Companion Plants For Tomatoes

Tomatoes are fruiting at this time of year and if you have had a successful time of things so far this summer then you could already be eating fresh tomatoes straight from your greenhouse, polytunnel or garden. Certainly, you soon will be if all has gone according to plan. As organic gardeners, we have to do everything we possibly can to improve our chances of success and to reduce the chances of pest and/or disease taking hold.

Some of the measures taken by many organic gardeners belong within the semi-scientific world of companion planting, some of the benefits of which have been proven scientifically and some of which remain empirical and anecdotal. Whether the truth of it has been proven or not, many gardeners remain convinced of the efficacy of planting certain plants close to one another. So, if you're wondering "what should I plant with tomatoes", then read on to find out what plants well with tomatoes!

Tomatoes and Marigolds

One companion plant for tomatoes that is proven to be efficacious to them and to a range of other plants in the vegetable garden is the French Marigold. The marigold should be planted all through your kitchen garden as they produce a powerful chemical which helps reduce root-rot nematodes in the soil. Some say that another flower, borage, will protect tomatoes from a number of tomato pests and can also improve the taste of the tomatoes, though the theory is as yet unproven scientifically. Nasturtiums may help to ward off fungal diseases and also deters or traps a range of pests.

Tomatoes and Basil

Herbs can also help considerably in various ways when planted around tomato plants in containers or in the garden. One of the best herbs to plant with tomatoes, and one of the most commonly used is basil. Basil repels a number of tomato pests and will also improve the overall health of the tomato plants. Some even say that planting basil close to tomatoes will improve the flavour of the fruits.

Balcony plants, tomatoes, chives etc.

Members of the allium family are also said to be beneficial for tomatoes due largely to their pest repelling qualities. Chives, garlic and onions are all used for this purpose. For outdoor tomato plants, parsley can also be a good companion, helping to attract hoverflies and other predatory insects. Parsley will not do so well in the greenhouse or polytunnel however, because it dislikes heat.

Asparagus and tomatoes may be mutually beneficial. Carrots, spinach and quick growing lettuces can all be co-planted with tomatoes before they reach maturity and are all considered to be good neighbours when sited next to one another. Inter-cropping like this can save space and help make sure you make the most of the space you have, however large or small it may be.