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Tomato plants are the garden staple. Many gardeners first start gardening due to growing some tomatoes on their own and then venturing into growing other foods in their garden. But did you know you can plant other vegetables, herbs, and flowers around your tomatoes that will help keep bugs away from your tomatoes and help your tomato plants thrive? These types of plants are companion plants, and in this post we go over the best companion plants for tomatoes in the garden.
What Is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is where you plant different plants near one another so they can share benefits. It has been used by gardeners for a very long time. The benefits can involve diverting pests, repelling pests, enhancing the soil, and keeping predators away or at the very least distracting them.
Good Companion Plants for Tomatoes
- Bee Balm
- Bell Peppers
- Coneflowers (Echinacea)
Marigolds are a very common companion plant. They can help attract harmful pests away from your tomatoes. And on top of that, they add some nice color to your garden. Usually, you want to plant the marigolds as a type of border to help keep the pests out of the center of your garden bed where your other plants are.
Basil repels unwanted bugs like thrips and tomato hornworms and they attract helpful insects. In addition to that, it also helps improve the growth of your tomato plants and improves the flavor of the tomatoes themselves. Basil is a great plant to use to help keep bugs away even indoors. This is probably the most common companion plant for tomatoes that gardeners use.
Bee Balm and Parsley are good companion crops for tomatoes because they help improve the tomato’s flavor. Parsley will also attract beneficial predators of pests.
Carrots are a good companion crop for tomatoes because they aid in keeping the soil loose, this will help ensure that the soil stays well-drained around your tomato plants. However, if you plant the carrots too close to your tomato plants then the carrots won’t grow to their normal size.
Chives repel pests like aphids, mites, and nematodes.
Cilantro attracts predatory insects and also repels other harmful insects that can cause issues with tomato crops.
Garlic can protect the tomato plant from spider mites. You can also make a garlic spray to control tomato plant blight.
Mint is another herb that can help deter pests.
Leeks and Onions have a strong odor that can repel many harmful insects.
Oregano benefits tomato plants once it flowers. The oregano flowers attract beneficial pest-eating insects, this makes oregano a great companion crop for anything growing nearby.
Asparagus is a good companion crop for tomatoes because it will help repel nematodes.
Bell Peppers are good to plant near your tomatoes because both enhance each other’s flavor. Just make sure that you don’t plant the bell peppers behind the tomato plants where the sun could be blocked from the pepper plants.
Roses are the plant that receives a benefit from the tomatoes. When planted with tomatoes, roses are protected against blackspot.
Amaranth attracts beneficial insects that are predators to other insects that could hurt your tomato plants.
Lettuce and Spinach are companion plants for tomatoes that give benefits and get benefits. Lettuce and spinach like shade, so being planted around tomato plants allows the tomato plants to provide that shade. In return, the lettuce and spinach act as a mulch, keeping the soil cooler and helping it retain moisture.
Borage is another companion plant that will help keep the hornworms away from your tomatoes. It can also help improve the flavor of the tomatoes.
Sunflowers will attract aphids away from tomato plants. Find other companion plants for sunflowers here.
Thyme is a great companion crop for tomatoes because it helps keep the hornworm away, which can be one of the most detrimental insects for tomato plants.
What Should Not Be Planted With Tomatoes?
- Green Beans
- Bok Choy
- Brussel Sprouts
Blueberries can have their roots damaged due to the yearly planting of tomato plants. Also tomato plants don’t do well in acidic soil, and that is what blueberries need to thrive.
Corn can attract pests that are harmful to your tomatoes. Find out what are good companion plants to plant with corn here.
Dill that has flowered attracts the wasps that lay tomato hornworms. So this is one that you don’t want to plant right next to your tomato plant. Instead, dill works better planted away from your tomato plants to keep the pests distracted from where your tomato plants are.
Green Beans should not be planted near tomatoes, as tomatoes do not do well with extra nitrogen in the soil. Find companion plants for green beans here.
Potatoes and Eggplant both share common diseases that tomato plants can get. So if one got infected then all of them can, keep these crops away from each other.
Bok Choy, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower and Brussel Sprouts can all cause stunted growth of your tomato plants.
Fennel like dill is best planted away from tomatoes. It will help keep aphids away from your tomato plants. It can also inhibit the growth of tomatoes