When it comes to gardening, choosing the right plants to grow together is just as important as providing the right amount of water and sunlight.
Companion planting, the practice of growing certain plants together to benefit each other, can help increase yield, control pests, and improve soil health.
However, not all plants make good companions; some can even harm each other. This is particularly true when it comes to tomato plants, which are a favorite in many gardens.
So, let’s dive in and learn about the plants that are not tomatoes’ BFFs!
Plants To Avoid Growing Near Tomato Plants
Brassicas are known for their strong aroma and attract pests such as aphids, which can also attack tomato plants. Moreover, these plants compete with tomatoes for similar nutrients in the soil, which can affect the growth of both plants.
Therefore, it is not recommended to grow brassicas near tomato plants.
Nightshades, including peppers, eggplants, and potatoes, are in the same family as tomatoes. When these plants are grown together, they can attract similar pests and diseases, which can easily spread and cause damage to all plants.
Furthermore, nightshades can also compete with tomato plants for similar nutrients, which can negatively impact growth.
Fennel is a strong aroma herb that can attract pests such as aphids and spider mites that can harm tomato plants.
Additionally, fennel is allelopathic, meaning it produces chemicals that inhibit the growth of other plants, including tomatoes.
Corn and tomato plants have different nutrient requirements and growth habits. Corn is a heavy feeder that requires a lot of nitrogen, while tomatoes need more potassium and phosphorus.
Growing corn next to tomato plants can result in competition for nutrients, leading to stunted growth on both plants.
5. Walnut Trees
Walnut trees produce a chemical called juglone, which is toxic to some plants, including tomatoes. Juglone can leach from walnut trees into the soil, inhibiting the growth of neighboring plants, including tomatoes.
It is, therefore, advisable not to grow tomatoes near walnut trees or in soil that has previously hosted a walnut tree.
Overall, it is important to carefully select companion plants for tomatoes to ensure optimal growth and health.
By avoiding growing the aforementioned plants near tomato plants, gardeners can help prevent competition for nutrients, attract fewer pests and diseases, and ensure a bountiful harvest of healthy, thriving tomatoes.
Reasons Why These Plants Should Not Be Grown Near Tomato Plants
These are the three main reasons why it is not recommended to grow certain plants near tomato plants.
1. Competition for Nutrients
Plants require different nutrients to grow and thrive. When plants with similar nutrient requirements are grown in close proximity, they can compete for the same nutrients in the soil, leading to stunted growth and reduced yield for all plants.
This is particularly true for plants with deep root systems, such as brassicas and corn, which can extract nutrients from deeper soil layers, leaving less available for neighboring plants, including tomatoes.
2. Attracting Pests and Diseases
Plants can attract specific pests and diseases that are unique to their species.
When these plants are grown together, they can create an environment that is more conducive to the proliferation of pests and diseases, which can easily spread and damage all plants in the vicinity.
For example, brassicas are known to attract aphids, which can also harm tomato plants. Likewise, fennel can attract spider mites, which can damage both tomato and fennel plants.
3. Interfering with Growth and Development
Some plants produce chemicals that can interfere with the growth and development of neighboring plants. This is known as allelopathy.
Fennel, for example, produces chemicals that can inhibit the growth of other plants, including tomatoes. Likewise, walnut trees produce juglone, a chemical that can be toxic to many plants, including tomatoes.
By avoiding planting plants that compete for nutrients, attract pests and diseases, and interfere with growth and development near tomato plants, gardeners can help ensure the health and vitality of their tomato plants, resulting in a bountiful harvest.
5 Companion Plants for Tomato Plants
Companion planting is a practice that involves growing certain plants together to benefit each other. When it comes to tomato plants, there are several plants that can be great companions, helping to repel pests, attract beneficial insects, and improve soil health.
Here are five companion plants that can be grown with tomato plants.
Basil is a fragrant herb that can repel pests such as flies and mosquitoes, which can also harm tomato plants.
Additionally, basil contains natural oils that can improve the flavor of tomatoes when grown together.
Marigolds are often referred to as the “workhorse” of companion plants due to their ability to repel a wide range of pests, including nematodes, which can attack tomato roots.
Furthermore, marigolds can attract beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, which feed on pests that harm tomato plants.
Nasturtiums are colorful and edible plants that can serve as a sacrificial crop, attracting pests away from tomato plants.
Additionally, nasturtiums can attract beneficial insects, such as hoverflies, which can prey on aphids that attack tomato plants.
Borage is a flowering plant that can attract beneficial insects, such as bees and wasps, which can help pollinate tomato flowers and control pests.
Furthermore, borage leaves can be used as a natural fertilizer, enriching the soil with potassium and calcium, which can benefit tomato plants.
Carrots are a root crop that can serve as a companion plant to tomato plants, helping to improve soil health by aerating the soil and increasing water and nutrient uptake.
Additionally, carrots can help repel pests such as nematodes, which can attack tomato roots.
All in all, choosing the right companion plants for tomato plants can help increase yield, control pests, and improve soil health.
By planting basil, marigold, nasturtiums, borage, and carrots with tomato plants, gardeners can create a diverse and thriving garden ecosystem that benefits all plants involved.
To Sum Up
It is important to avoid growing certain plants near tomato plants due to their potential to compete for nutrients, attract pests and diseases, and interfere with growth and development. Brassicas, nightshades, fennel, corn, and walnuts are examples of plants that should not be grown near tomato plants.
On the other hand, choosing the right companion plants can help increase yield, control pests, and improve soil health. Basil, marigolds, nasturtiums, borage, and carrots are great companion plants for tomato plants, each providing unique benefits.
Overall, companion planting is a great way to create a thriving garden ecosystem and get the most out of your tomato plants. So, next time you plant your tomatoes, consider planting some of these companion plants alongside them. You might be surprised at the results!