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Potatoes and Tomatoes Growing Together: A Perfect Match or Not?

potatoes and tomatoes growing together

When it comes to gardening, combining different plants to grow together can be a great way to optimize your space, increase productivity, and enhance biodiversity. One of the most popular combinations is potatoes and tomatoes, but is it really a perfect match? Let's explore this topic in-depth.

The Science Behind Potatoes and Tomatoes Growing Together

One of the reasons why potatoes and tomatoes are often grown together is because they belong to the same plant family - Solanaceae. However, while they may share some similarities, they also have distinct differences in their growth requirements and disease susceptibility.

Growth Requirements

Potatoes and tomatoes have different soil nutrient requirements. While tomatoes are heavy feeders and require high levels of nitrogen and potassium, potatoes prefer slightly acidic soil with moderate amounts of nutrients. This means that growing them together might not be ideal, as one plant may outcompete the other for nutrients.

Disease Susceptibility

Another factor to consider is that both potatoes and tomatoes are susceptible to certain diseases, such as blight and verticillium wilt. When planted together, these diseases can easily spread from one plant to another, increasing the risk of crop failure.

Benefits of Growing Potatoes and Tomatoes Together

Despite the potential challenges, there are also some benefits of growing potatoes and tomatoes together.

Companion Planting

Companion planting is the practice of growing different types of plants together to benefit each other. In the case of potatoes and tomatoes, planting them together can help deter pests such as potato beetles and tomato hornworms, as they are repelled by the scent of each other's leaves.

Space Optimization

Growing potatoes and tomatoes together can also help optimize space in your garden. Tomatoes grow vertically, while potatoes grow underground, so you can plant them in the same area without competing for space.

Diversifying Your Harvest

Finally, growing potatoes and tomatoes together can diversify your harvest, as you can enjoy two different crops from the same plot of land.

How to Grow Potatoes and Tomatoes Together

If you decide to grow potatoes and tomatoes together, here are some tips to ensure success:

Soil Preparation

Prepare the soil by adding compost or well-rotted manure to improve soil fertility and drainage. Make sure the pH level is slightly acidic (around 5.5 to 6.0), which is ideal for potatoes.


Plant the potatoes first, about 6 inches deep and 12 inches apart. Once they have sprouted and are a few inches tall, plant the tomatoes nearby, leaving around 24 inches between plants.

Supporting Tomatoes

Provide support for your tomato plants by using stakes or cages. This will keep them upright and prevent them from sprawling into the potato plants.


Water your plants regularly and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Mulching can help retain moisture and suppress weeds. Also, be sure to monitor for pest and disease problems and take action promptly if needed.


1. Can I grow potatoes and tomatoes in containers?

Yes, you can grow both potatoes and tomatoes in containers. Just make sure the container is large enough to accommodate both plants and that you provide adequate drainage.

2. Can I plant potatoes and tomatoes at the same time?

Yes, you can plant them at the same time, but make sure you stagger the planting so that the potatoes have a head . This will prevent the tomato plants from shading the potato plants too much.

3. What are some other companion plants for potatoes and tomatoes?

Some other good companion plants for potatoes include beans, corn, and peas, while basil, marigolds, and garlic are good companions for tomatoes.

4. How do I know when it's time to harvest my potatoes and tomatoes?

For potatoes, wait until the foliage has died back before digging them up. For tomatoes, they should be ripe when they are fully colored and slightly soft to the touch.

5. Can I save the seeds from my potatoes and tomatoes for next year's planting?

While you can save seeds from your tomatoes, potatoes are usually grown from seed potatoes, which are specially grown tubers that have been certified disease-free.

Growing potatoes and tomatoes together can be a great way to optimize space, enhance biodiversity, and diversify your harvest. However, it's important to consider their different growth requirements and susceptibility to disease before deciding to plant them together. With proper planning and maintenance, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of both crops.

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