The accompanying planting is my new normal in the vegetable garden. I love to experiment and make useful friends for my plants. With the accompanying planting you can use your garden area efficiently, increase the biodiversity and ward off pests and diseases. By maximizing your space, you can grow a lot of food in a small space! Since growing tomatoes is one of the most common crops for beginners, we want to cover all of the basics for tomato companion plants!
Tomato plants are very rewarding plants to grow, but sometimes they face garden pests and diseases. Insects such as hornworms, aphids, and spider mites are attracted to the tomato plant and can limit your harvest. Diseases like nematodes can also harm this common garden staple. Fortunately, there are companions that can keep these pests away and encourage the growth of your products.
Companion plants are an interesting topic. Some swear by it, others have no luck with it. I've had my share of successes and failures with planting companion plants, but I enjoy the awareness I gain from observing these relationships in my vegetable garden. When doing a companion planting for the first time, start with just one or two companion plants and incorporate them into your garden. If you're eager like me, there are several combinations you can try, but be sure to thin out the seedlings to limit overcrowding.
I love to have themes in my garden that integrate perfectly with the accompanying planting. Right now my favorite subject is a pizza garden. Vegetables like tomatoes, garlic, basil, onions and oregano are classic flavors for a homemade pizza and grow well together. You can't beat homemade flavors! Other notable combinations are marigolds, parsley, borage, lettuce, or beans.
The accompanying planting is amazing because it limits my need for pesticides or added fertilizers and reinforces organic practices. Effective companion plants bring in beneficial insects and pollinators, promote tomato growth, repel insects such as aphids, and can complement an ideal growing environment.
What is accompanying planting?
Tomato companion plants can help your tomato plants thrive. Source: randomduck
With companion planting, two or more plants will grow together in your garden that will have beneficial relationships and will increase the harvest. This is different from traditional agricultural or horticultural practices of monoculture, which involves growing one type of culture.
There are downsides to having only one type of plant in your garden. With so many of the same plants, it makes them more susceptible to large-scale infestation and the rapid spread of disease. For example, when tomatoes are planted alone in a garden bed, their natural scent attracts tomato-loving beetles such as hornworms. If there are companions with the tomato plants, some fragrant friends like basil, garlic or onions can mask the smell of tomatoes and make it difficult for pests.
Good plant neighbors can ward off garden problems like aphids or act as a trap crop by luring insects away from your precious plants. Some companion plants, such as flowers, attract beneficial insects to help manage pest problems. Yarrow, for example, attracts lacewings, and lacewings like to eat the aphids. Yarrow is also an excellent plant for attracting bees for better pollination.
A great technique is occupying different canopies or vertical layers of the garden space. For example, lettuce is an excellent undergrowth because lettuce likes to grow in the partial shade of tomato plants. Beets take up the space around the roots. Peas are climbers with their tendrils and like to grow next to (or even through) the tomatoes, and sunflowers are often large enough to get lots of light behind the other plants, although you don't want them to block the sun. Because these plants grow in different spaces, they don't compete for space or sunlight. Mixing between your tomato plants can maximize your garden space and double your harvest. This is cheap for gardeners who are short on space and want to use their resources wisely, but make sure that everything is well supplied!
Low-lying companion planting can help create a microclimate by providing a living ground cover that provides shade to the soil or plants in your garden. This regulates the floor temperature and minimizes water evaporation. In addition, ground cover can suppress weeds that are competing for nutrients. Think of pumpkin as a ground cover in your vegetable garden. The broad, deep-set leaves protect the soil and plants from drying out.
Other companion plants can improve the health and taste of those around them. For example, plants from the legume family such as beans or peas are nitrogen fixers and can naturally meet these nutritional needs for a healthy harvest. Some companion plants, such as root crops, not only nourish the soil, but also help break up the soil.
The accompanying planting also improves soil quality by stabilizing the soil. The roots hold the topsoil in place and protect the tomato roots from being exposed. The topsoil can be washed away by rain storms or even energetic watering. A practical companion plant can protect the tomatoes from the loss of soil and valuable nutrients.
Tall plants provide support or shade to other plants. This can depend on the type of tomato you are growing. Some tomato plants are large and can be a sturdy support for climbing plants. A tall companion plant like corn could provide a natural trellis for tomatoes to climb, but you need to ensure that the corn can support the weight of the tomato plant and, if necessary, add to it.
Fast growing plants can be used as row markers for slower growing varieties. This is helpful so that you don't accidentally double an area!
The accompanying planting can be done in a container, a raised bed or directly in the ground. Just make sure there is enough space between your plants for adequate airflow.
Good tomato companion plants
Bee balm is an excellent companion for tomatoes. Source: Melnee Benfield
Now, let's start with what plants to grow with tomatoes in your garden! Flavorings and fragrant herbs like thyme, basil, parsley, sage and oregano can help hide tomatoes from insect pests like whiteflies or hornworms, while also attracting pollinators like bees and predatory insects like ladybugs. In addition, these herbs not only complement tomatoes in a culinary dish, but can also improve the taste of tomatoes and promote plant growth in the garden.
Other aromatic companion plants for tomatoes are mint, celery, borage and coriander. Borage repels annoying tomato hornworms and the broad leaves provide shade for the ground. Keep in mind that some tomato companion plants may not make good neighbors. Mint and parsley, for example, are good companions for tomatoes, but should not be planted next to each other in the garden.
I love smuggling flowers into my vegetable garden for a splash of color. Not only do they attract pollinators, but they can provide additional protection for your tomato plants. Sunflowers, nasturtiums, and cosmos attract aphids when planted near tomatoes and attract beneficial insects. Marigold and tansy repel voracious pests such as tomato hornworms. Other flowers to consider for pest control include viola, lavender, bee balm, echinacea, red clover, sweet alyssum, borage, and amaranth. The bright amaranth flowers can attract beetles to eat the pest species that eat tomatoes. French marigolds are great for soil health by inhibiting root parasites and root-knot nematodes, which can hinder tomato plants from growing.
Live mulches like purple clover limit weed germination and naturally cultivate nitrogen in the soil to fertilize the tomatoes in your garden. Instead of using nitrogen fertilizers on the tomatoes, try purple clover when overwintering. Other plants such as beans or legumes are companion plants to tomatoes, as beans or other legumes absorb nitrogen from the air and release it back into the soil. Needless to say, beans nearby can really improve soil fertility!
Other ground covers include grapevines such as sweet potatoes, squash, and cucumbers. The spreading leaves can shade the ground and prevent soil from splashing on the tomato plants. Pumpkin and tomatoes are great companions because they thrive in the same growing conditions.
Cool season vegetables like lettuce, radishes, beets, parsnips and carrots thrive in the cool shade of the tomato plants and can help with weed control. These companion plants for the cool season inspire me to cultivate a lettuce patch with carrots, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, marigolds and a free herb.
Just one thing! Spinach is a common cold season crop and a powerful source of nitrogen. So if you're using it as a companion plant, consider planting a nitrogen fixer like French beans to meet the tomato's nitrogen needs.
Allium family plants like garlic, leek, shallots, chives, and onions are some of the best tomato companion plants. Their strong aroma is pesticidal and repels insects such as spider mites, aphids and other garden pests. I love growing garlic, tomatoes, and basil together. These flavors complement a lot of my dishes and grow together so well!
The stout body of the French beans can provide shade and at the same time bind nitrogen into the soil around the tomato plants. Cowpeas are also nitrogen fixers, but are best planted near tomato plants. They act as trap fruit by pulling pests such as stink beetles off tomatoes.
Planting tomatoes with asparagus is beneficial for both crops in your vegetable garden. Tomatoes repel asparagus beetles, while asparagus repels root-knot nematodes. After the first few years, the asparagus roots will dominate the garden bed and you will have to plan a new home for the tomato plants.
What not to plant with tomatoes
Brassicas like broccoli share many pests with the tomato plant. Source: albedo20
There are some plants that do not grow well with tomatoes. These plants can be tyrants by stunting tomato growth and attracting garden pests and diseases. You want to leave a lot of space between these plants and tomatoes in your garden.
The tomato belongs to the nightshade family. Therefore, it is not recommended to plant other members of the nightshade family near tomatoes. They compete for similar nutrients in the soil and are prone to the same diseases and pests. These include vegetables like peppers, eggplant, and potatoes.
Brassicas are poor companions for tomatoes because they hinder the growth and health of the tomato plants. Cabbage or napa kale, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, turnips, and cauliflower are all types of cabbage. These large plants often compete for soil nutrition, but more importantly, they take up the space needed for good tomato growth.
Other plants to avoid include walnut trees, dill, and fennel. Walnut trees, especially black walnut, produce chemicals in the soil that can slow down plant growth. Likewise, dill and fennel can slow down the growth of your tomatoes. Interestingly, dill and fennel are in the same family as carrots, but carrots make great companion plants for tomatoes, while dill and fennel are not. Strawberries should also be avoided in the tomato accompaniment.
frequently asked Questions
Whether cherry tomatoes or other, good companions are in demand. Source: edgarpierce
Q: Can you plant zucchini and tomatoes together?
A: Yes you can! Zucchini is one of the best tomato companion plants. Not only do they thrive under the same growing conditions, but the giant leaves of the pumpkin plants also provide ground cover. In addition, zucchini attracts beneficial insects such as bees to aid in the pollination of tomatoes in your garden.
Q: Can you grow strawberries and tomatoes together?
A: No, strawberries and tomatoes are not good companion plants. If they are planted close together in the garden, they are more susceptible to disease. Make sure you have plenty of space between these plants!
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