Companion planting, or planting crops close to one another, is great if you want to increase the production of your plants and optimize the space in your garden! Seasoned gardeners often use companion plants for tomatoes with great success.
Have you always wanted to try companion planting but weren’t sure which plants to pair? Look no further for a comprehensive list of plants you can successfully pair with your tomato plants.
Companion Planting With Tomatoes
Tomato plants are one of the most popular crops for a home garden because they are so easy to grow and production is plentiful. Tomatoes are a very versatile fruit and are used as a staple ingredient for many dishes.
Many different plants can be companions for tomato plants and can prevent pests and disease, and even enhance the nutrients and flavor of your tomatoes!
Do you want to try out companion planting with tomatoes this season? Continue reading to discover which plants are the best companions for tomato plants.
Basil is a very popular choice as a companion for tomato plants and is probably the top choice for home gardeners to keep pests away.
Basil puts off an intoxicating scent that can mask the sweet smell of tomato plants from pests like thrips, spider mites, and aphids.
On the contrary, the herb attracts ladybugs and bees, which prey on the pests attracted to tomato plants.
Basil’s strong smell tends to confuse tomato hornworms and armyworms, preventing them from locating your tomato plants.
While pest control is a huge bonus, using basil as a companion plant for tomato plants will also enhance their flavor and improve the growth and productivity of your plants.
To learn about how to add basil to your garden, read our blog post, How to Plant Basil. We highly recommend the selection of basil varieties sold by Hoss Tools.
If you are looking for a companion for your tomato plants that will repel pests, while attracting pollinators, marigolds are an eye-catching choice!
Marigolds and tomato plants grow well together because they require many of the same nutrients and similar soil conditions. You can save time and space in your garden by pairing marigolds and tomato plants.
The marigold bloom is absolutely beautiful and the flowers have a strong sweet scent that masks the smell of your tomato plants.
Their strong smell is the result of a chemical substance that is toxic to pests; therefore, it confuses some insects, like nematodes, so they are not able to locate your tomato plants!
Marigolds are a popular choice for companion plants for tomatoes. Grow them as close to your tomato plants as you can, at the same time, for the best results!
We dive deeper into the subject in our post on Mixing Marigolds and Tomatoes. After you read it, visit Hoss Tools to order their Sparky Mix Marigold seeds to plant alongside your tomatoes.
When you think of asparagus and tomato plants, consider them the best of friends. Their relationship is never one-sided because the plants work to support one another.
Asparagus is a good choice for companion planting with tomatoes because they work side-by-side to repel pests.
This vegetable emits chemicals that repulse nematodes that are attracted to tomato plants, and in turn, tomato plants emit a chemical that shields asparagus plants from beetles. It’s the best of both worlds, a little give and take from each!
Pairing asparagus with your tomato plants is done a little differently than some of the other tomato companion plants because it is used to replenish the soil, rather than to ward off pests or as a layer of protection.
Asparagus will be ready for harvest before you begin planting your tomato plants. To insure the nutrients reach the roots of your tomato plants, chop up the remnants of the asparagus plants and use them as an add-in for the soil.
Rotating the crops is the best way to get the most out of intercropping with asparagus and tomato plants.
The nutrients asparagus infuses into the soil provide necessary nutrients for tomato plants. With this plant, you will need to harvest the vegetable, and do a little mulching, then you can plant your tomato plants at the same site.
Crop rotation is key when using asparagus as a companion for your tomatoes.
To get asparagus started in your garden, order seeds from another of our favorites for seeds, True Leaf Market.
4. Winter Rye
Winter rye is another great cover crop you can rotate as a companion that will protect your tomato plants and the soil from weeds and erosion that results from extreme temperatures.
You will need to harvest your winter rye before planting your tomatoes, but they will be planted at the same site, similar to the asparagus and tomato crop rotation system.
You won’t even need to till up the site! Just plant your transplant tomato plants through the leftover winter rye. Using the winter rye as a sort of mulch for your tomatoes will infuse the plant with vital nutrients that also enhance the flavor profile of the tomato once ripened.
The chemicals contained in winter rye plants, called allelochemicals, prevent the germination of any weeds, without harming the tomato plant itself so it is a popular choice for those trying to keep the weeds out of their garden!
Rotate winter rye with your tomato plant crop if you are looking for a companion plant that will reduce the weeds in your garden and infuse the soil for a delicious and productive harvest.
You can find winter rye seeds at Hoss Tools.
5. Collard Greens
Collard greens are a popular choice for companion planting with tomatoes because of their insect-repellent properties.
Tomatoes attract harlequin bugs, which collard greens repel. The insects will attack the collard green plants, leaving your tomatoes to grow strong and beautiful.
However, if you choose to plant these plants together, the collard greens will have to be a sacrificial plant because tomato plants draw nutrients from the collard green plants, and pests will convene on the collard green plants, leaving nothing to be harvested.
Use collard greens as companion plants if you are looking for something that will provide a kind of sanctuary around your tomato plants, protecting them from insects that target the plants and enhancing the nutrients that feed the soil.
Hoss Tools has eight varieties of collard greens seeds to choose from!
6. Cowpeas (Black-Eyed Peas)
Cowpeas are a southern favorite and they are great companion plants for your tomatoes if you are looking for a distraction for tomato-loving pests!
Cowpeas, commonly known as black-eyed peas, repel insects that try to feed on your tomato plants or the fresh fruit they produce.
These beans repel pests such as the southern green stinkbug, which is highly attracted to tomato plants, by drawing them from the tomato plants to the cowpeas.
Stinkbugs are more attracted to cowpeas than they are tomatoes, so the scent of the cowpeas forms a shield around the tomato plants, masking their scent, and leaving your tomatoes to grow healthy and delicious.
Use cowpeas as a companion plant for your tomato plants if you are looking to repel insects that feed on ripe tomatoes as well as the leaves of the tomato plant itself.
You can order California Blackeye No. 5 Pea seeds from Hoss.
7. Bush Beans
Bush beans are short plants that grow well with tomato plants. They infuse the soil with nitrogen, which allows tomatoes to grow healthy and delicious.
They also attract pollinators, such as bumble bees.
Bush bean plants increase the circulation of air around your tomato plants, which will prevent them from growing mold spores. The beans keep tomato plants from retaining moisture in damp and humid conditions.
Bush beans are a popular choice for companion planting with tomatoes because they provide nutrients for the soil while preventing the accumulation of moisture that might result in the growth of spores on the plant.
If you enjoy bush beans and tomatoes, try planting them nearby as companion plants for the greatest yield!
You’ll find 12 varieties of bush beans on Hoss’ website.
The crimson clover and the red clover are other fun plants that provide nitrogen to the soil, which helps tomato plants thrive.
They can also be used as a cover crop, protecting the soil from weed growth and maintaining the cool, damp environment tomato plants love.
You will need to harvest the clover seeds in the fall, and be sure to remove the flowers from the plants each spring and fall after harvest so that they don’t become weedy and take over your garden themselves.
Using clovers as a companion plant for your tomato plants will help attract the pollinators you want for your tomatoes, such as bumble bees, while deterring pests you don’t want in your garden munching on your tomato plants!
Clovers compete with weeds, making them a great choice if you want to keep the weeds out of your garden, infuse the soil with nitrogen, and provide a cool layer of protection for the soil.
You can choose among White Dutch, Frosty Berseem, and Crimson clover seeds sold by Hoss.
Parsley is a great companion plant for your tomatoes if you are looking for something that will not only boost growth but also helps to repel insects that feed on tomatoes and tomato plants.
This herb attracts ladybugs and hoverflies, which prey on some of the usual pests that infiltrate your tomato plants, like hornworms and aphids.
You will need to be sure you only plant parsley with varieties of tomato plants that do well with the herb. So make sure you spend a little time researching to ensure the variety of tomato you choose pairs well with parsley.
Parsley is often served with tomatoes in a multitude of recipes, which only makes sense that the plants might also pair well!
Never grown parsley before? No problem! We’ve got a guide on How to Plant Parsley that tells you everything you need to know. Then pay Hoss Tools a visit to order Italian Parsley seeds for your tomato garden.
Garlic is a nifty choice as a companion for tomato plants. You can use it to protect your tomatoes in multiple different ways!
Garlic is known for its pungent scent, which sticks around long after you have finished cooking with it. This odor is the key to the protective qualities garlic provides for tomato plants.
Garlic is fantastic at repelling spider mites, which love to feed on tomatoes. It also repels flying insects that are attracted to the sweet smell of tomato plants.
You will want to plant your garlic in the fall to prepare the site for summer harvest with your tomatoes because the scent of garlic is the strongest right before it’s time to harvest the crop.
Making a spray with garlic will protect your tomato plants, as well as the soil, against blight. It is a popular choice in companion planting because of its various uses.
At Hoss you’ll find German White Garlic and Elephant Garlic. Can’t decide between the two?
Dill requires a bit more attention when pairing it with tomato plants, but its benefits can be worth it!
Not only is dill vibrant and pretty when it blooms, but it can also provide a level of protection and enhance the growth of your tomatoes when done correctly.
Dill has sweet-smelling flowers that supply nectar to some unique pollinators that benefit tomato plants, such as tachinid flies, lacewings, parasitic wasps, and more!
This herb also repels insects that feed on tomatoes, namely the tomato hornworm.
Dill enhances the nutrients of tomato plants, but only when it is in the immature stages. Caution must be used when using dill as a companion for your tomato plants because mature dill will deprive tomatoes of vitamins and minerals needed for healthy production.
Use this herb as a companion plant for your tomatoes if you have the time to monitor the dill’s maturity as they grow together.
Order the Bouquet Dill seeds sold by Hoss to keep those unwelcome hornworms away!
Thyme is a wonderful option when looking for a companion for your tomato plants.
This herb targets and repels armyworms, the dreaded tomato hornworm, and whiteflies.
Pairing thyme with your tomato plants will help you keep your garden healthy and free from detrimental critters, by reducing the number of eggs laid in the soil by armyworms and tomato hornworms
Thyme also contributes to the flavor profile of a tomato, enhancing its taste once ripened.
To maximize the benefits of companion planting with tomatoes and thyme, you should plant thyme as close to your tomato plants as possible.
If you want to take your tomato gardening up a notch, be sure to read our post on How to Plant Thyme and then order the thyme seeds sold by Hoss Tools.
Wrapping Up Companion Plants for Tomatoes
There are a variety of different crops that can be used as companions for your tomato plants. From pest control to disease protection, the benefits of companion planting with tomatoes are many.
Are you looking for a companion that will drive the pests away from your tomato plants, while optimizing space and nourishing the soil? This comprehensive list does the research for you, so you can get straight to the nitty-gritty!
If you would like to learn more about tomato plants, including where to find them for planting, please visit the Tomato Plants page on our website. You’ll find blog posts on more than 70 varieties of tomatoes, plus lots of helpful growing and care guides.