Companion Plants: What To Grow With Tomatoes
Companion plants are those that work well together. Pairing them provides a benefit to one or both. At the same time, some plants should be kept apart. (Hmm… sounds a lot like people.)
What kinds of benefits can companion plants offer tomatoes?
When chosen carefully, companion plants 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. Tomatoes also return the favor for other plants in your garden.
And there are also some “tomato enemies” that you will want to steer clear from your tomato zone.
Best Companion Plants for Tomatoes
|Plant ||Benefit for Tomato ||Extra Tips |
|Basil (annual herb) ||Repels whiteflies, mosquitoes, spider mites, aphids, hornworms |
Improves pollination - attracts bees
Improves tomato health
Improves tomato flavor
|Plant 3 basil per tomato for best coverage |
|Borage (annual herb) ||Repels tomato hornworm, cabbage worm |
Improves tomato health
Improves tomato flavor
|May self-seed from year to year |
Use leaves in salads
|Chives (bulbous herb) ||Repels aphids ||Tasty in salads |
|Garlic (bulbous herb) ||Repels spider mites ||Make your own insecticide by burying garlic cloves 1" in the ground around tomato plants |
|Marigolds (annual flower) ||Repels nematodes, tomato worm, slugs, general garden pests ||Some gardeners recommend French marigolds as best deterrents |
Till marigolds into the soil at season end to deter nematodes further
|Mint (perennial herb) ||Deters white cabbage moths, ants, rodents, flea beetles, fleas, aphids ||Can be invasive. Plant in a submerged container to prevent mint from overtaking the garden |
|Nasturtium (annual flower) ||Deters aphids, whiteflies, squash bugs, beetles |
Wards off fungal diseases
|Doesn't compete for nutrients |
May self-seed year to year
Makes an excellent garden edging
|Parsley (biennial herb) ||Attracts hoverflies (which feast on tomato pests) ||Dislikes heat |
Mutually-Beneficial Companion Plants for Tomatoes
|Plant ||Benefit for Tomato ||Benefit for Plant |
|Asparagus (perennial vegetable) ||Asparagus produces a chemical shown to kill nematodes (pests that play havoc with roots) ||Tomatoes repel the asparagus beetle |
“Good Neighbor” Companions for Tomatoes
|Plant ||Benefit for Tomato |
|Carrot (annual vegetable) ||Cultivation. Carrot roots break up soil around tomatoes, allowing in more nutrients, air, and water |
Space saver. Carrots are ready to be harvested soon after tomatoes go in the ground
|Spinach; Lettuce (annual vegetables) ||Space saver. Leaves are ready to be harvested soon after tomatoes are planted. |
Worst Companions for Tomatoes
|Plant ||Problem |
|Black Walnut (deciduous tree) ||Inhibits tomato growth by producing juglone, a compound that can be toxic or stunt growth in tomatoes |
Generate walnut wilt
|Brassicas (cabbage, cauli, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi) ||Inhibit tomato growth |
|Corn (annual vegetable) ||Common enemies: both corn and tomatoes attract the tomato fruitworm/corn earworm |
|Fennel (perennial herb) ||Inhibits tomato growth |
|Potato (tuberous vegetable) ||Cultivates susceptibility to early and late blight fungus |
Tomato Combined Friend and Foe
|Plant ||Benefit ||Problem ||Solution |
|Dill (annual herb) ||Young dill enhances tomato health and growth ||Mature dill stunts tomato growth ||Harvest dill before it gets too large |
Tomato as a Beneficial Companion
Planting tomatoes: top tips to help your new crop succeed
|Plant ||Benefit for Companion |
|Gooseberries (fruit shrub) ||Tomato scent repels insects |
|Roses (perennial shrub) ||Tomatoes protect interplanted roses from black spot |
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