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The Ultimate Guide to Companion Planting: Best Plants to Grow with Tomatoes

best companion plants for tomatoes

Companion Planting Basics

Before we dive into the best companion plants for tomatoes, let's with some basics. Companion planting is the practice of growing two or more different types of plants in close proximity for mutual benefit. Some plants have natural pest-repelling properties or attract beneficial insects, while others can help improve soil quality or provide shade.

When it comes to tomatoes, one of the biggest benefits of companion planting is that it can help deter pests like aphids, whiteflies, and hornworms. Additionally, certain plants can help attract pollinators like bees, which are essential for fruit production.

The Best Companion Plants for Tomatoes

Now that we've covered the basics, let's take a look at some of the best companion plants for tomatoes:

1. Basil

Basil is an excellent companion plant for tomatoes because it can help repel pests like mosquitoes, flies, and thrips. In addition, basil has been shown to improve the flavor of tomatoes when grown together.

To grow basil with tomatoes, plant them in the same bed or container, making sure to space them at least 12 inches apart. Basil prefers well-drained soil and full sun, so be sure to choose a location that gets plenty of direct sunlight.

2. Marigolds

Marigolds are another great choice for companion planting with tomatoes. They contain a natural compound called thiophene that repels nematodes, which can damage tomato roots.

To grow marigolds with tomatoes, plant them around the perimeter of your garden or in between rows. Be sure to choose a variety that is compatible with your climate and soil type.

3. Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are a colorful and edible flower that can help repel aphids and other pests from your tomato plants. They also attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and hoverflies.

To grow nasturtiums with tomatoes, plant them in the same bed or container, making sure to space them at least 12 inches apart. Nasturtiums prefer well-drained soil and full sun.

4. Garlic

Garlic is a natural pest repellent and can help protect your tomato plants from spider mites, aphids, and other pests. Additionally, garlic has been shown to improve soil quality and boost tomato growth.

To grow garlic with tomatoes, plant them in the same bed or container, making sure to space them at least 6 inches apart. Garlic prefers well-drained soil and full sun.

5. Carrots

Carrots are a good companion plant for tomatoes because they can help improve soil quality and attract beneficial insects like parasitic wasps. Additionally, carrots have shallow roots that won't compete with tomato plants for nutrients.

To grow carrots with tomatoes, plant them in between rows or in a separate bed nearby. Be sure to choose a variety that is compatible with your climate and soil type.

6. Borage

Borage is a great companion plant for tomatoes because it attracts pollinators like bees and provides shade for the soil. Additionally, borage contains compounds that can help repel tomato hornworms.

To grow borage with tomatoes, plant them in the same bed or container, making sure to space them at least 12 inches apart. Borage prefers well-drained soil and full sun.

7. Chives

Chives are a natural pest repellent and can help protect your tomato plants from aphids and other pests. Additionally, chives contain sulfur compounds that can help improve tomato flavor.

To grow chives with tomatoes, plant them in the same bed or container, making sure to space them at least 6 inches apart. Chives prefer well-drained soil and full sun.

8. Dill

Dill is an excellent companion plant for tomatoes because it attracts beneficial insects like parasitic wasps and lacewings, which can help control pests like aphids and whiteflies.

To grow dill with tomatoes, plant them in the same bed or container, making sure to space them at least 12 inches apart. Dill prefers well-drained soil and full sun.

9. Calendula

Calendula is a beautiful and edible flower that can help repel pests like aphids and whiteflies from your tomato plants. Additionally, calendula has been shown to improve soil quality and attract pollinators like bees.

To grow calendula with tomatoes, plant them in the same bed or container, making sure to space them at least 12 inches apart. Calendula prefers well-drained soil and full sun.

10. Asparagus

Asparagus is a good companion plant for tomatoes because it contains compounds that can help repel nematodes and other soil-borne pests. Additionally, asparagus has deep roots that can help break up compacted soil.

To grow asparagus with tomatoes, plant them in a separate bed nearby. Be sure to choose a variety that is compatible with your climate and soil type.

In companion planting is a highly effective way to improve yields and protect your tomato plants from pests and disease. By choosing the right companion plants for tomatoes, you can create a healthy and productive garden that will provide you with fresh, delicious produce all season long.

FAQs

1. Can I plant tomatoes with peppers?

Yes, tomatoes and peppers are compatible companion plants. In fact, they have similar soil and water requirements, making them ideal to grow together.

2. What should I do if my tomato plants get infected with pests?

If your tomato plants become infested with pests, try using organic pest control methods like neem oil or insecticidal soap. You can also try introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs or lacewings to help control the pest population.

3. How often should I water my tomato plants?

Tomato plants need consistent moisture to thrive, so be sure to water them regularly. In general, tomato plants need about 1-2 inches of water per week, depending on weather conditions.

4. Can I plant tomatoes with cucumbers?

While tomatoes and cucumbers can be grown in close proximity, they have different water and nutrient requirements, so it's best to plant them in separate beds or containers.

5. How can I tell when my tomatoes are ripe?

Tomatoes are ripe when they are fully colored and slightly soft to the touch. They should also have a sweet, fruity aroma. Be sure to check your tomatoes regularly to avoid overripe or underripe fruit.

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