Marigolds Growing With Tomatoes

Top 10 Tomato Companion Plants

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Tomatoes are a staple in many gardens, and companion planting is a natural way to enhance your tomato plants’ health and yield without resorting to chemicals.

Certain plants, when grown alongside tomatoes, can deter pests, attract beneficial insects, and even improve soil health. Let’s dive into the world of companion planting and discover the best allies for your tomato plants.

Top 10 Companion Plants for Tomatoes

In the quest for a bountiful vegetable garden, incorporating the right companion plants for tomatoes can significantly boost plant health and crop yield. From deterring pesky insects to improving soil health, these top 10 companions are a must-have in any tomato lover’s garden.

1. Marigolds

Marigolds are not only vibrant and cheerful, but they’re also workhorses in the garden. Slugs and snails love marigolds. They like them so much that they will avoid other plants in the vicinity if they see a marigold. This makes them a great help for keeping slugs and snails off young, delicate tomato plants.

Bees and other beneficial pollinators are attracted to marigold blooms. The more pollinators buzzing around your tomatoes, the more likely they are to be fertilised successfully.

2. Basil

Basil and tomatoes are a classic pairing, both in the kitchen and in the garden. Basil may repel various pests through its volatile oils, which mask the scent of tomatoes, thus protecting them.

Also many gardeners swear that basil enhances the flavour of tomatoes, but the science on this is sketchy.

One great reason I love to grow them with my tomatoes is that they grow underneath them happily, meaning you save space – perfect if you are growing in a greenhouse.

3. Lettuce

Lettuce is another plant that is not going to take up much room and will happily grow in the space underneath tomatoes – meaning you get a 2 for 1!

You can start the lettuces before your tomatoes and use the roots of the plants to help loosen up the ground.

4. Onions

Onions are an excellent companion for tomatoes, providing a barrier against various pests. Their pungent smell is effective in deterring many pests, and they can help protect tomatoes from underground pests too.

5. Chives

Chives, with their subtle onion-like taste, are not only a great culinary addition but also deter aphids and spider mites from tomatoes. The natural oils released from chives provide a protective barrier against these pests, enhancing the overall health of tomatoes.

6. Parsley

Parsley can attract beneficial insects like hoverflies, which prey on common pests like aphids. This herb acts as a companion by fostering a balanced ecosystem around tomato plants, leading to healthier growth and better yields.

7. Calendula

Known for their bright flowers, calendulas attract pollinators while also deterring certain pests. Their role in promoting beneficial insects aids in the natural defense of tomatoes.

8. Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums serve as a trap crop for aphids, drawing them away from tomatoes. Their vibrant flowers not only add beauty to the garden but also encourage a healthy ecosystem by attracting pollinating insects.

9. Oregano

Oregano is another herb that’s beneficial for tomatoes, deterring various pests and diseases through its strong aroma.

10. Sweet Alyssum

Sweet alyssum, with its delicate white flowers, attracts beneficial predatory insects, such as hoverflies, which feast on aphids and other tomato pests. This low-growing plant can be easily integrated into the spaces between tomatoes, providing a living mulch that enhances biodiversity.

What Are the Benefits of Tomato Companion Plants?

Pest Control stands out as one of the primary reasons for integrating companion plants into tomato gardens. Certain plants repel harmful insects naturally, reducing the need for chemical pesticides. For instance, marigolds are famous for deterring nematodes in the soil that could otherwise harm tomato roots. Meanwhile, basil emits a strong scent that not only repels pests but can also enhance the flavour of tomatoes nearby.

Attracting Beneficial Insects is another critical advantage. While some insects are detrimental, others are vital for pollination and controlling pest populations. Companion plants like borage and calendula attract bees and other pollinators, ensuring tomatoes are well-pollinated for a robust yield. Moreover, plants such as sweet alyssum can lure beneficial insects that prey on common pests like aphids.

Soil Health is significantly impacted by the choice of companion plants. Legumes, for example, fix nitrogen in the soil, a nutrient essential for the healthy growth of tomatoes. Pairing tomatoes with beans or peas can naturally enhance soil fertility without artificial fertilisers. Furthermore, some companion plants act as living mulch, conserving soil moisture and suppressing weeds that would otherwise compete with tomatoes for nutrients.

Disease Prevention can be indirectly influenced through companion planting. By promoting a diverse ecosystem, the risk of soil-borne diseases can be minimised. Plants such as garlic and chives are believed to have antifungal properties, offering a layer of protection against common diseases that affect tomatoes.

Increased Biodiversity within a garden has overarching benefits beyond the health of the tomato plants. A diverse planting strategy creates a more resilient ecosystem, able to withstand fluctuations in weather, invasive species, and disease outbreaks. This harmonious balance encourages a natural cycle of growth, decay, and regeneration, which can lead to a healthier garden environment overall.

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2 Comments

  1. Excellent advice, so if growing tomatoes I’m frow bags would I plant the marigolds in there aswell

    1. I would plant them in pots and place them near the tomatoes. Tomatoes in bags will use up all of the nutrition so your marigolds probably wouldnt do too well

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