Tomatoes (Solanum Lycopersicum) are one of the most common and popular crops to grow in the home garden. They are juicy and sweet, full of antioxidants, and may help fight several diseases. What’s so great about them is that they contain a substance called Lycopene, which gives them their bright red color and helps protect them from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Tomatoes can pair well with different plants in your vegetable garden. Each of these plants has unique qualities that can complement tomato growth. Whether you are growing your tomatoes with a tomato cage or trellis system, these companion plants can improve nutrient bioavailability, prevent soil-borne disease and reduce weed competition.
What is Companion Planting?
Companion Planting is planting different crops in close proximity for several reasons. This includes pest control, pollination, and providing habitat. In other words, it is all about attracting insects, encouraging growth, and optimizing overall output. It is also the practice of partnering plants, so they gain mutual benefits from growing near one another or from succession planting.
50 Tomatoes Companion Plants
Companion plants can assist your tomatoes by acting as a living mulch, covering bare soil in places where weeds are likely to pop up. They make certain nutrients available in the soil to your crop plants and reduce root nematodes’ populations.
Here are the recommended tomato companion plants. Some plants are used as cover crops, that is, crops grown to improve the soil, prevent erosion and act as mulch.
Pepper (Capsicum annum) is a genus of more than 30 species of flowering plants in the nightshade family, Solanaceae. It comprises all the varied forms of fleshy-fruited peppers, including the mild bell peppers that are used as vegetables and hot peppers.
They are also low in calories and loaded with good nutrition. Pepper is a good companion plant for tomatoes because they thrive in similar conditions.
Sunflowers (Helianthus annus) are an annual plant native to America with a large flowering head (Inflorescence). They make a great companion plant because they attract bumblebees and birds to the garden. They also attract other smaller native bees to the garden and help to pollinate the self-fertile tomato flowers in the area.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a culinary herb that belongs to the family Lamiaceae. The plant has antibacterial properties, and its oil helps to fight bacteria in people with respiratory, urinary, and skin infections.
Basil is an excellent tomato companion plant because it hides the tomato scent. As a result, pests like thrips and moths can’t locate the plant and attack it.
Carrots (Daucus) is a biennial plant of the Apiaceae family that produces an edible taproot. It can be eaten raw, whole, chopped or grated into salads for color.
Carrots make a good companion plant because they support beneficial parasitic wasps if left to flower. Carrots planted close to tomatoes may not grow as large as they might, but they have fantastic flavor.
Marigolds (Tagetes) are heart-loving, easy to grow, making them great for gardening newbies. They are also drought-tolerant plants that attract pollinators and can be planted in your garden. Marigolds are excellent tomato companion plants because they deter nematodes that attack the tomato plant, especially in warm sandy soils where tomatoes grow best.
Parsley (Petroselinum crispnum) is a species of flowering plant in the family Apiaceae. Parsley makes a great companion plant because they attract hoverflies that prey on aphids that can attack tomato plants. They can also act as a trap crop to lure aphids away from your tomatoes.
7. Sweet Alyssum
Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) is an excellent addition to annual flower beds or containers. When planted with tomatoes, sweet alyssum won’t compete for water’s nutrients.
Instead, they add splashes of color while bringing all the ecological pest control you could hope for. They also attract pests to the garden and enhance the biological control of pests.
Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is an annual plant of the family Asteraceae. It is rich in antioxidants like Vitamin C and other nutrients like Vitamins A, K, and potassium. Lettuce is a great companion plant for tomatoes because it is a good use of space. Lettuce thrives under tomato greens where the soil doesn’t dry out quickly.
Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum) are one of the easiest annuals to grow, and it has slightly succulent stems and distinctive rounded green leaves that look like water lily pads. Nasturtiums are excellent for tomatoes because they serve as a trap crop for aphids.
Radish (Raphanus Sativus) are annual vegetables that are grown for their crisp, colorful, and peppery roots. They are quick, easy, and fun to grow from seed. Radish plants are incredible companions because they are sacrificial plants that can repel cucumber beetles, flea beetles, and other pests.
Calendula (Calendula) is an annual plant that thrives in almost any soil. It is an edible medicinal plant for wound healing and skin health. It attracts beneficial insects and repels tomato hornworms, thrips, and nematodes.
Mint (Mentha) is a perennial herb that belongs to the Lamiaceae family, which contains 15 to 20 plant species, including peppermint and spearmint. The aroma of mint deters aphids and other pests that can attack your tomatoes.
Onion (Alliumcepa) is an herbaceous biennial plant grown for its edible bulb. Onions are good companion plants to tomatoes because of their strong scent, which can make the scent of tomatoes undetectable to insect pests.
Coneflowers (Rudbeckia) are herbaceous perennial plants found mainly in flower gardens. The large blossoms of coneflowers attract all types of bees that attack your tomato plants.
Dill (Anethum graveolens) is an herb found throughout European and Asian cuisines. It can be used in various dishes such as potato salad, tzatziki sauce, or over fish. Tomatoes will benefit from Dill because they improve tomato plants’ health and attract predators of a tomato hornworm.
Celery (Apium graveolens) contains Vitamin C, beta carotene, and flavonoids. It is also loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients. Celery complements the tomato plants with their different heights and growth habits.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a hardy and versatile perennial. They can be used as medicine for fever, the common cold, and hay fever. Yarrow is a great companion plant for tomatoes because they attract pollinating bees and aphids.
Borage (Borago officinalis), also known as starflower, is a plant harvested mainly for its seeds, and it is also notable for its vibrant purple flowers and medicinal properties. Borage is functional when planted on the ends of tomato beds, and they deter tomato hornworms while attracting pollinators and bees.
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a hardy perennial plant with grayish-green leaves. They attract wasps that can help keep tomato hornworms at bay.
Oregano (Origanum Vulgare) is an herb from the same family as mint. It is used to flavor foods and can also be used as a home remedy for many ailments.
Oregano is an excellent companion for tomatoes as they provide habitat and food for predators like lacewings. Their strong scent confuses various pests that try to attack the tomato plant.
21. Winter Rye
Winter Rye (Secale cereale) is an excellent cereal grain planted in fall and in vegetable gardens. They make excellent cover crops for the tomato garden because they control weed growth.
Scallions, also called “green onions,” is made up of a white base that hasn’t fully developed into a bulb and long green stalks. The aroma of scallions is beneficial for preventing five-spotted hawk moths, which lay tomato hornworm larvae on host plants.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is an herb with dietary, medicinal, and ornamental uses. Tomatoes derive so many benefits when planted with thyme.
First, they are a natural repellant against tomato hornworms. Also, they enhance your tomato flavor when they ripen.
Parsnip (Pastinaca) is a hardy, biennial, and strongly-scented plant. They look like carrots but are paler and have a stronger flavor, and Parsnips are also known for repelling flea beetles.
Garlic (Allium satinum) is an herb closely related to the onion, rakkyo, scallion, chives, and leek. Garlic is planted in fall and harvested in mid-summer. This plant is a great companion for tomatoes because they repel most crawling and fighting insects such as aphids, slugs, beetles, mosquitoes, flies, etc.
Collards (Brassica oleracea var.viridis) are rich in antioxidant Vitamins A and C, as well as Vitamin K, calcium, iron, and fiber. Collards grow well beside tomatoes since they don’t compete against each other for nutrients. Instead, their leaves grow together, forming a dense canopy over the soil.
Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) contains potassium and is an excellent source of essential nutrients and minerals. Asparagus is an excellent tomato plant companion because they give off a chemical that deters nematodes.
Cilantro is an annual herb that grows under adequate sun and moisture. They attract hoverflies, parasitic wasps, and other beneficial predatory insects when planted next to tomato plants.
Gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa), also known as European gooseberry, is cultivated for its edible fruits and as ornaments. Gooseberries and tomatoes complement each other; the two plants prefer the same growing conditions. Growing gooseberries with tomatoes will make it easier to care for both plants, and these two plants will repel the insect pests of each other.
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is an annual tender plant with a rough and succulent stem. Cucumbers and tomatoes can be grown together since both plants have similar growing needs, like sunlight, soil conditions, and watering.
Marjoram (Origanum Majorana) is an aromatic herb that is also medicinal. It is perfect as garden edging or can be planted in a container or window box. Marjoram is an excellent companion plant to many plants, not just tomatoes.
It is a warm, spicy herb that goes well with other herbs in dishes and gardens. Majoram also repels aphids and other dangerous pests that attack tomatoes.
Oat (Avena sativa) is a species of cereal grain that is commonly eaten in the form of oatmeal or rolled oats. Oats are one of the best tomato companion plants for controlling weed growth, and they also form a thick mat that keeps the moisture and temperature in check.
Squash (Cucurbita) are annual herbaceous plants that are widely grown for their edible fruit. Squash and tomatoes can work well together since they require similar growing conditions.
Cosmos (Cosmos) are herbaceous plants grown for their beautiful flowers. It is an easy-to-grow flower that thrives best in hot, dry conditions, and cosmos attracts bees and other friendly pollinators. Planting cosmos with your tomato plant will keep the aphids away from your tomato plant.
35. Wildflower Blends
Wildflower blends are a mix-up of all perennial flowers. They provide continuous blooms to brighten areas of low maintenance.
36. Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is a perennial herbaceous plant grown for its lemon-scented fragrant leaves. It is an excellent choice of companion plant for tomatoes, and it attracts many pollinators to your tomato plants and encourages better crops.
37. Bean Plants
Bean Plants (Phaseolus vulgaris) are annual vegetables that grow quickly and thrive best when planted in the spring. Bean plants and tomatoes share similar nutritional and watering needs. They can fix nitrogen in the soil and can also help to increase air circulation around tomato plants to reduce fungal diseases.
Peas (Pisum sativum) is an annual herbaceous plant belonging to the same family as lentils, chickpeas, and beans. They are easy-to-grow vegetables that grow best in the cool spring or fall weather. Just like beans, peas are nitrogen fixers and encourage better crops.
39. Dandelion Greens
Dandelion Greens (Taraxacum) are red and green leaves that grow from the hollow stem of a dandelion plant. Their bright yellow flowers attract beneficial insects, such as bees, to pollinate your garden.
Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a common plant that offers many benefits, and it can be used for stomach and bowel problems, lung diseases, and wounds. When planted around the base of the tomato plant, chickweeds can help to keep the soil moist and reduce the rate of weed growth.
Chard (Beta vulgaris), also known as leaf beet, is an edible plant with an array of bright colors. Chard is a cool-season crop that will be ready to harvest long before the tomatoes get mature. When planting chard and tomatoes, ensure you pick a spot that receives full sun.
42. Crimson Clover
Crimson Clover (Trifolium incarnatum) is an annual legume that can be sued for pasture or hay or as a green manure or cover crop in rotation with vegetables or field crops. When planted between tomato rows, this plant will provide nitrogen to the soil and nearby plants through nitrogen fixation.
Cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata) is an annual herbaceous legume. The plant produces clusters of flowers at the end of the flower stalk and 2-3 seed pods per flower stalk. Cowpeas act as a trap crop that lures the southern green stinkbugs.
Amaranth (Amaranthus) is a pseudocereal crop with many potential benefits. Not only does amaranth helps tomatoes to be more resistant to harmful insects, and it also helps to loosen the soil for root vegetables such as beets, carrots, and radishes.
Beebalms (Monarda) is an attractive plant known for its scarlet flowers that bloom in the summertime. Beebalms help to boost the flavor and growth of your tomatoes, and it also improves tomato pollination.
Beets (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris conditiva group) are bright-red roots packed with nutrition. Beets are excellent tomato companion plants because they help improve the tomato vines’ productivity.
47. Mustard Greens
Mustard Greens (Brassica Juncea) are the peppery leaves of mustard plants packed with nutrition. Grow mustard greens as a cover crop to reduce the prevalence of veticulum wilt that can attack your tomatoes.
48. Hairy Vetch
Hairy vetch (Vica villosa) is an annual viny legume. Hairy vetch adds nitrogen to the soil and reduces foliar diseases in tomatoes.
Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is an herbaceous plant that offers unexpected benefits. Planting alongside tomatoes can increase the tomato’s propensity for fruit production.
Petunia (Petunia spp) is one of the most popular garden flowers. Growing petunias alongside your tomatoes will reduce the chance of attack by aphids.
What not to Grow with Tomato Plants
Like there are many beneficial companion plants for tomatoes, there are also enemy plants you should avoid planting near your tomatoes.
Corn (Zea mays) is a poor companion plant for tomatoes because they attract the same pests.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgar) isn’t a good companion plant for tomatoes because it inhibits the growth of tomatoes.
Just like fennel, walnuts inhibit the growth of tomatoes.
Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are in the same nightshade family as tomatoes, competing for the same nutrients. They are also susceptible to the same diseases.
Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis) is not recommended for growing near tomatoes. Tomatoes require many nutrients from the soil, just like cauliflower does. When you plant these plants close to each other, they compete for nutrients.
Others include; Kale, Brussels, sprouts, and Kohlrabi.