Companion Planting Tomatoes

Companion Planting Tomatoes

There is nothing better than a freshly grown, warm, sweet tomato straight from the vine. The flavour of home grown tomatoes surpasses shop bought, commercially grown tomatoes by far. By companion planting tomatoes with other beneficial plants you will not only improve the taste, but also the health of your tomato plants.

Tomatoes originate in hot climates so if like me, you’re in an area prone to frosts then you will have to treat this perennial plant as an annual.

It also stands to reason that the majority of companion plants for tomatoes also originate in hot countries. That doesn’t mean not to grow them but just remember the majority will be annuals and will need replacing every year. Seeds are relatively cheap though and it is well worth providing these companions if you can.

The benefits definitely out weigh the small cost incurred. These include healthier, happier plants that will produce more delicious fruit. And really that’s what it’s all about.

Companion Planting Tomatoes

Some plants are better companions than others and I try to only grow the ones that I have tried and tested in the past. So here’s my list of companion plants for tomatoes.

Planting Tomatoes with Borage

companion planting tomatoes with borage

Borage is known to deter the tomato moth which lays it’s eggs under the leaves of tomato plants. When they hatch they contain the tomato moth caterpillar, what the Americans call the tomato horn worm. This pests eats through the flesh of the fruit and through the stem of the plant, and the leaves too.

If you get tomato moth caterpillar damage, it’s too late and the plants will need to be dug up and destroyed to prevent them spreading to other plants. So prevention is definitely the best option and Borage is the best deterrent. Another reason to grow borage with tomatoes is that for some reason, borage not only enhances the flavour of tomatoes but also improves the health of the tomato plants.

This could be due to the fact that borage is a dynamic accumulator plant. This means that through it’s roots borage gathers nutrients and minerals that other plants don’t reach. And as the tomatoes are growing alongside them they get the benefits too.

As the borage matures it stores these nutrients and minerals in it’s leaves and so is a good addition to the compost pile. Borage also attracts bees to your plot an added bonus as we need all the pollinators we can get.

Planting tomatoes with Basil

companion planting tomatoes with basil

Basil is a herb that originates in the Mediterranean and is a great companion for tomatoes. Basil improves the flavour and health of tomatoes and is also a good accompaniment for tomatoes in the kitchen too.

Basil is known to deter Blackfly(Aphids), White flies, Red Spider Mites, and tomato moths. The more the merrier with Basil but plant at least 3 plants with each tomato plant.

Planting tomatoes with Marigolds

companion planting tomatoes with marigolds

These pretty yellow flowers are a great addition to the tomato bed, they are known to repel tomato moths, and more importantly nematodes. Nematodes like the root knot eel worm and the potato cyst eel worm attack the roots of tomato plants, and the first sign is when the plants start to die off. Again there is no cure so grow some marigolds to prevent this in your garden.

At the end of the season, turn the plants into the soil as this will keep the nematodes away for a longer period.

Planting tomatoes with Nasturtiums

companion planting tomatoes with nasturtiums

Another pretty flower that comes in many colours and there are some with variegated leaves. Nasturtiums deter White flies, and also keep fungal infections away. The only problem with nasturtiums is they attract Black fly(Aphids). So keep an eye on them as they will get smothered but that is fine as they are a sacrificial crop.

This will only become a problem if not kept in check as then the aphids will go for your tomato plants as well.

Planting tomatoes with Chives

companion planting tomatoes with chives

This herb is an excellent addition to a salad and is easy to grow from seed. Grow chives as companions for tomatoes to deter Aphids. They will also attract good insects like parasitic wasps and other pollinators like bees and butterflies.

Planting tomatoes with Garlic

companion planting tomatoes with garlic

Garlic is another good companion for tomatoes. Grow garlic around your tomatoes to deter Aphids and red spider mites.

Planting tomatoes with Asparagus

companion planting tomatoes with asparagus

By growing tomatoes amongst your asparagus you will get a double bonus. Asparagus deters the harmful nematodes that can damage tomato plant roots and kill the plant. Tomatoes deter the asparagus beetle which attacks the asparagus making it weak and susceptible to fungal attacks.

Planting tomatoes with Carrots

companion planting tomatoes with carrots

Carrots grown with tomatoes open up the soil with their deep roots that improve air, water, and nutrient uptake in your tomato plants. Growing carrots with tomatoes will also save space and the tomatoes will also help to shade the young carrot plants from the sometimes intense heat of the late spring/early summer sunshine.

Planting Tomatoes with Lettuce

Lettuce is another plant that doesn’t do so well in very hot conditions. In fact if it’s too hot, the lettuce will at least stop growing but more likely you will find that the lettuce plants just wilt and die. If grown in companion with tomato plants the lettuces will benefit from the shade provided by the taller tomato plants.

Also lettuces will help to keep the weeds at bay by providing ground cover.

Planting Spinach with Tomatoes

companion planting tomatoes with spinach

Spinach is another plant that prefers less heat so again the shade provided by the tomato plants will help the spinach to flourish. The spinach plants provide ground cover helping to suppress weeds, which in turn, saves on moisture loss.

Planting Catnip With Tomatoes

planting tomatoes with catnip

Catnip is a member of the mint family and is well known to repel aphids. Aphids can be a serious health risk to tomatoes as they can spread viral infections from plant to plant.

Plants that benefit from companion Planting with Tomatoes

The above are all tomato companion plants but it’s not all one way traffic by companion planting tomatoes with the following, your plants will be healthier.

Companion Planting Tomatoes with Gooseberries

Gooseberry bushes prefer the same growing conditions as tomatoes, including water quantity, heat and sunlight. Growing tomatoes in companion with gooseberries will make it easier to care for both plants, more of a benefit to the gardener than the plants but we need all the help we can get. It is also reported that the distinctive smell given off by tomato plants deters many gooseberry pests including the gooseberry saw fly.

Companion Planting Tomatoes with Roses

Roses are susceptible to a condition called Black spot which is caused by a fungus and can be fatal to roses unless treated promptly. There is some scientific evidence that the alkaloid solanine found in tomatoes, prevents the fungus that causes black spot. Tomatoes and roses both need the same conditions for healthy growth so again it’s no hardship to grow them as companions.

So that’s the list of plants to grow in companion with tomatoes, if you would like to see what not to plant with tomatoes click the link.

Download The Free Tomatoes Companion Plants PDF!

If you want to make sure you always get the most out of your tomato plants, make sure you download the free PDF below that outlines exactly which plants grow well with tomatoes, and which plants not to grow with tomatoes.

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