Companion planting can be one factor that sets great gardeners apart from good gardeners.
Growing the right plants next to your tomatoes can be incredibly beneficial, so why not try it with these handy companion plants.
Basil and tomatoes both thrive in warm conditions. For this reason, they will grow very happily alongside each other.
Because they like the same conditions, you can also use the basil as a barometer for how well-suited the conditions are.
You will be able to see earlier with the basil whether it is happy or not, and if the basil is happy, then your tomatoes will be happy.
Also, basil will grow underneath cordon-trained tomatoes. This won’t work the same way with bush tomatoes, which must be grown side by side.
Some people also swear it helps to drive away harmful pests that may otherwise damage your tomatoes, but some gardeners have also reported it making no difference.
Marigolds are a great companion plant for many different vegs, but they are particularly great when grown with tomatoes.
Scientists have been able to demonstrate that marigolds help protect tomatoes against nematodes.
While the science may not be as solid on the following, ask a lot of gardeners, and they will swear those marigolds also deter whitefly and aphids.
The bonus is that the bright yellow flowers of marigolds will help attract pollinators to your tomato plants.
Coriander is commonly grown in the greenhouse as a companion plant for tomatoes. Gardeners grow coriander with tomatoes as it is reported to help deter whitefly and aphids.
These are two pests that can really take a toll on your tomato plants so planting a little coriander could go a long way.
Again there are no strong studies to back this up but a whole heap of people will swear by it, then others will tell you it doesn’t work!
Lettuce makes a great companion plant for tomatoes, especially cordon-grown tomatoes.
Lettuce doesn’t work well with tomatoes because of any pest prevention like the plants above, but rather because lettuce can be grown under tomato plants, maximising your space usage.
Lettuce grows close to the ground and cordon-grown tomatoes will grow nice and high. What this means is that there will be plenty of room under the tomatoes, which would otherwise go to waste.
So why not pop a few lettuce plants in there and make the most of your prime growing space?
This is particularly useful for tomatoes grown in a greenhouse, ensuring you get the most out of your prime real estate.