What Are The Best Tomato Companion Plants To Grow?
Unionism is a thing with plants too and that becomes very evident in the beneficial tomato companion plants partnership. There are a lot of plants that make great partners with the tomatoes by providing significant benefits to the latter in terms of better growth. The knowledge about companion planting tomatoes is surely going to help you a lot as you will read further.
- 1 Significance of companion planting
- 2 Advantages of companion planting for tomato plants
- 3 The 20 best plants to grow with tomato plants
- 4 Conclusion
Significance of companion planting
Known with various terms like intercropping, interplanting, and polyculture in the botanical world, the mechanism of companion planting involves the combination of suitably matching plants in pairs, successions, or alterations to have them benefit mutually from each other. The basic idea of companion planting focuses on planting different plants together with contrasting or matching set of qualities that help in the creation of a more diverse, richer, resilient, and utilitarian environment for each member of the group.
Here are some of the ways companion planting is advantageous:
Advantages of companion planting for tomato plants
Similar to the amazing merits of companion planting that we discussed above, you will be able to understand the significance of companion planting tomatoes and how it is beneficial to these plants. Here are some of the common advantages tomatoes get from their companion plants:
Many companion plants prove very helpful to tomatoes by saving their lives by acting as crop covers. In that role, these plants give the benefit of mulching, weed reduction, and weed propulsion to the tomatoes in a natural way.
Many plants combine with tomatoes to give them protection against harmful pests like hornworms, aphids, armyworms, etc that are lethal for the tomato plants. They do so by disrupting the germination of pest eggs or by lure-trapping the insects.
This is another benefit that tomatoes get from certain plants that do so by either acting as natural covers or being a standard garden crop companion. It is the fungal diseases that are targeted mainly.
Invitation to beneficial insects
The practice of keeping plants safe from pests through other good inserting them in their immediate environment is called Biocontrol and many companion plants do the same for tomatoes. It is the nectar of certain plants that attracts these insects who then feed on the desirable pests on tomatoes too.
The 20 best plants to grow with tomato plants
If you are still confused about what to plant with tomatoes, then we are going to provide you with a list of different plants including vegetables, herbs, shrubs, and flowering ones from which you can choose the right one for your garden type and growing conditions.
Tomatoes and basil go together in various ways, be it taste or crop protection. Basil is at the crowning position among the group of companion plants for tomato crops and the most important way it helps them is by protecting them from tomato hornworms and thrips through its volatile chemical odor.
Many plants help others by generating the flow of beneficial insects for them and dill does the same for tomato plants. The insects that dill plants attract feed on the pests that threaten the tomatoes, thus, planting these together let the good insects do benefit the tomato plants.
One of the very important companion plants for tomatoes that give the extremely crucial benefit of crop cover to protect it against weeds is the plant of winter rye. The allelochemicals present in winter rye prevents weed germination without putting up any harm to the tomato transplants.
Another very important help of disease protection is given best by the plant of sweet potatoes to the tomatoes that make them another great companion to the latter. When grown densely around tomatoes, they protect the fruit from dropping down and catching diseases in the splash up effect.
Pollination is also important for plants to increase their population and the sunflower plants can help the tomatoes to multiply healthily by attracting pollinators towards them. Bumblebees are the most frequent visitors to the sunflowers and they take to visit the tomatoes too for some nectar.
This herb does not just make the tomato dishes extremely flavorful but its plant also protects the growth of the latter. You will need to, although, sacrifice the herb plant by letting it flower as the blooms attract many insects that prove helpful to the tomato plants.
For the gardening beginners looking for the perfect natural mulching cover for their young tomato plants, choose the plant of oats. You can cover the tomatoes with the fall started oat plants during the winters and they will be all ready to re-grow when the weather warms up again.
Tomatoes need proper air circulation and the companionship of bush bean plants helps them to have that. They improve air circulation around the tomatoes that ward off various rot-causing diseases like fungus. Plant short bush plants between tomatoes to widen the gap and let air flow properly.
This is one of those tomato companion plants that helps by letting the insects that they attract feed on the insects that are harmful to the tomato population. We are talking about the bad aphids that feed on tomatoes but get eaten by the aphidius wasps that come to the fennel plants.
It has been observed that borage has protection benefits for the tomato plants. The primary protection it gives to them is from tomato hornworms and its additional exclusive benefits include edible flowers and leaves that have the flavor of cucumber.
The chemicals like allelochemicals and cinnamic acid present in the cucumber plants have also been known for providing weed control benefits to several plants, tomatoes being one of them. A thick cover of cucumber plants over tomatoes works great when transplants are being used for growth.
This is one companion plant for tomatoes that can live in the same container with them too and give the benefits of mulch. Thus, it plays a vital role in keeping the tomatoes safe from soil freeze, diseases, and water damage to the leaves.
It’s both the sweet as well as hot peppers that can be great companions to the tomato plants. Both of them mutually benefit each other as peppers grow lesser hot in flavor when grown next to tomatoes and give moisture-balancing benefits to the tomatoes in turn.
This vegetable plant can be grown with tomatoes twice in their birth and the last stage to minimize the competition between the two plants for root space. When grown in these times, they bridge the nutritional gap for each other and optimize growth as a result.
One of the great companion plants for tomatoes is the one of Marigold that plays a major role in keeping the latter pest free. Marigolds are great garden pest repellers as they secrete a substance known as alpha-terthienyl that weans out root-knot nematodes from the soil.
This plant is grown with tomatoes plant purely for their edibility benefits and because of the lack of any major drawbacks of growing them together. The blooms and leaves of the calendula plant make great company with tomatoes in any salad.
Another plant that can give protection to the tomato plants against pests, thyme gives the benefit of keeping tomatoes safe from the attack of the yellow-striped armyworms. This plant acts like a mulching cover for the tomato plant rows and keeps it safe from frost too.
This plant can be a good base cover for your tomato plants to keep the flea beetles away from the latter at a considerable distance. Thus, radish must be planted immediately next to the tomato plants covering a good span so that the flea beetles are not able to come closer.
This plant is another savior for the tomato plants as it protects them from the danger of attack by the harlequin bugs in the harvest seasons. These are very dangerous bugs as they continue to stick to the plants for generations and collards take the sacrifice by attracting the bugs towards themselves.
One of the major problems for tomatoes is verticillium wilt which can be prevented naturally by providing the crop cover of mustard greens plants over the tomatoes. Plant the former sometime after starting the tomatoes and you will have foolproof protection for them.
Be careful against plants like cabbages, corn, potatoes, peppers, eggplants, walnuts, etc. for making them companions to tomatoes.
Choosing the right tomato companion plants is very important as they must match the immediate growing conditions. Once you have that ensured, you will have beautiful and healthy thriving tomato plants in the garden.