots are an effective companion plant for tomatoes, although many people believe carrots can be cut in size which will improve overall yield. It is recommended to plant a root crop on tomatoes early in the season before the tomatoes take off.
Mutual benefits are obtained when the two are planted together and it is best to plant and harvest early carrots in the tomato bed before they really take off.
One of the best herbs that grows well as a companion plant with tomatoes. They go just as well on the plate as in the garden. It is also recommended to plant these two plants together as companion plants for professional home gardeners. The combination of basil protects the tomatoes from pests and is particularly beneficial against tomato hornworm, and in turn, the tomatoes improve basil growth.
Rosemary is another Mediterranean herb that makes a great companion for tomatoes, and while it doesn’t like to get too wet, it can thrive in temperatures similar to tomatoes.
Tomatoes and cucumbers grow together as companions and other members of the same family. They both have similar needs in terms of environment and growing needs.
Planting next to asparagus and tomatoes allows the asparagus to grow to maturity and finish harvesting before the larger tomatoes ripen, saving space. The asparagus illustrates the comings and goings of the associated planting. Tomatoes help repel asparagus beetles with a chemical called solanine, and in turn, asparagus helps deter carrot rootworms that are attracted to tomatoes.
6. Garlic, onion, chives (and other alliums)
Garlic, onions, chives and other alliums are great companions for any plant and are said to repel spider mites due to their strong smell.
A garlic spray can help protect plants and soil from fire blight.
You can use parsley as a trap crop to keep aphids away from your tomatoes, making it a great companion for your tomatoes. Parsley is a classic match for tomatoes and both have benefits for each other. Not all types of tomatoes pair well with parsley, so it’s best to research your varieties thoroughly before planting them as a companion plant.
Planting parsley next to the right variety of tomatoes encourages growth and attracts tomato worm predators like ladybugs, but keep it away from a mint plant.
Celery and tomatoes can be planted close to each other without damaging either crop. Celery is one of the most difficult plants to grow because it requires a lot of preparation and care. The effort is still considered worthwhile, and tomatoes can also be planted in the same bed with celery. Celery can also benefit from shade from tomato plants.
The strong scent of marigolds is perfect for keeping insects away from tomatoes. Research suggests that consuming calendula ranks with tomatoes because they both like similar conditions and it may also help them excrete a chemical from their root that kills harmful root-knot nematodes.
10. Borage and Pumpkin
Tomato, borage and squash are the most common trio in companion planting and this is mainly due to their timing and growing conditions. Borage is a flowering herb with a star-shaped blue flower and is a great pollinator favorite and also repels tomato worms. Borage and squash improve the growth and flavor of tomatoes while protecting them.
The calendula plant is often referred to as pot marigold, but it should not be confused with calendula. They are completely different pots. Calendula is usually grown as an annual flower grown in garden beds and the leaves and flowers make a lovely addition to salads. It is an excellent companion for tomatoes.
Radishes are an excellent tomato companion plant that you can plant around the base of your tomato plants to attract flea beetles. For these companion plants to work, they must be planted close together.
Tiny fennel flowers provide nectar for a wide variety of beneficial insects, making them perfect for tomatoes. Aphids can become a problem on tomatoes, but planting them among fennel can limit their numbers.
If you want to protect your tomato plants from blue stink bugs this season, cabbages are the best planting strategy. Harlequin plant bugs are more common in warm regions, they prefer plants of the cabbage family and avoid tomatoes when planting collars.
Planting cowpeas near tomatoes can help attract green stink bugs and prevent them from causing significant damage. Cowpea a few meters from the tomatoes and plant several weeks before planting your tomatoes.
What to plant with tomatoes to keep insects away?
Companion planting may not guarantee pest-free tomatoes, but it can help reduce pest numbers.
Some companion plants repel pests that attract beneficial insects, and planting hardy plants is the best way to keep insects away from tomatoes. Here are some companion plants to keep insects away from tomatoes:
- sweet haven
What not to plant with tomatoes?
Plants that should not share space with tomatoes include:
- Brassicas like cabbage and broccoli
- Corn tends to attract tomato fruitworms, so that’s a no-no
- Kohlrabi inhibits the growth of tomatoes
- Potatoes probably increase the risk of potato blight
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I plant tomatoes side by side?
No, tomatoes planted next to each other can cause problems. If tomatoes are planted so close together that sunlight and air cannot dry the leaves, the plants can develop disease. Therefore, they should be planted with an ideal spacing of 24 to 36 inches.
Can tomatoes and courgettes be planted together?
Yes, you can plant tomatoes and zucchini together like you would in a ratatouille. Tomatoes and squash are warm season vegetables with similar growing conditions.
What is the best month to plant tomatoes?
Tomatoes thrive on heat and are therefore best planted in the spring. Tomatoes typically require about three months of heat, and under ideal conditions, tomatoes germinate in 5-10 days.
Do tomato plants like full sun or shade?
Tomatoes thrive in full sun, and all they need is six to eight hours of sunlight. Tomatoes love the sun and need full sun, which means they need 6-8 hours of fairly direct sunlight.
Which tomato plants to repel insects?
Herbs and flowers are the best companion plants for tomatoes to keep insects away. To protect your tomatoes from pests, you can plant basil, lemon balm, sweet alyssum, garlic, chives, mint, anise, onion, nasturtium and parsley.
Do tomatoes need a lot of water?
Tomatoes wilt if they get too much water and the same thing happens if they don’t. When the temperature rises, it is also necessary to water the tomatoes more frequently, that is, twice a day. Garden tomatoes generally need 1-2 inches of water per week.
Are coffee grounds good for tomato plants?
Yes, coffee grounds can be added to compost and used as an organic fertilizer to stimulate tomato plants, attract earthworms and deter garden pests.
Can peppers and tomatoes be planted together?
It is not recommended to plant tomatoes and peppers together, but they are planted in the same bed and moved to another bed the next season.
Is it worth growing your own food?
Not all crops are created equal, so you’ll easily find some and some won’t, but it’s worth growing your own food. Growing certain foods can result in significant savings.
Do tomatoes and cabbage grow well together?
Avoid planting tomatoes and cabbage together or they will stop growing. Tomatoes can be planted near asparagus, carrots, cucumbers, mints, but not near cabbage.
Are banana peels good for tomato plants?
Yes, potassium-rich banana peels are ideal for tomato plants. Banana peels contain calcium which helps prevent rotting of tomato blossoms.
Can you plant tomatoes and strawberries together?
Yes, you can definitely plant tomatoes and strawberries together and both taste just as good together. They can be planted together during the current growing season.
There are many potential mishaps to face if your tomatoes aren’t cared for properly, from blossom tip rot to fungal diseases.
A good companion planting helps attract beneficial insects and can protect and manage plants until harvest time.
The effectiveness of companion planting may have no scientific basis, but what cannot be debated is the ease of growing the recommended plants. Growing these above mentioned plants near your tomatoes will definitely increase the overall yield of your garden.