Feature: Companion Plants: Best Friends for Tomatoes
Image: Red Hill Gardening
Companion plants are those that work well together. Pairing them provides a benefit to one or both … just like friends. When chosen carefully, companion plants for tomatoes can:
deter pests and diseases
improve tomato health
improve tomato flavor
act as “good neighbors”
There are several plants are considered excellent companions for tomatoes: basil (repells pests and improves germination), borage (repels pests and improves flavor), chives (repels aphids), garlic (repels spider mites), marigolds (repels pests), mint (deters pests and rodents), nasturtium (deters
pests and wards off fungal diseases), and parsley (attracts hoverflies, which feast on tomato pests), to name a few.
Dill, an annual herb, can be a good companion plant for your tomatoes … up to a point. Early in the season, dill enhances tomato health and growth. But as dill matures, it can grow to be quite tall – up to 2 to 4 feet. Mature dill, when planted next to tomatoes, can stunt tomatoes’ growth.
Your tomato plants can still gain significant benefit from companion planting with dill. Instead of planting standard dill, choose fern leaf dill or dwarf varieties, which grow to be just 12-24 inches in height.
Help Your Crops Make Friends: Companion Planting for Veggies
Image: Companion Planting for Veggies
Companion planting extends beyond protecting your tomatoes. By paying attention to all kinds of plants that do well together, as well as those that don’t like one another, you will find that you are able to grow a much wider variety of veggies – and you will also find that it is a lot easier to control pests and reduce diseases destroying your crops.
Companion Planting for Veggies walks you step-by-step through what you need to know about …
Trap cropping: How to use specific plants to
attract pests away from your crop
Nitrogen fixing: How to plant special cover crops which put nitrogen into the soil rather than take it out.
Biochemical pest suppression: Discover which flowering plant oozes a chemical into the soil to repel nasty pests that attack the roots of your tomatoes, sugar beets and soy beans.
Insectary: How to create habitats or environments to attract beneficial predatory insects that eat the nasty pests which devour your precious garden plants.
Nurse cropping: Discover which tall plants with thick foliage protect more vulnerable species by shading them or shielding them from the wind.
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