Some people believe in tomato companion plants and others think it is some old wives tale. Growing friendly plants together is said to help growth, produce more flavor and protect plants from pests.
Companion planting has long been a practice of experienced gardeners. There is also a great deal of scientific documentation pointing to the benefits of selecting plants that do well in each other’s company.
Smart companion planting helps you make the most of the gardening space you have and provides a variety of benefits to your plants.
Lettuce goes well with tomatoes in many ways, and it only makes sense to grow your leaf lettuce alongside your tomatoes.
Lettuce makes a nice groundcover that acts as a live mulch to hold moisture in the soil and keep the soil cool.
It also helps prevent the spread of disease and damage caused to tomato leaves by water splashing up from the soil.
Carrots are nice to plant with tomatoes. They do not necessarily provide any benefit for the tomatoes, but it is good to have fresh carrots throughout the growing season.
Plant one crop alongside your tomatoes early on. Once you have exhausted that crop plant another at the end of the growing season.
Sweet peppers and hot peppers do very well in combination with tomatoes. As with carrots, they do not particularly benefit the tomatoes. Still, it’s nice to have your own source of fresh peppers.
Onions and their kinfolk are great for cooking and adding to salads and sandwiches. They also work well to help repel Japanese beetles and other types of beetles, as well as aphids, snails and slugs.
Chives are tasty in salads and soups. As companion plants, they also help repel a number of undesirable pests, such as cabbage worms, slugs, aphids and all manner of beetles.
Garlic is another member of the allium family that is excellent for adding flavor to many different kinds of foods.
Because of its natural anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic properties, it is also a very useful medicinal plant. Like its kinsmen, it does a good job of repelling a wide variety of garden pests.
Basil and tomatoes are very tasty together, and basil is a delightful, attractive, aromatic addition to your tomato garden. In fact, planting these plants side-by-side helps enhance the flavor of both.
Basil and tomatoes mature at about the same rate, so it is easy to have plenty of fresh tomatoes and fresh basil to enjoy at the same time. Basil is good for repelling hornworms, flies and mosquitoes.
Borage is a nice green herb that tastes somewhat like cucumbers. You can use the greens or the flowers as an addition to green drinks, soups and salads.
Planted with tomatoes in containers, borage plants help discourage hornworms.
Sage is a deeply scented herb that is excellent for cooking and in preparing flavored vinegars, dressing, gravy, etc. It repels a wide variety of garden pests.
Marigolds are excellent at repelling several different varieties of garden pests. Their cheary presence in your garden produces a substance (alpha–terthienyl) that helps rid the soil of root-knot nematodes.
In fact, French Marigolds produce this substance in such abundance that it protects the soil for years, even if the marigolds are gone.
Calendula is similar to Marigold in appearance; however, it does not repel pests. It is a medicinal plant that can be used to create soothing homemade salves, balms and lotions.
It has very powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help with skin rashes and irritation and support quick healing of minor injuries.
Nasturtiums have lovely yellow and orange flowers that are edible. The leaves are also edible.
They make a nice addition to salads. The nasturtium plant is known for repelling a wide variety of pests.
Make The Most Of Your Tomato Garden
Companion planting can be beneficial to your tomato plants and separately beneficial to you. Making the most of your growing space will help you to reap a better and more abundant harvest.
All of the plants mentioned here are very easy to grow, but you will surely wish to venture forth and explore other types as you become more and more experienced with companion planting.