COMPANION PLANTING: Many plants have natural substances in their roots, flowers, and leaves that can repel or attract insects. In some situations they can also enhance the growth rate and flavor of other varieties. Using companion planting through out the landscape is an effective form of pest management, allowing nature to do its’ job. By using companion planting, many gardeners find that they can discourage harmful pests without losing the beneficial allies.
There are many varieties of herbs, flowers, etc. that can be used for companion plants and could be used as a border, backdrop or inter-planting in your vegetable beds.
TOMATOES: Tomato allies are many: asparagus, basil, bean, celery, chive, cucumber, garlic, head lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley, pea, pepper, and sow thistle.
Basil repels flies and mosquitoes, improves growth and flavor. Bee balm, chives and mint improve health and flavor. Borage deters tomato worm, improves growth and flavor. Dill, until mature, improves growth and health, mature dill retards tomato growth.
Enemies: corn and tomato are attacked by the same worm. Kohlrabi stunts tomato growth. Keep potatoes and tomatoes apart as they both can get early and late blight contaminating each other. Keep apricot, dill, fennel, cabbage and cauliflower away from them. Don’t plant them under walnut trees as they will get walnut wilt: a disease that attacks tomatoes growing underneath these trees.
Consider planting these easy companions with your tomatoesBASIL: Plant with tomatoes to improve growth and flavor. Basil also does well with peppers, oregano, asparagus and petunias. Basil can be helpful in repelling thrips. It is said to repel flies and mosquitoes. Do not plant near rue or sage.
CHIVES: Improves growth and flavor of carrots and tomatoes. A friend to apples, carrots, tomatoes, brassica (broccoli, cabbage, mustard, etc) and many others. Help to keep aphids away from tomatoes, mums and sunflowers. Chives may drive away Japanese beetles and carrot rust fly.
FRENCH MARIGOLD: They have roots that exude a substance which spreads in their immediate vicinity killing nematodes. For nematode control you want to plant dense areas of them. There have been some studies done that proved this nematode killing effect lasted for several years after the plants died back. These marigolds also help to deter whiteflies when planted around tomatoes and can be used in greenhouses for the same purpose. Whiteflies hate the smell of marigolds. Do not plant French marigolds next to bean plants.
PEPPERS, BELL (Sweet Peppers): Plant peppers near tomatoes. Harvesting tip: The traditional bell pepper, for example, is harvested green, even though most varieties will mature red, orange, or yellow. Peppers can be harvested at any stage of growth, but their flavor doesn’t fully develop until maturity.
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