In this article: Learn which crops are the best tomato companion plants to increase your tomato harvest, reduce pests, and improve flavor.
Companion planting with your tomatoes can help your plants grow better, taste better, and have less problems with pests and disease. So how does companion planting work? What can you grow with your tomatoes in your vegetable garden and what should be kept far away?
First off, tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family. Other nightshades include peppers, potatoes, and eggplant.
Companion planting does take time to plan each year, so check out my Yearly Garden Planner to help you plan your garden beds before you plant so you can take advantage of companion planting!
Below you will find a list of tomato companion plants that you can grow alongside your tomato plants to prevent pests and disease. Plus a list of what you should keep separate from your tomatoes.
If you are just getting started growing tomatoes check out my article The Complete Guide to Growing Tomatoes for tips on getting started. You can also find a list of my favorite Heirloom Tomato Varieties or these 8 Quick Growing Early Tomato Varieties.
Best Tomato Companion Plants for a Better Harvest
Basil: If you could only grow one companion plant with your tomatoes, basil should be it. Basil Improves growth and flavor of your tomatoes. (No wonder they go so well together in recipes too!)
Basil also offers the added benefit of repelling insect pest such as spider mites and aphids and it will attract pollinators, ensuring a better harvest.
Borage: Borage is an annual herb that gives similar benefits as basil. Borage will improve the flavor and growth of your tomatoes.
Borage also offers some protection from the tomato hornworm.
Lettuce: Lettuce makes a great companion plants for tomatoes because it doesn’t compete for the same nutrients. Lettuce plants will act as a living mulch for tomatoes to conserve water while the tomatoes provide shade to the lettuce as they grow.
This is also a great space saving companionship. Lettuce is a cool weather crop and it’s season will mostly be over by the time the tomatoes are at full growth.
Carrots: Carrots can help loosen and aerate soil around your tomatoes, allowing more nutrients and water in. Planting tomatoes and carrots together also saves space.
They are usually harvested in different seasons, so you can utilize space better by interplanting these crops.
Peppers: Peppers are in the same family as tomatoes. They have similar care and nutrient requirements so planting them in the same bed can save you time and work.
Peppers and tomatoes have many of the same good companions, like basil, so they are excellent companions to plant all together.
Tomato Companion Plants for Pest Control
Asparagus: Tomatoes and asparagus have a symbiotic relationship making them great plant companions. Tomatoes help repel the asparagus beetle and asparagus can ward off nematodes.
Plant your tomatoes around the perimeter of the asparagus bed after you harvest the shoots
Nasturtium: Nasturtium is a flower that lands on many companion planting lists. It’s benefits include attracting beneficial insects and deterring pests. Nasturtium acts as a trap crop for aphids, so planting them nearby will keep aphids off your tomatoes.
Plus you can add the blossoms to your salads along with the tomatoes!
Garlic: Garlic is a great pest control companion for tomatoes. Garlic will help repel both aphids and red spider mites on your tomato plants.
Onion: Onions, and other members of the onion family including chives and leeks, offer the same benefit to tomatoes as garlic.
Onions can also help improve the flavor of your tomatoes.
French Marigold: Marigolds show up in almost all companion planting lists, and for good reason. They are great at repelling garden pests such as soil nematodes and hornworms that bother your tomatoes. I recommend planting marigolds throughout your garden beds.
Calendula: Calendula, also known as the pot marigold, can also help deter the tomato hornworm.
Plus, calendula as a ton of medicinal uses and benefits that I think it belongs in all gardens!
What Not to Plant with Tomatoes
Potatoes: Although tomatoes grow well with other nightshades, such as peppers and eggplant, they should be kept away from potatoes. This prevents the spread of disease in your garden. Also be sure to keep at least 2 years between planting pepper and potatoes in the same bed.
Corn: Corn and tomatoes have some common enemies and planting them together will attract both tomato worm and the corn earworm.
Brassicas: Don’t plant tomatoes with brassicas (cabbage family). They will inhibit the growth of your tomatoes.
This includes cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale.
Fennel: Fennel will inhibit the growth of your tomatoes. Fennel inhibits the growth of many plants, so it’s not a great companion for many plants.
Once you have harvested your tomatoes, check out some of the following articles to learn how to store, use, and preserve your harvest!
Check out my other companion planting guides:
And be sure to grab your copy of my companion planting chart down below!
© 2019, Sarah R Toney. All rights reserved.