Companion planting, when applied throughout the garden or landscape, is an effective form of pest management, allowing nature to do its’ job.
Companion planting can discourage harmful insects and pests in your garden without harming the beneficial ones.
Here are a few plants to consider with your tomatoes:
Many plants have natural substances in their roots, flowers, and leaves that can repel or attract insects and can enhance the growth and flavor of other varieties of plants.
Consider planting these companions with your tomatoes
Companion plants for tomatoes include Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Carrots, Marigold, Geraniums, Petunias, Borage, any type of Onion or Chives.
BORAGE, an edible flower (with edible leaves), is one particularly good companion plant for tomatoes because when planted nearby, it deters tomato hornworms (a type of caterpillar that will eat the leaves). Borage is considered the magic bullet of companion plants (predict a square yard for its adult size).
FRENCH MARIGOLD’s have roots that exude a substance which spreads in their immediate vicinity killing nematodes. For nematode control, plant dense areas of French Marigold’s. There have been studies that have proved that the nematode deterrence lasted for several years after the plants died back. The French Marigold also helps to deter white-flies when planted around tomatoes, and can be used in greenhouses for the same purpose. White-flies hate the smell of marigolds. Do not plant French marigolds next to beans.
BASIL repels flies and mosquitoes, and studies have shown that Basil can increase the yield of tomatoes. Basil can be helpful in repelling thrips (an insect that will feed on leaves). Do not plant near rue or sage.
CARROTS benefit tomatoes by breaking up soil with their long roots and creating space for water and air to flow to tomato plant roots. Tomatoes benefit carrots by secreting a natural insecticide, solanine, which carrots can absorb.
CHIVES improve growth and flavor of tomatoes. Chives help to keep aphids away and may drive away Japanese beetles.
PETUNIA, an edible flower (with edible leaves), will repel tomato worms.