What are the best companion plants for tomatoes? Well, not all plants are created equal. While some provide synergy when you grow them together, some will antagonize your efforts. For instance, when you grow tomatoes with Kohlrabi they will stunt each other’s growth. Other antagonists include; potato, fennel, and cabbage.
Having got that out of the way, several plants will improve the yield and quality of your home-grown tomatoes. In this article, I have listed thirteen of the very best companion plants for tomatoes.
By planting tomatoes close to these plants, you’ll be able to deter pests and disease through a push and pull strategy, provide a habitat for beneficial bugs, maximize the use of space, increase light exposure, and ultimately increase your tomato yield.
Sounds epic, right?
Then, let’s get to it:
List of the Best Companion Plants for Tomatoes
1. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Basil is an annual - perennial warm-weather fragrant herb and a good companion for tomatoes. The strong aroma from this herb repels insects like flies and hornworms.
Therefore, plant basils around your tomatoes to protect the tomatoes from the said insects as well as to improve yields and aroma in your tomatoes. Moreover, the strong scent of basil is pollinator-friendly thereby, attracts bees and other beneficial insects to the garden.
2. Celery (Apium graveolens)
Apart from providing you with fiber, vitamins, flavonoids and, antioxidants, celery is also a good companion plant for your tomatoes. It helps you to create a harmonious garden for improved disease resistance and, higher yields.
3. Cucumber (Cucumis sativus)
Cucumbers are creeping vine plants that not only reduce pest attack through diversification but also help preserve soil moisture and suppress weed when you grow on the ground below your tomatoes.
Moreover, when you eat cucumbers you remain well hydrated and the cucumber fiber helps to reduce constipation. Also, the vitamin K from cucumbers helps to keep your bones healthy and aids in the blood clot.
4. French Marigold
Marigolds and tomatoes share similar growing conditions and apart from this, they are good companions in a garden. When you grow marigolds between the tomatoes you protect your tomatoes from the harmful root- rot nematodes in the soil.
Here's the best soil for growing tomatoes in pots and is free from nematodes.
Additionally, tomato pests such as whiteflies, thrips and, tomato hornworms hate the scent from the marigolds therefore they won’t attack your tomatoes.
5. Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
Parsley is a flowering herb and a good plant to grow with your tomatoes. It boosts the growth of your tomatoes and attracts predators like ladybugs that feed on the tomato pests such as hornworms.
This herb also helps to fight aphids in tomatoes by attracting hoverflies that prey on the aphids. You can also use parsley as a trap crop to drive aphids away from your tomatoes.
Pro Tip: Not all tomato varieties do well with parsley therefore, do some research or check with local plant nurseries to know whether or not to grow your tomatoes together with parsley.
6. Squash (Cucurbita spp)
Squash and tomatoes love similar growing conditions, so work well as companion plants.
The large leaves and spreading form of squash create a good ground cover hence retains moisture in the soil for your tomatoes to use as well as suppresses weeds.
The result of this is a healthy and higher tomato yield.
7. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
Apart from seasoning your tomato dishes, your tomato plants enjoy lots of benefits from these flowering perennial herbs. Chives not only help in improving the tomato's taste but their sulfur-based oils help deter pests thus protects your tomatoes from pest damage. Moreover, chives have large purple flower heads that attract bees to the tomatoes hence aids in pollination.
8. Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum spp)
Looking for a good trap crop to grow with your tomatoes? Nasturtiums are one of the best trap crops that you can have in your tomato garden as they are irresistible to aphids and whiteflies, they can redirect pests away from your tomatoes.
These annual flowers can also avert fungal diseases, which makes them invaluable for damp and warm summer.
Caution: Nasturtium spreads rapidly and can easily overtake your tomatoes therefore handle them wisely.
9. Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)
Asparagus are perennial flowering vegetable plants and excellent tomato companions. This vegetable produces a natural nematocide that deters root-knot nematodes in tomatoes thereby improving the health and yield in tomatoes.
10. Mint (Mentha spp)
Mint is a fragrant herb that not only improves the health of your tomatoes but also protects the tomatoes from pests (a natural pest repellent). This herb also spreads over the ground thus makes a good ground cover that aids to preserve moisture as well as suppress weeds.
11. Garlic (Allium sativum)
Grow garlic near your tomatoes to help repel spider mites from ravaging on the tomatoes (a natural insecticide). Apart from this, garlic also helps deter snails and slugs from your tomatoes hence reducing the damages pests.
Upon maturity of the garlic, you enjoy benefits that come with it including; low cholesterol levels, management of blood pressure, control of colds and flu, reduces risks of heart attack, and many more.
12. Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Another good companion for your tomatoes. Just like so many other herbs, the strong fragrance from sage helps attract beneficial insects into your garden and at the same time, it repels the harmful ones like flea beetles.
13. Borage (Borago officinalis)
The beautiful blue borage flowers bring out an amazing contrast with tomato plants. But more to this, borage is excellent at deterring tomato hornworms.
Blossoms from this annual flowering herb also attract beneficial insects like bees and other pollinators which is an important factor to healthy tomatoes.
You have just read a list of thirteen best companion plants for tomatoes. I hope you’ve found the information helpful.
As a summary, companion plants play an important role; be it increasing tomato yields per unit area, helping in suppressing weeds, improving flavor, reducing pest attack or, enhancing nutrient availability in the soil, you have it all covered.
Feel free to comment below should you have any additions.