Companion planting is a tradition that can be traced back to the Native Americans who were among the first to practise companion planting in order to facilitate the growth of plants.
Iroquoian legend says that planting corn, beans, and squash together will help these plants grow faster and be more fruitful, and there are still many gardeners who follow this means of growing known today as the “three sisters.”
Companion planting is basically finding plants that can flourish together in symbiosis where some the plants provide shade, some make the soil more fertile, while other repel insects.
In order to make companion planting work, you’ll have to know which plants do well together and which don’t, but finding the perfect matches can make your garden thrive.
If you especially like cultivating tomatoes, below are ten plants which you can consider planting with your tomatoes to improve their vitality and taste.
Many gardeners wouldn’t think of planting tomatoes without marigolds as these brightly colored plants are quite effective in repelling insects and other pests by releasing a substance called alpha-terthienyl, which reduces root-knot worms in the soil.
2. Leaf lettuce
Leaf lettuce can serve as an effective mulch for your tomatoes and it will help keep the plants cooler and avert the spread of disease from the water or soil to your tomatoes.
Tomatoes and carrots grow well together. You may plant carrots when the tomatoes are still small and, by the time the tomatoes grow and require more space, they will be ready to harvest.
Chives are excellent as they can improve the taste of your tomatoes and also fend off aphids. You can also add it to your tomato salad.
Borage, or starflower, is an annual, self-seeding plant which takes very little maintenance to grow and will help improve the health and flavor of your tomatoes and ward off pests like tomato hornworms and cabbage worms.
This aromatic plant is best planted in pots next to your tomatoes as it can become invasive.
While it smells rather pleasant to us, insects hate the mint’s scent so always some mint close to your tomato to repel pests such as insects and small rodents.
Calendula, or pot marigold, is a plant with plenty of medicinal properties, and its leaves and flowers are edible and will make a tasty addition to your salad. When you plant the marigold between tomato plants it will serve as a potent pest repellant.
Seeding some garlic near your tomato plants will help ward off spider mites. Of course, later on you can season your tomato salad with fresh garlic for better taste.
Asparagus is a tasty plant known for its edible shoots. But asparagus releases a chemical that can eliminate nematodes.
Tomatoes, on the other hand, contain solanine, a component that is harmful to the asparagus beetle, making it a perfect companion plant for your tomatoes. Moreover, tomato plants are taller when compared to the asparagus and its shade prevents the spread of weeds around the asparagus.
These annual and perennial flowering plants do not only freshen your garden with their vivid color, but also do quite a lot to help your tomatoes.
The nasturtium fends off beetles, whiteflies, squash bugs, and aphides all while shielding the tomato plant from fungal disease.