When it comes to growing healthy, productive, pest-free tomato plants, there are a few companion plants that can really help to both protect and power your tomato crop to a bigger, more tastier harvest. And not only that, make your garden look and smell great in the process too!
Companion planting has been a practice for centuries that takes advantage of the beneficial relationships between different varieties of plants.
Beans grow well near peas and corn. Spinach and onions will help to protect a cabbage crop. And the list goes on and on – including a few plants that can really help tomatoes.
Tomato plants are the prime target of a long list of pests. For starters, you have the tomato hornworm that can decimate a plant seemingly overnight. There are also aphids, cutworms, nematodes and a whole slew of others waiting to attack as well.
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And unfortunately, plants that fall victim to pests become even more susceptible to disease. It is a vicious cycle that can spell the end of the road for the plants in your garden. And that is exactly where companion planting comes to the rescue!
Here is a look at 3 of the best tomato companion plants around, and how they can help to protect your plants. And best of all, all 3 of these beneficial plants are easily planted by simply sowing a few seeds around your tomato plants. What could be easier than that?
3 Great Tomato Companion Plants
#1 ) Basil – Companion Plants for Tomatoes
Without a doubt, basil is a rock star when it comes to companion planting with tomatoes. It’s actually a bit funny that two plants that pair so well on a plate do well together in a garden as well.
Basil helps to deter an army of common tomato pests when planted in close proximity to tomato plants. That includes white flies, aphids and the dreaded tomato hornworm.
But even better, mosquitoes and the common house fly are not fond of basil’s oily foliage or distinct scent either. That means you might even be able to work in the garden and harvest those tomatoes with a little less worry for yourself as well!
But perhaps best of all, it has long been thought that basil also improves the flavor of tomatoes when growing in close proximity to tomato plants. In fact, many restaurant chefs request this from growers and swear by it.
Basil seed can go in the ground at the same time as you are planting your tomato transplants. Simply scatter a few seeds around each plant and allow them to grow in harmony. Now only if you could only grow fresh mozzarella cheese to have the perfect garden snack! Sweet Dani Basil Seeds
#2 ) Marigolds – Companion Plants for Tomatoes
Marigolds are another fantastic plant to grow in the garden, and especially near tomatoes. The pungent scent of marigolds does wonders for keeping an entire host of garden pests at bay, including nematodes and white flies.
Nematodes can suck the life out of plants as they feed from the roots in the soil. But they simply can’t stand the scent and chemical markers of marigolds. By planting just a few marigold plants among your tomato plants, you can keep these tomato pests far away.
But marigolds also add something else to your garden – big color! From large pom-pom blooming varieties like Taishan Marigolds, to more petite french marigold flowering types, marigolds can really add eye-popping beauty to your vegetable garden. And in the process, bring in great pollinators too!
Although marigolds can be grown and planted as transplants, there is simply little need to do so. They are are among the easiest seeds to scatter, and not only germinate fast, but without much need for watering or care.
In fact, if the soil is warm enough, marigolds will germinate in as little as 5 days from planting.Talk about fast protection from a companion plant!
In addition to nematodes, marigolds pungent scent helps deter tomato hornworms, squash bugs and cabbage worms. They can even be a bit offensive to rabbits, deer and squirrels as well.To plant, simply sow seed 1/8 deep in the soil, water in – and wait for the magic.
#3 ) Zinnias – Companion Plants for Tomatoes
Zinnias are one of the best annuals of all when it comes to adding beauty and protection with a single plant. In fact, many old-school gardeners still seed these gorgeous annual flowers as a border around their entire garden. Not only to help deter pests, but to create a beautiful ring of color.
Zinnias are the perfect choice for helping to deter cucumber beetles and tomato worms. But they also help attract predatory wasps, which are the mortal enemy of tomato and tobacco worms. Even better, they attract lady bugs as well, which in turn keep the aphid and white fly populations in check.
Much like with marigolds, zinnias can be direct seeded and germinate fast. The flowers can be cut to keep plants blooming all season long. And they just happen to make an incredible cut flowers. Seed Link : Zinnia Multi Seed Pack
Here is to planting a few companion plants in your garden this year and protecting your tomato plants naturally!
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