Some people believe in tomato companion plants, and others think it is some old wives’ tale.
Growing friendly plants together is said to help grow, produce more flavor of tomatoes, and protect fruits and vegetables from insects and pests.
Companion planting has long been a practice of experienced gardeners.
A great deal of scientific documentation also points to the benefits of selecting plants that do well in each other’s company.
mart companion planting helps you make the most of your gardening space and provides various benefits to your plants.
Apart from these, some plants shelter tomatoes by being a good host for beneficial insects. This article will discuss some of the best tomato companion plants.
The list of good companions for tomatoes includes:
- Leaf lettuce
- Nasturtium – are planted as a “trap crop” to attract or lure pests away from tomatoes.
- Asparagus – is known for clearing the soil of root-knot nematodes.
- Radishes, and more.
Read on to expand your knowledge about these companion plants and how they benefit your beloved tomato plants and tomato crops.
Consider adding them to your vegetable garden to experience their wonderful benefits.
Here’s our list of what to plant with tomatoes and what not to plant with tomatoes.
Lettuce is a good companion plant for tomatoes in many ways, and it only makes sense to grow your leaf lettuce alongside your tomatoes.
Lettuce makes a nice ground cover that acts as a live mulch to hold moisture in the soil and keep the garden soil cool.
Lettuce also helps prevent the spread of disease and damage caused to tomato leaves by water splashing up from the soil.
In return, lettuce and other leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and arugula, can benefit from the shades of the taller tomato plants.
The tomato also keeps the lettuce safe from worms that chew on its leaves.
Also, lettuces from the Asteraceae family should not be assumed to have the same benefits as cabbages from the Brassica family. These two possess different effects when planted with tomato plants.
Related Reading – A collection of Questions and Answers on Growing Tomatoes.
Companion planting radishes and tomatoes in the garden will benefit both plants. Radishes can repel cucumber beetles, flea beetles, and other common pests.
Carrots are nice to plant with tomatoes. They do not necessarily benefit the tomatoes, but having fresh carrots throughout the growing season is good.
Plant carrots or whatever crop alongside your tomatoes early on.
Once you have exhausted the carrots, plant another at the end of the growing season. You can plant carrots along with young tomato plants and harvest the carrots before the tomato roots start to spread.
The combo of carrots and tomatoes makes an ideal solution to increase the yield despite the limited space available.
Companion planting beans with tomatoes creates a harmonious vibe in your garden.
Although they do well together, you must remember the space they need while planting. Both also require enough attention for this combination to thrive.
If you are companion planting tomatoes with pole beans, trellis the beans on the north side of the tomatoes.
This way, a vegetative wall will form, giving pole beans and tomatoes the extra heat they crave.
You must also know that beans can produce their own nitrogen. If you plan to apply fertilizers to your tomato plant, remember not to give the same amount to the beans to avoid being over-fertilized.
Other best companions for beans include:
- Beets and more
Sweet peppers and hot peppers do very well in combination with tomatoes. As with carrots, they do not particularly benefit the tomatoes. They grow harmoniously, probably because they belong to the nightshade family. Still, having a garden full of fresh peppers is nice.
Companion planting peppers and tomatoes in a garden serve as a practical decision.
As both beg for the same kind of care, administering their needs, such as the amount of sunlight, watering, and nutrient distribution, will come easily.
Onions and their kinfolk are great for cooking and adding to salads and sandwiches.
Related: More on Companion Plants For Alliums
Chives taste great in salads and soups. As companion plants, chives also help repel a number of undesirable pests and insects, such as cabbage worms, slugs, aphids, and all manner of beetles.
Apart from these, chives also improve the taste of nearby tomatoes.
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 antibiotic properties, it is also a very useful medicinal plant.
Like its kinsmen, it does a good job of repelling a wide variety of vegetable garden insects and pests.
Specifically, garlic repels spider mites and aphids, making it a real-life saver for tomatoes.
Related Reading – Would you like sweeter tomatoes? Serious tomato growers have been using “Epsom salt on tomatoes plants” as a secret sauce for sweeter and tastier tomatoes.
Want more of what grows well with tomatoes?
Herbs As Companion Plants For Tomatoes
Basil and tomatoes are very tasty together, and basil is a delightful, attractive, aromatic addition to your tomato garden.
In fact, planting this herb and fruit 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 tomato hornworm caterpillars, flies, and mosquitoes.
If you like pasta with different sauces, a combo of basil and tomatoes in your garden is ideal. You need to get the basil leaves or the tomato fruits from your own garden.
Parsley is also one of the herbs that greatly benefit its companion plants.
Although asparagus appears the most beneficial, tomatoes will also enjoy the spirit of parsley herbs around them.
The scent of parsley attracts hummingbirds and butterflies necessary for pollination and better quality flowers and fruits.
Borage is a nice green herb that tastes somewhat like cucumbers. Use herbs or flowers as an addition to green drinks, soups, and salads.
Planted with tomatoes in containers, borage herbs repel tomato hornworms and other insects.
UrbanTurnip has an excellent resource for growing vegetables in containers here.
Sage is a deeply scented herb that is excellent for cooking and preparing flavored vinegar, dressing, gravy, etc.
It repels a wide variety of garden pests, including those aiming for early tomato reaping, making it a good companion for tomatoes.
Related: Have you ever wondered Why Tomatoes Crack? This article explains it!
Want to know what to plant next to tomatoes?
Marigolds are excellent at repelling several different varieties of garden pests. The French marigold’s cheery presence in your garden produces a substance (alpha–terthienyl) that repels, prevents or gets rid the soil of root-knot nematodes.
In fact, French Marigolds produce this substance in abundance, and it protects the soil for years, even if the marigolds are gone.
More on marigold companion plants.
Besides nematodes, marigolds’ pungent smell removes pests such as tomato worms, thrips, aphids, and even rabbits!
Calendula plant is similar to Marigold in appearance; however, it does not repel pests or insects.
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 the quick healing of minor injuries.
The marigolds’ leaves and flowers are edible and make a good ingredient in a salad served with tomatoes.
Nasturtiums have lovely yellow and orange flowers that are edible. The leaves of the nasturtium are also edible.
Your vegetable garden can benefit if you plant Nasturtiums with some of your crops, such as tomatoes, peas, beans, cabbage, and leaf lettuce.
Nasturtium makes a nice addition to salads. The nasturtium plant is known for repelling a wide variety of garden and common tomato pests.
This long list of pests to repel includes squash bugs, beetles, aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies while at the same time keeping fungal diseases in control.
Plant nasturtium seeds during early spring in moist, well-drained soil in your garden to keep them growing and alive.
Asparagus or garden asparagus, considered a flowering perennial plant, comes as a spring vegetable that makes a good companion for the tomato plant.
The asparagus repels nematodes, while the tomato repels the asparagus beetles.
This combo of asparagus and tomatoes works great as they not only drive away pests, but both plants keep the land exclusive for them alone by preventing the growth of weeds.
Also, asparagus makes a great addition to salad and other dishes, with tomatoes as one of the ingredients.
The above are great companion planting with tomatoes.
Make The Most Of Your Tomato Garden
Companion planting can benefit your tomato plants and is separately beneficial to you. Making the most of your growing space will help you to reap a better and more abundant harvest.
Apart from these, correct companion planting may attract beneficial insects into your garden that feed on pests such as:
- Flea beetles
- Asparagus beetles
- Japanese beetles and Grubs
- Cucumber beetles
- Bean weevils
- Pea weevils
- Aphids – More on How To Kill Aphids Naturally
- Tetranychus urticae – Spider mites
… and more
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 good companion planting.
You’ve probably heard the term “in sync” used when things run smoothly. One tool used in a successful garden, especially an organic one, is called “companion planting.”
It’s a smart “planting tool” to keep things running “in sync” in the garden. Planting vegetables that play well together.
Bad Companion Plants For Tomatoes
If you disregard the amazing benefits of companion planting, at least know which vegetables, crops, or plants can wreak havoc and potentially harm your tomato plants instead of protecting them.
This group of bad companion plants includes cabbage or anything from the cabbage family, corn, dill, fennel, eggplants, and walnuts.
Cabbage may seem to belong to the same family as leaf lettuce, which works as a good companion plant for tomatoes.
However, cabbages do the exact opposite. Cabbage goes under a different family of cruciferous vegetables, Brassica family.
On the other hand, leaf lettuce falls under the category of leafy greens with arugula and spinach.
Under the same cabbage family, these members are not suitable for tomatoes:
- Brussel sprouts
Companion planting cabbage with tomatoes and these vegetables won’t do any good. However, there exist some plants that love cabbages, such as:
- Bush beans
- A few strong herbs
If you have already planted cabbage and tomatoes together in your garden, avoid the latter from severely shading the cabbages.
They should stay a few feet away to avoid the tomato roots from reaching the cabbage. Apart from this, cabbages get the most benefits from tomatoes.
The tomato plant can drive away moth larvae and caterpillars that feed on the leaves of cabbages.
Corn planted with tomatoes spells a huge disaster. Corn worms are no different from what gardeners call the tomato hornworm when it comes to pests.
Corn attracts more of these tomato hornworms, putting the two plants together in one setting will kill them two times faster.
Although the young dills may help protect the tomato plant from tomato hornworms, planting a mature dill nearby inhibits the growth of the tomato.
Make sure to keep a good distance between the seed of dills and tomatoes in your garden when planting.
Eggplants and potatoes do not work well with the tomato plant if these plants sit very close to each other.
Early and late blight will accumulate in the garden soil, making it unhealthy soil for different plants in the years to come.
Apart from the dill plant, fennel also stunts the growth of the tomato plant. On the other hand, walnuts promote the same effect with its allelopathic element experts call juglone.
This chemical causes walnut wilt, a disease making tomatoes sick, causing them to wilt and die.
Other plants containing juglone include:
- English walnut
- Persian walnut
- Black walnut
Integrating companion plants with your tomato growing is an excellent way to promote the healthy growth of tomatoes.
It can improve tomato yields but also adds variety to a garden dominated by one type of fruit or vegetable.
Experimenting with different combinations is an informative process. It teaches anyone companion planting basics while increasing the yield and beauty of their garden.