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Discovering the Best Companion for Tomatoes

best companion for tomatoes

The Importance of Choosing the Right Companion for Your Tomato Plants

Growing tomatoes is a popular pastime for many gardeners. However, planting them alone may not be enough to maximize their yield and quality. In order to get the most out of your tomato plants, it's important to choose the right companion plants to grow alongside them. Companion plants offer a range of benefits to tomatoes such as pest control, nutrient sharing, and support. In this article, we'll explore some of the best companions for tomatoes and how they can improve your harvest.

Companion Planting for Tomatoes: Which Plants are Best?

When it comes to companion planting for tomatoes, there are several plants that have been shown to improve growth and health. Here are some of the best:

Basil

Basil is an excellent companion plant for tomatoes because it repels pests like aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. Additionally, basil has a high concentration of essential oils that can help improve the flavor of tomatoes grown alongside it. To plant basil with tomatoes, simply sow seeds or transplant seedlings in the same bed.

Marigolds

Marigolds are another great companion plant for tomatoes. They have strong antibacterial properties that can protect tomato plants from soil-borne diseases like Fusarium wilt and Verticillium wilt. Additionally, marigolds attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings that feed on harmful pests. Sow marigold seeds around the perimeter of your tomato bed.

Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are a versatile companion plant that can provide a range of benefits to tomatoes. They act as a trap crop, attracting aphids and other pests away from your tomato plants. Additionally, nasturtiums have a high concentration of sulfur compounds that can improve the flavor of tomatoes. Plant nasturtiums around the edges of your tomato bed or interplant them throughout the bed.

Garlic

Garlic is a natural insecticide that can help control pests like spider mites and aphids. It also has antibacterial properties that can protect tomato plants from soil-borne diseases. To plant garlic with tomatoes, simply sow cloves in the same bed.

Peppers

Peppers are a great companion plant for tomatoes because they repel pests like aphids and flea beetles. Additionally, peppers have similar nutrient requirements as tomatoes, so they can be grown together without competing for resources. Interplant peppers throughout your tomato bed.

Supporting Your Tomato Plants: Staking and Trellising

Tomato plants can become heavy and unwieldy as they grow, making it difficult to support their weight. However, staking and trellising can help keep your tomato plants upright and prevent them from taking over your garden. Here's how to do it:

Staking

Staking involves driving a wooden or metal stake into the ground next to your tomato plant and tying the stem to the stake with twine or gardening tape. This helps support the plant and keeps it from falling over. Make sure to tie the stem loosely so that it has room to grow.

Trellising

Trellising involves using a wire or string mesh to create a vertical structure for your tomato plant to climb. As the plant grows, you can weave its stems through the mesh to provide support. This method is ideal for indeterminate tomato varieties that can grow up to 10 feet tall.

Composting: Providing Nutrients for Your Tomato Plants

Tomatoes require a lot of nutrients to grow healthy and strong. Composting is an excellent way to provide those nutrients naturally. Here are some tips on how to compost for your tomato plants:

Choose the Right Materials

To create good compost, you need a mixture of "brown" materials like dried leaves and "green" materials like kitchen scraps. The ideal ratio is 3 parts brown to 1 part green.

Add Manure

Manure is an excellent source of nitrogen, which is essential for plant growth. Add a layer of manure to your compost pile to boost its nutrient content.

Mix and Turn Your Compost

Mixing and turning your compost regularly helps speed up the decomposition process and ensures that all the materials are evenly distributed. Use a pitchfork or garden fork to turn your compost every 2-3 weeks.

Tips for Successful Tomato Companion Planting

Here are some additional tips to help make your tomato companion planting a success:

Choose Companions Wisely

Make sure to choose companion plants that have similar growing requirements as tomatoes. For example, plants that require full sun and well-draining soil will do well with tomatoes.

Rotate Crops

Rotating your crops each year can help prevent soil-borne diseases from building up in your garden. Try not to plant tomatoes in the same spot more than once every three years.

Water Regularly

Tomatoes require consistent moisture to thrive. Water them deeply once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.

Prune Carefully

Pruning your tomato plants helps improve air circulation and prevent disease. However, be careful not to prune too much or you may reduce your harvest.

FAQs: Answering Your Tomato Companion Planting Questions

Q: Can I plant tomatoes and cucumbers together?

A: Yes, cucumbers make good companions for tomatoes. They help repel pests like beetles and aphids and require similar growing conditions.

Q: What herbs can I plant with my tomatoes?

A: In addition to basil, other herbs that make good companion plants for tomatoes include parsley, oregano, and thyme.

Q: Can I grow tomatoes indoors?

A: Yes, tomatoes can be grown indoors in containers. Make sure to choose a sunny spot and provide plenty of water and nutrients.

Q: How do I know when my tomatoes are ripe?

A: Tomatoes are ripe when they are firm and fully colored. You can also tell if a tomato is ripe by gently squeezing it - if it gives slightly, it's ready to eat.

Q: How do I prevent blossom end rot?

A: Blossom end rot is caused by a calcium deficiency in the soil. To prevent it, make sure your soil has enough calcium and water your plants regularly.


Choosing the right companion plants and support structures can help maximize the yield and quality of your tomato plants. By following these tips and guidelines, you can create a healthy and thriving tomato garden that will produce delicious fruits all season long.

Great! In general, tomatoes benefit from companion plants that repel pests or attract beneficial insects. Some common companion plants for tomatoes include basil, marigolds, and borage. Basil, for example, is said to improve the flavor of tomatoes while also deterring pests like tomato hornworms. Marigolds have a strong smell that can repel nematodes and other harmful insects, while borage attracts pollinators like bees and provides shade for the soil.

Other good options for companion plants include parsley, chives, and garlic. Parsley and chives are also believed to improve the flavor of tomatoes, while garlic can help deter pests like aphids and spider mites.

Ultimately, the best companion plant for your tomatoes depends on your specific growing situation and needs. If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to ask! Sure thing! Do you have any other questions or topics you'd like to discuss? I'm here to help with anything related to gardening, or anything else you might be curious about. Just let me know!

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