Which flowers are good to plant next to tomato plants?

In a vegetable garden, companion planting is all about attracting beneficial insects (the natural predators of those not-so-beneficial garden pests, like aphids and caterpillars), encouraging growth, and optimizing overall output. It’s a delicate balancing act between providing a suitable environment for insects like beetles and ladybugs and making the most of a growing season.

Discover the best companions for tomato plants. Companion Plants to Grow With Tomatoes

Tomatoes may suffer from a variety of problems, including blossom end rot, fungal infections, insect pests such as tomato hornworms, aphids, and whiteflies, and early and late blight. Pruning, vigilant weeding, and mulch can help protect and manage plants until it’s time to harvest, but choosing the best tomato companion plants can do a lot of the work naturally.

Most knowledge about companion planting is anecdotal, however here are some tried and proven tomato partners:

  • Basil . On and off the plate, basil and tomatoes are soulmates. This vibrant, aromatic herb repels insects, specifically flies and hornworms, and is believed to improve yield.
  • Parsley . Parsley is another classic pairing: It boosts growth and attracts predators of the tomato hornworm, like ladybugs, but be sure to keep it well away from mint.
  • Garlic . Garlic is said to repel spider mites, and a spray made with garlic can protect plants and soil against blight.
  • Borage and squash . Tomatoes, borage, and squash are a typical companion planting trio, and this is mostly related to time. Borage, a flowering herb with blue star-shaped blossoms, is a big favorite of pollinators in general, and it also repels tomato hornworms. It not only improves the development and taste of tomatoes while protecting them, but it also forms an eye-catching garnish. Then, by the time late-summer squash (which requires pollinators to fruit) is ready to blossom, the foundation’s already been laid.
  • French marigolds and nasturtiums . Marigolds (not to be confused with the delicious, ornamental calendula or pot marigold) and nasturtiums are especially good tomato companions. Marigolds have been shown to dispel root-knot nematodes, parasites that feed off of the nutrients in a tomato’s root system, and nasturtium acts as a general pest repellant thanks to its peppery, bitter oils—but don’t let them get too close. Nasturtium spreads quickly and may engulf other plants if not kept in check.
  • Asparagus . Asparagus exemplifies the give and take of effective companion planting: Tomatoes repel asparagus beetles with a chemical called solanine, and asparagus help to clear the soil of root-knot nematodes attracted to tomatoes.
  • Chives . Not only are chives an essential allium in any herb garden, they repel aphids, nematodes, and mites.

What Not to Plant With Tomatoes

While constructing a vegetable garden layout in any season, it’s a good idea to reference a companion planting guide: It will also highlight what not to plant as neighbors—tomatoes don’t play nice with anything in the cabbage (brassicaceae) family, for example, as cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi will stunt the plant’s growth.

The correlations aren’t always logical: carrots are good for tomatoes, but fennel, a carrot related, isn’t. Fellow members of the nightshade family, like eggplant, are susceptible to the same diseases as tomatoes, early and late blight. This will have an impact on the soil, making it more difficult to avoid the following year.

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