companion planting for tomatoes

Tomato Companion Plants that are Beneficial for your Garden

Tomato companion planting. When ‘companion plants’ are applied throughout the garden, they can be an effective form of pest management, allowing nature to do its’ job.

Companion planting can discourage harmful insects and pests in your garden without harming the beneficial ones.

Many plants have natural substances in their roots, flowers, and leaves that can repel or attract insects and can enhance the growth and flavor of other varieties of plants.

The following are a few companion plants to consider with your tomatoes.


Tomato Plant Companions

Companion plants for tomatoes include Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Carrots, Marigold, Geraniums, Petunias, Borage, any type of Onion or Chives.

An excellent book:

Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening


Borage | Tomato Companion


BORAGE, an edible flower (with edible leaves), is one particularly good companion plant for tomatoes. When planted nearby, it deters tomato hornworms (a type of caterpillar that will eat the leaves). Borage is considered the magic bullet of companion plants (predict a square yard for its adult size).


Marigolds | Tomato Companion

FRENCH MARIGOLD’s have roots that exude a substance which spreads in their immediate vicinity killing nematodes. For nematode control, plant dense areas of French Marigold’s. There have been studies that have proved that the nematode deterrence lasted for several years after the plants died back. The French Marigold also helps to deter white-flies when planted around tomatoes, and can be used in greenhouses for the same purpose. White-flies hate the smell of marigolds. Do not plant French marigolds next to beans.

Which are French Marigolds?


Basil | Tomato Companion

BASIL  repels flies and mosquitoes. Studies have shown that Basil can increase the yield of tomatoes. It can be helpful in repelling thrips (an insect that will feed on leaves). Do not plant near rue or sage.


Carrots | Tomato Companion

CARROTS benefit tomatoes by breaking up soil with their long roots and creating space for water and air to flow to tomato plant roots. Tomatoes benefit carrots by secreting a natural insecticide, solanine, which carrots can absorb.


Chives | Tomato Companion

CHIVES improve growth and flavor of tomatoes. They help to keep aphids away and may drive away Japanese beetles.


Petunia | Tomato Companion

PETUNIA, an edible flower (with edible leaves), will repel tomato worms.




Carrots love Tomatoes! In fact it’s the title of a book.

Be aware that if you plant carrots too close and under the eventual canopy of the tomato ‘bush’, there won’t be enough light to get good carrots. Ask me how I know…


Ants Hate Marigolds. There are a few flowers that are known to deter ants from their area. One of the best known is the marigold. Plant a few of these around the borders of your garden or near plants you want really well protected.

Apparently Mint will keep also help keep the ants away.


Don’t forget to ‘harden off’ your tomato plants. Basically you’re getting them accustomed to life outside of a greenhouse or your home.


Plant tomatoes DEEP to promote good root growth. In other words don’t be afraid to bury ~25% of the lower trunk with its leaves and all…


Let’s hear your success stories (or otherwise) about your tomato plants…

Continue reading: Ways to Tie UP your Tomato Plants

Ways to keep Weeds Down in your Garden

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    1. It’s too early for me to plant outdoors yet at my latitude and zone (not until end of May – and that’s chancing it), but I figured that this might further the gardening mood in general…

      1. Ken
        Have you looked at the you tube sight “Gardening with Leon”? Just Sayin mentioned his sight, before I knew it I was watching all the videos he had published.
        Could you do a double hoop house, one hoop inside of anther with straw bales in between to help insult the vegetables you may try growing up in the fridge northern area.

        Thinking outside the box on this project.

        1. @AC, yes I’m sure that I could. There’s always a way (often MANY ways) to adapt and overcome. In this regard, I’ll just wait until Memorial Day weekend to plant ;)

  1. Our biggest problem with tomatoes is blight, outside its almost completely impossible to grow heirloom tomatoes, have to grow resistant hybrids, Defiant PMR is the only variety we have any luck with.

    In the greenhouse however, i can grow almost anything as long as i start with fresh sterile soil mix,

    I have a whole bunch of plants i need to pull out at this time because we had a heavy rain and the next day the plants completely went brown

    1. Tommyboy
      In the 1970’s-80’s published by The Ortho company is a paper book titled “All About Tomato’s”. It will have a lot of information in there which may assist you with your blight problem.

      Are there 2nd hand book stores or 2nd hand stores that might have this book available? It will take some searching for this book fyi. I have several of there plant books issued during that time great knowledge in such small books.

      1. AC & Tommyboy,

        If you’re looking for an out of print book, try bookfinder dot com…they search most online used book resources and display the options. Then click on the one you’re interested in to complete the sale. This particular book is available from a variety of sellers between $3.74 (quite reasonable) and $287.50 (delusions of grandeur), lol!

          1. Tommyboy
            If you look for this book via e bay do a search as they are priced varied. I checked Amazon and they do not carry it in stock.

  2. I wonder if planting marigolds around the house will keep out those stupid black ants!?

    1. CA_X2B
      Marigolds might not but borax and diatomatious earth will,,,
      If you mix the borax with peanut butter or granulated sugar will help the DE worked in slightly will deter quite well. If you are looking for organic, if not Bayer makes all sorts of stuff that works excellent on ants, Amazon sells all of it

  3. CA_X2B — I doubt it. Every where I planted marigolds in the garden, they seem covered in ants. Ants seem to love them. I seldom plant marigolds now, and if I do, in the back corner.

  4. Be careful with marigolds as they can take over. I had to thin them way back so my veggies could breathe. They reseed really well.
    Great to hear about Petunias, didn’t know that one.

    Also when you companion plant watch what veggies you plant next to each other. Dill and carrots don’t do well together, Potatoes don’t like tomatoes or most any veggies, beans have certain likes and dislikes. Broccoli and cauliflower are not good with a lot of veggies.
    In general companion planting makes for a successful garden

  5. There is real good basic info on companion planting on the Old Farmers Almanack website, tons of info actually.

    I have gotten a lot of info from Elliot Colemans book The New Organic Grower and am presently reading a book by Richo Cech called The Medicinal Herb Grower.

    In nature a balance is struck between various plants, so i try to mimic nature, it is rarely organized and orderly to the un attentive eye, but when you look at the symbiotic existence that develops you see that many different plants develop an order all their own and generally thrive. In nature it is rarely all one plant or another but more often than not a symphony of plants that grow at different heights and depths, that gain at times from their companions, i have found this whenever i have grown my veggies in a mishmash of sorts, organized rows are nice but really the plants grow better when mixed up and planted willy nilly,
    Just an observation from a Kulafarmer

    1. I keep trying to convince Dad of this. So far no luck. He see’s chaos, and prefers straight lines. I see the way nature works and abhor straight lines. :)

  6. I have tomato plants starting to bear fruit….yay REAL tomatoes soon. I plant carrots near an onions. Zucchini, squash and cucumbers are great to plant near by as well due to their large flowers attract bee’s. I already picked some bell and Serrano peppers. I love this time of year. Good advice.

  7. Thor1
    Are telling me that the puppy has not found your garden for digging holes in to help you out? lol

    Your garden is way a head of everyone else’s with maybe the except of ex-Kulafarmer now Tommyboy. Good to see you posting over here.

    1. AC, well I have a 3 foot chicken wire fence around it on plastic posts with a gate. It keeps the bunnies out but puppy could easily jump it but remembers getting tangled in a tomato cage when he was younger. He walks in through the gate every once in awhile to sniff the flowers….. LOL

  8. I’ve had borage in my garden the past three years (careful-it seeds everywhere) and have had no tomato worms. And I think I remember reading the leaves are great for your compost pile. Same with Russian comfrey leaves.

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