Tomato plants are a popular crop found in many vegetable gardens. They're easy to grow and a summer staple for many delicious dishes. From bruschetta to spaghetti sauce to a simple summer salad, tomatoes add a fresh pop of flavor that's hard to compete with. Although a store-bought tomato is always tasty, tomatoes grown and picked fresh from your garden are a whole new level of juicy deliciousness. Don't you find tomatoes to taste even better if homegrown? I know I do!
Well, if you have a garden ready to go this spring, it's good to know the different plants that work well when placed next to tomato plants to help improve tomato growth and flavor. Also known as companion planting, this practice helps improve the health of tomatoes. Some of these best companions also help keep garden pests at bay. Nobody wants asparagus beetles, cabbage worms, tomato hornworms, flea beetles, hoverflies, Japanese beetles, carrot flies, squash bugs, and the list goes on of what can swarm your garden. Better to be your own pest control and prevent it.
Companion planting is a great practice for gardening in general, no matter what you're growing. It's a natural way to keep your plants healthy and happy, receiving the nutrients they need and keeping away unwanted visitors. When companion planting with tomatoes, this list of veggies will allow you to grow plenty of healthy tomatoes no matter your level of gardening expertise.
On the flip side, there are a number of plants that do badly when planted together, so it's important to look into these before planting you garden. When it comes to tomatoes, you should avoid veggies like fennel, corn, eggplant, kale, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. As tasty as these are on their own, these are known to stunt or inhibit tomato growth, making it more difficult for your tomato plants to reach the bountiful deliciousness that they could otherwise. Keep this in mind and avoid planting these veggies near tomato plants.
Check out this list of tomato companion plants to help keep your tomatoes healthy and tasty.
9 Companion Plants for Tomatoes
Whether you have green, white, or purple asparagus, turns out this springtime vegetable is an excellent companion planted alongside your tomato plants.
Both protect each other from insect pests and growing tomatoes will also keep those pesky weeds away around the asparagus.
2. Aromatic Herbs
Aromatic herbs like basil, parsley, mint, thyme, and sage are good companion plants for tomatoes. Not only do they taste delicious with fresh tomatoes, they also help repel garden pests like mosquitoes and flies.
Marigolds are like the cheerful neighbors next door that'll always have your back. They're great to plant alongside tomatoes and also add a pop of bright color to the garden. Planting marigolds between tomatoes keeps tomatoes safe from nematodes, which are plant parasites that live in the soil.
Carrots are great veggies for companion planting. While tomatoes prefer sunshine and warmth, carrots enjoy cooler soil and shade. The tall tomato plants will give the carrots the shade they need and carrots foliage will provide a natural mulch. What are friends for?
Borage is an herb known for its vibrant purple flowers and health benefits. Both the leaves and flowers are edible growers and can be dried to use in herbal teas and other dishes.
Borage is used in companion planting and can help repel tomato fruitworms as well as promote growth and flavor. Planting borage will also attract beneficial insects to your garden like bees, wasps, and other insect pollinators.
6. Leaf Lettuce
Leaf lettuce and other leafy greens are simple to grow and a good companion for tomatoes. Growing lettuce near tomatoes acts as a live mulch which will help keep in moisture and make the soil cooler. Also, the leafy greens will benefit from the shade of the tomato plants.
Onions, along with other members of the onion family like chives and garlic are a great companion to plant near your tomato plants. Their strong odor repels spider mites and other insect pests that tend to be attracted to tomatoes.
Nasturtiums are pretty yellow and orange flowers that not only look nice, but provide many benefits when planted near tomatoes. They help to keep annoying garden pests like aphids, whiteflies, beetles, as well as many others far away from your precious plants. Nasturtiums are also edible and can be added to a fresh tomato salad.
9. Bee Balm
Bee balm and lemon balm, both part of the mint family, are known to attract bees which will help tomato pollination. These herbs will also help with growth and flavor of the tomatoes. That's just a few of the benefits of companion planting. Grow your best tomatoes.