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Bad Companion Plants for Tomatoes

bad companion plants for tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables grown in home gardens. They're easy to grow, delicious, and nutritious. However, not all plants are good companions for tomatoes. Some plants can actually harm tomatoes by attracting pests or competing for nutrients. In this blog post, we'll discuss some of the bad companion plants for tomatoes.

Bad Companion Plants for Tomatoes

Potatoes

Potatoes are a member of the nightshade family, just like tomatoes. While they might seem like a natural pairing, planting them together is not a good idea. Both plants are susceptible to late blight, which can spread quickly if one of them gets infected. Additionally, potatoes attract Colorado potato beetles, which can also attack tomato plants.

Corn

Corn is a heavy feeder that requires a lot of nutrients from the soil. If planted too close to tomatoes, it can compete with them for nutrients, leading to stunted growth and lower yields. Corn also attracts earworms, which can feed on both corn and tomato plants.

Fennel

Fennel is a beautiful herb that adds flavor to many dishes. However, it's not a good companion to tomatoes. Fennel attracts aphids, which can then spread to the tomato plants. Aphids can cause yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and reduced yields.

Cabbage

Cabbage and other members of the brassica family, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, are not good companions for tomatoes. They are heavy feeders and can deplete the soil of nutrients that tomatoes need to grow. Additionally, cabbage attracts the cabbage worm, which can also feed on tomato plants.

Walnuts

If you have a walnut tree in your garden, be careful where you plant your tomatoes. Walnuts release a chemical called juglone, which is toxic to many plants, including tomatoes. If you plant tomatoes too close to a walnut tree, they may wilt and die.

How to Choose Good Companion Plants for Tomatoes

Now that you know which plants to avoid planting with tomatoes, let's talk about some good companion plants. Some good companions for tomatoes include:

  • Basil: repels pests and improves flavor
  • Marigolds: repel nematodes and other pests
  • Nasturtiums: attract predatory insects that eat pests
  • Borage: attracts bees and improves growth

FAQs

What other vegetables are bad companions for tomatoes?

In addition to the plants we've already mentioned, other vegetables that are bad companions for tomatoes include peppers, eggplants, and strawberries.

Can I plant tomatoes near herbs?

Yes, many herbs make great companions for tomatoes. In addition to basil, thyme, oregano, and parsley are all good choices.

Do I need to worry about companion planting if I use fertilizer?

While fertilizer can help replenish nutrients in the soil, it's still important to choose good companion plants for tomatoes. Too much competition for nutrients can lead to lower yields and stunted growth.

Can I plant tomatoes near flowers?

Yes, many flowers make great companions for tomatoes. In addition to marigolds and nasturtiums, calendulas and zinnias are also good choices.

Can I plant tomatoes near cucumbers?

While cucumbers and tomatoes are not necessarily bad companions, they do have different needs when it comes to water and nutrients. It's best to plant them in separate beds or containers.

In planting the wrong companion plants can harm your tomato plants and reduce your yields. Be sure to avoid planting tomatoes near potatoes, corn, fennel, cabbage, and walnuts. Instead, choose good companions like basil, marigolds, nasturtiums, and borage. By choosing the right companion plants, you'll be able to grow healthy, delicious tomatoes in your own backyard.

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