Tomato Companion Planting

by David Schulze

Tomato companion planting is very helpful for new gardeners as it can make their first attempt at growing tomatoes a great success!

Most new gardeners want to try growing tomatoes because garden fresh tomatoes are one of the most delicious foods you can grow. The thought makes my mouth water every time!

Herbs work with tomato plants by preventing pesky insects from destroying them. But which ones are the right ones to plant with tomato plants?

Herbs For Tomato Companion Planting

When you plant tomatoes, put some herbs in between the tomato plants, namely some varieties of dill and basil. The dill cannot be existing dill plants. It must be newly planted dill seeds. We sell several varieties of herb seeds, if you want to plant your herbs from seed. This is what we do.

New dill seedlings actually enhance the well-being of tomato plants and help them grow. They also prevent hornworms from getting on your tomato plants. However, mature dill plants stunt the growth of tomato plants so be sure to plant your dill seeds or seedlings by your tomato seedlings but do not put tomato plants by mature dill plants.

Basil improves pollination to tomatoes by attracting bees. It also repels hornworms, aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, and mosquitoes.

Parsley is good to have because it brings hoverflies which eat the pests that like to eat tomato plants. Parsley, however, does not do well in heat.

Mint varieties keep away ants, mice, cabbage moths, aphids, and flea beetles.

But be warned: if you allow it, mint will take over and eventually destroy everything that is in the same garden bed. It is difficult to control.

We sell an herb called borage and it is good to put with tomato plants because borage improves the flavor of the fruit and improves the overall health of the tomato plant. It also repels the tomato horn worm as well as the cabbage worm so this should also be planted by cabbage.

Chives repel aphids.

Do not plant the herb or vegetable fennel near your tomatoes. This herb/vegetable inhibits the growth of tomatoes.

Vegetable Plants For Tomato Companion Planting

Some vegetables should be grown near tomatoes. First plant some asparagus nearby. Asparagus makes a chemical underground to kill non-beneficial nematodes that destroy tomato plant roots. Likewise, tomato plants repel the asparagus beetle, helping your asparagus to grow healthy.

If you are tight on garden space, plant your lettuce and spinach in between tomato plants. They produce quickly and are ready for harvest before tomato plants get very big.

It is not good to plant tomato seeds or seedlings near your carrot plot if you are growing tomatoes and carrots at the same time. 

Most carrots are a cooler weather crop. Pull your carrots up and then plant your tomatoes where the carrots were as soon as the first danger of frost has passed in the spring.  Carrots, which are a root crop, break up the soil as they grow down into the earth, providing nutrients and water down into the soil. This will help the tomato roots grow down deep once the carrots are pulled.

Garlic repels spider mites so it is a good companion for tomato plants.

Some vegetable plants that should not be planted anywhere near your tomatoes are broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, fennel, kohlrabi, kale, and brussels sprouts. They all inhibit the growth of tomatoes.

Corn should not be planted near tomatoes as it attracts two enemies that attack both corn and tomatoes, the tomato fruit-worm and the corn ear-worm.

Keep your potato plot away from tomato plants as they attract blight fungus and you do not want that to destroy the roots of your tomato plants.

Trees, Bushes, Flowers

Do not plant your tomatoes near black walnut trees. The black walnut trees stop the tomatoes from growing by secreting a compound called juglone which can stop the tomato from putting out fruit and sometimes kills the tomato plants. Juglone can kill a lot of garden vegetables so beware if you have black walnut trees in your yard.

Marigolds are great to plant near tomatoes. They keep away enemies of the tomato like slugs, non-beneficial nematodes, and the evil tomato worm.

Nasturtiums ward off fungal diseases that like to grow on tomato plants. They also keep away white flies, aphids, beetles, and squash bugs. Yes, they are great for placing near squash as well.

Tomatoes can be planted near rosebushes as tomatoes protect roses from black-spot.

Gooseberry bushes love tomato plants because tomatoes repel insects from them.

Visit our Companion Planting Page to see more of our Companion Planting Collections.

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