Nothing, and we mean nothing, beats slicing into a homegrown tomato. A homegrown tomato sandwich with nothing more than thick slices of tomato, some bread, and sprinkles of salt and pepper. Is this also your dream? Let's get planting some tomato companion plants so you can live your best tomato life.
Keep the moths and pests away from your tomatoes with garlic. Pungent not only to you, this natural repellent will make sure you aren't sharing your tomatoes without your permission.
Garlic needs to be planted months and months ahead of time, so you'll need to start your tomato garden dreaming in the fall if you plan on adding garlic.
In the same vein as garlic, onions have quite a signature aroma. Keeping pests away from your tomato plants all summer long, and an excellent addition to any tomato salad, add some companion onions alongside your tomatoes. Find another plant, aphids!
No tomato companion plant relationship better highlights the idea that "if it grows together, it goes together." Pungent and aromatic herbs hide the smell of tomatoes from moths. And why are moths such a problem? You want to keep your tomato garden clear of the dreaded hornworm. Basil, and marigolds, do that work for you.
Basil isn't the only aromatic herb that'll keep your tomatoes safe from pests. Add some oregano, thyme, and sage, too. Consider making a mobile herb garden so you can bring it inside when the temperatures start to cool down.
Much like onion, chives will keep spider mites and aphids away from your tomatoes. All thanks to that signature onion smell. Chives thrive quite easily, and you'll always have a clipping ready to add to your tomato sandwich.
Lettuce make this clear, this crisp tomato companion plant relationship has a heap of benefits that goes both ways. Tomato plants offer the lettuce some much-needed shade from the sun, while the lettuce works to keep the soil moist. And your tomatoes will thank you. Lettuce's short roots won't compete with the tomatoes, either.
For a plant that'll defend your tomato roots, add radishes as a companion plant to keep bugs at bay.
Get a jump on your tomatoes in the spring by planting peas in your garden where you'll be planting tomatoes. These companion legumes will help add some nitrogen to the soil where you'll be planting tomatoes. Why do your tomatoes need nitrogen? To help encourage those leaves to unfurl and grow and gather sunshine.
Remember learning about symbiotic relationships in middle school? Time to take a stroll down memory lane with this tomato companion plant. Asparagus, which grows in tiny stalks from the ground, brings a natural fungicide to the tomato companion plant table. As for the tomato plant, it helps repel a pesky asparagus beetle.
Remember The Very Grouchy Lady Bug and how the main character ends the day eating aphids off of plants? Well, before the Grouchy Lady Bug can get to work, this parsley will keep aphids away from your tomato plants and off of those leaves. It doesn't hurt that this tomato companion plant also encourages tomato plant growth.
Tomato aficionados are split about peppers as companion plants. Since tomatoes and peppers both come from the nightshade family, they grow quite well beside one another. However, if one attracts a pest, you'll quickly find the other with bugs.
Celery is a plant that has more to offer than people think. And it's for more than just making up a snack of ants on a log, no matter your age. Celery as a tomato companion plant keeps the bugs at bay. While celery is a pretty inoffensive plant to us when it comes to scent, that aroma keeps the pests away from your precious tomatoes.
Edible in different ways, sunflowers make for a sunny companion plant for tomatoes. Sunflowers may not provide the soil with nutrients, and they don't work actively to keep bugs away. But, sunflowers draw in the bees and other pollinators, and those are critical to the start of your tomatoes. You want those bees busy pollinating all those tomato blossoms.
Like sunflowers, marigolds will draw pollinators to your tomato garden all summer long. Which is perfect for encouraging a long season of tomato growth. Unlike sunflowers, marigolds draw in the pollinators but keep the unwanted pests at bay and keep tomato roots healthy.
Avoid Dill, Brussels Sprouts, and Corn
Skip these plants if you don't want to spend the summer battling pests or forcing your tomato plants to fight for space and nutrients.
- Brussels sprouts: Not just brussel sprouts, but broccoli, cauliflower, and turnips can attract the wrong kind of attention from pests directly to your tomato plants
- Corn: Corn attracts worms, and they will also attract worms that love tomatoes
- Dill: Dill can catch the eye of butterflies that like to lay eggs on plants, and you don't need caterpillars feasting on your tomatoes
Tomatoes' Best Friends
Skip the trip to the store and instead clip a juicy tomato right off the vine from your backyard, surrounded by those helpful companion plants. It doesn't hurt that these plants give you a host of fresh vegetables, herbs, and flower bouquets, too.