Companion gardening helps expand your garden and encourages plants to thrive.
Think of it like a buddy system— the idea behind this must-try technique is to grow plants together that complement each other and have similar needs and requirements. You can pair or alternate rows to maximize growth and space. Many companion plants will deter pests and help keep harvests successful.
Tomato plants are an easy and popular plants to grow and there are various types that are yours for the picking— from Roma tomatoes to black cherry tomatoes to classic heirloom— the tomato plant is a diverse one. Tomatoes scream summer: juicy sliced tomatoes for burgers, thinly sliced heirlooms for Caprese salad, cherry tomatoes for snacking. If you want to keep your tomatoes healthy and table ready, check out these popular companion plants to grow alongside your sun-loving tomatoes:
Basil is a strong companion plant for tomatoes and overall improves the tomato plant’s growth. This fragrant plant benefits from similar growing conditions to the tomato; sun, heat, and regular waterings are at the top of its needs. The basil plant is also an excellent mosquito repeller and fruit flies will be a thing of the past with this plant around. Many gardeners believe that planting basil near tomatoes helps bring out the tomato’s flavor. And no-one can argue that pairing the two together once harvested makes for the perfect dinner accompaniment: caprese salads are a summer staple.
Another plant with similar growing requirements as the tomato is the pepper plant; these also stem from the same Solacaceae family. We love the pepper plant as a companion as you can simplify your gardening by honing in on the same watering and care schedule as your tomato plants. Peppers can also benefit from the shade provided by tomato plants giving the tomatoes a chance to shine.
Garlic is a great deterrer of spider mites and it’s an easy veggie to grow— it’s also in the same allium family as onions and chives— two other companions to pair with tomatoes. Garlic sprays also help control late blight.
This cool weather crop is great for all gardens. A popular trick to extend your vegetable garden season is to add some lettuce under your tomatoes plants as ground cover in peak summer. It helps keep the soil most and cool. Lettuce needs part shade and benefits most from being planted under the plant or in its shade.
Mint also has known benefits to the tomato plant by improving the health of the tomatoes. This fragrant herb can also easily spread, creating some great ground cover.
Marigold flowers help eliminate insect pests, they also add lovely color to your garden and many are edible. You can plant near tomatoes or a row around them to maximize their benefits.