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Why grow basil with tomatoes?

Basil and tomatoes are the perfect companions, both on the plate and in the greenhouse. But why do these two plants work so well together, lets have a look at some of the top reasons that make them ideal bedfellows.

They Love The Same Conditions

Basil and tomatoes both thrive in warm, wet, almost tropical 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.

Making Optimal Use of the Space

Because basil doesn’t grow too high it can be grown underneath your tomato plant, maximising your use of precious greenhouse space.

The basil will happily grow underneath cordon trained tomatoes, obviously, this won’t work in the same way with bush tomatoes which will have to be grown side by side.

They are a Great Flavour Companion

Everyone knows that tomatoes and basil just go together perfectly, despite originating at different sides of the planet. Because of this growing them together makes a lot of sense from a harvesting point of view as well as a gardening one.

If you are cutting some tomatoes from the vine it just makes sense to be able to bend down and grab a handful of basil at the same time.

They “May” Keep Pests Away

Many gardeners swear by planting basil with tomatoes as it helps to drive away troublesome pests. The jury on this is still out and I don’t believe there is much scientific evidence to prove the idea.

But if it works, it works. And many gardeners swear that by planting basil with tomatoes you will drive away harmful pests.