20 Companion Plants for Tomatoes (Expert Recommendations)

Tomatoes are an elementary plant for growing companions. Companion planting helps the tomato plant to grow stronger and achieve higher yields.

We asked the experts which plants would be best suited to grow with tomatoes. Here are the highlights from their answers:

  1. The most suggested plants: carrot, garlic, basil, …
  2. Watering and fertilizing help plants grow well
  3. You should plant companion plants in 2 or 3 rows of each other.

Amy Armstrong from Conservatorymarket.com

Companion planting has many purposes, and it is really nothing new. Generations have practiced it before the introduction of commercial chemicals.

The aim is to produce the best environment for each plant by pairing them with beneficial partners. Gardeners have discovered that some plants deter different pests, attract more pollinators, provide nutrients for the soil, or help keep down weeds.

Some companion plants are even used as supports for other plants, which we see in the traditional Native American practice of Three Sisters Planting. This plant trio is composed of corn, squash, and beans.

20 Companion Plants for Tomatoes (Expert Recommendations)

The tall corn is used as support for the climbing beans. The beans pull nitrogen from the air and back into the soil. The squash leaves not only provide cover for the soil keeping it cool and weed-free, but their prickly stems deter lots of different pests.

However, it’s essential to know what plants are beneficial to each other and which will cause adverse effects, such as cross-pollination or pest attraction.

Good plants for companion planting with tomatoes include:

  • Asparagus
  • Basil
  • Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Sage.

Stay away from planting potatoes or fennel near tomatoes.

I also like to plant near tomatoes are colorful flowers that attract pollinators, such as edible nasturtium or marigolds. Tomato flowers can be tiny and take all the help they can get from other bright colored flowers in pollinators’ attraction.

You’d think that planting other flowers near tomatoes would be in direct competition for pollinators, but it’s actually the opposite.

20 Companion Plants for Tomatoes (Expert Recommendations)

When a bee sees the brightly colored flowers of a nasturtium bloom, they keep flying around to fill up on nearby flowers. The other benefit of planting marigolds by tomatoes is to deter nematodes which can stunt the growth of tomato plants.

If maintenance is something that you have little time for, perhaps shoot for using easy-to-grow companion plants.

There’s no need to plant all the suggested plants at one time. Choose 1 or 2 low maintenance to assure success, such as onions, peas, or carrots.

Once planted, onions are very easy to care for. Simply keep them watered as you would the tomatoes and harvest the tops as you need them.

20 Companion Plants for Tomatoes (Expert Recommendations)

Peas require a trellis, but once they start climbing, they can be easily kept. The trick to peas is that you want them to have ample airflow to not attract mold. The more you harvest peas, the more they produce.

Carrots are probably the lowest maintenance of all. Once planted, they have about 70-80 days till harvest. So sit back and watch them grow.

Owen Mosser from The Golden

Companion planting is exactly what it sounds like. You plant different plants close together so that their growth is enhanced.

There are a lot of advantages to companion planting. Some of these are more pollination, enhanced nutrients, and an increase in production.

As long as you choose the right companion plants, then you’ll enjoy all the benefits. One plant that works well with companion plants is the tomato. But there are certain kinds of plants that work best as their companion plant.

Here are 3 of the best companion plants for tomatoes:

Carrots.

When you plant carrots near tomatoes, they help loosen the soil. When the soil is loose, water flows more freely, and it allows roots to grow better.

20 Companion Plants for Tomatoes (Expert Recommendations)

But make sure that you don’t plant them too close together since the carrots may not grow as large as they should.

Garlic.

Garlic works as pest control for tomatoes. Garlic does well in repelling red spider mites, so that’s one less thing to worry about when you’re planting your tomatoes.

20 Companion Plants for Tomatoes (Expert Recommendations)

Lettuce.

The relationship between lettuce and tomato benefits both of them. The lettuce will appreciate the shade given by the tomato plant since lettuce grows best when shaded during warmer weather.

On the other side, the lettuce helps keep the soil cool and moist, as if giving a living mulch to the tomato.

20 Companion Plants for Tomatoes (Expert Recommendations)

When working with companion plants, make sure that if the plants are beneficial to each other, they should be planted within 2-3 rows of each other.

So, the next time you plant some tomatoes, keep these plants in mind and plant them close together (but make sure not too close!).

Jordan Collins from Two Lions 11

If you want to improve your garden and make it healthier and happier, companion planting is the way forward. This method ensures that plants can exploit mutual benefits from the attributes of the neighboring plants.

I’ve seen excellent results from companion planting as it improves growth, fights off pests, and can even result in a tastier production.

Furthermore, it’s an excellent way to save space, provide shelter and protection for plants, and attract insects that positively affect the plants.

When it comes to growing tomatoes, some of the suitable companion plants include:

  • Calendula
  • Celery
  • Cosmos
  • Chive
  • Cucumber
  • Lemon balm
  • Mint
  • Borage

It’s best to plant companion plants in 2 or 3 rows of each other. Also, combine flowers of veggies that you know bloom or grow at around the same time.

Gina from Harper’s Nurseries

In my gardening experience for the past years, garlic, chives, basil, carrots, and onion are the best plants to grow next to tomato plants. It always yields satisfactory results!

These plants are proven to boost the growth of tomato plants. They could also help improve the tastes of tomatoes, repel pests and provide shade or support.

I plant them 6 to 12 inches apart, and as much as possible, I would advise using sandy loam soil. Ensure that that garden bed where you will have them grown together has enough sunlight and air access.

On a regular day, I would water the plants in the morning and the afternoon. However, when the weather is too hot, I water them 3 times a day – as evaporation in the soil is something I anticipate.

Some people may assume that it’s OK to plant anything next to another plant. But with all the resources available now for free, they can get a thorough guide, especially for first-timers.

Jessica Woods from chickensandyou.com

Any time that someone says companion plant, my mind goes straight to chilies! Chilies are great neighbors for most plants (it’s best to consult a companion plant guide if you are growing more than tomatoes in the same bed).

Chilies are a natural deterrent to most pests, making them an essential part of any crop (they also taste great in most food!)

The great thing about most kinds of chilies is that they are super resilient. They love the sun (much like tomatoes). Your only concern should be the disparity in flowering time between chilies and tomatoes (tomatoes have a considerably shorter flower cycle than chilies).

If you are looking to plant your tomatoes straight away, consider buying your chilies as “starter plants“. They don’t feel the effects of transplant like other plants do and will thrive after being moved from pot to soil!

Conclusion

Companion planting is always a cultivation method supported by gardening experts. Fortunately, tomatoes are a very suitable plant that you should try with this method.

Hopefully, this article, with the help of experts, will bring you an unexpected result.

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Jill Sandy

Jill Sandy

Jill is a sustainable focus gardener. She loves decorating her home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques she develops herself. You can reach her at jill.sandy@constantdelights.com

Chanh Ho (MD, MPH)

Chanh Ho (MD, MPH)

Chanh is our Head of Medical Review. He is a research physician at Oxford University Clinical Research Unit. After accomplishing the program of level 1 sub-specialty in Pediatrics, he was awarded the Chevening Scholarship for his Master’s degree of Public Health in the University of Edinburgh in 2019

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