Companion Plants and the Tomato Garden




Companion Plants help other plants in a number of ways. Choosing the right companions can help enhance the condition of the soil, provide cover for root systems, attract beneficial insects, repel harmful insects, assist in growth and improving vegetable flavor. Planting companions has been used in gardening for hundreds of years and are an integral part of knowing how to grow tomatoes.



The North American Indians devised the infamous "Three Sisters" method of companion gardening. The Three Sisters are Corn, Beans and Squash. This method of companion farming was not isolated to one tribe or region. This method was used throughout North America. A mound was formed and a few corn seeds were planted in the center. Once the corn sprouted, beans were planted around the corn on top of the mound. The squash was then planted around the sides and base of the mound. The corn stalks provided support for the bean stalks and the squash provided a protective cover from intruding weeds, pests and helped retain moisture during hot summer weather. It was a simple and effective example of companion planting. While the Three Sisters have a symbiotic relationship, corn and beans are companions to be avoided in the tomato garden.

Vegetable plants aren't the only type of companion plants, many herb plants and flowers are very good companion plants. Multible plants that are companions of a particular vegetable, may not be compatible with each other. It can get pretty confusing. There are many charts and lists attempting to demonstrate the companion plant possibilities, but cross referencing those possibilities can be daunting. The goal here is to simplfy the use of companion plants for growing healthy, tasty fresh tomatoes.



Companions can serve one or more purposes in helping tomatoes, a few may be helped by tomatoes in the process. The following vegetable plants, herb plants and flowers are the core group of companions for tomatoes. There are plants to be avoided in the tomato garden. The listed plants to be avoided may be grown elsewhere, preferably in the another plot away from tomatoes. Plants such as Sunflowers are often planted far away from the main garden and are used as trap plants. Trap gardens are used to draw the most threatening insects away from the main garden. Sunflowers are often used as a trap plant because of the beauty and of course the seeds. Here's a guide for tomato garden companions.


Companion Plants do more than help each other. They help us Live Healthy and Cancer Free.

HERBS & FLOWERS -

BASIL, will help the tomato's growth and flavor while repelling tomato worm, flies and mosquitoes.

BORAGE, attracts predatory insects and bees while repelling other pests such as tomato worms.

CHIVES, helps the growth and flavor of tomatoes and carrots and repels aphids, carrot flies and cabbage worms.

GARLIC, repels aphids, beetles and rabbits. It's bulbs store sulphur, a natural fungicide. great for roses too.

LOVAGE, improves flavor and health of it's companion plants. Attracts beneficial wasps.

MARIGOLDS & POT MARIGOLDS, attract hover flies, reduces nematodes in the soil, repels tomato hornworms and rabbits.

MARJORAM, improves flavor and provides ground cover

MINT, repels cabbage moth, aphids, flea beetles, white flies and provides ground cover.

OREGANO, repels aphids and white flies and provides ground cover.

PARSLEY, repels asparagus beetle and provides ground cover.



VEGETABLES -

ALLIUMS, consist of onions, garlic, leeks, chives, shallots etc. Generally, they repel the same pests slugs, aphids, carrot fly, cabbage worms.

CARROTS, attract a host of beneficial insects such as assasin bug, lacewing, parasitic wasps & more (Must flower for best results) Carrots are one of the best companion plants.

CELERY, Good Tomato companion.

PEPPERS, both sweet and hot help tomatoes. Tomatoes help peppers by providing shade for the fruit. Peppers are benefited by the same herbs as tomatoes.


AVOID -


BEANS, Host nitrogen based bacteria that can be too much for tomatoes and other plants.

BROCCOLI, CABBAGE, CORN and POTATOES have too many pests in common with the TOMATO.

The combination of tomatoes and their companions were common during the Great Depression and were often called Soup Gardens. This form of companion gardening was planted during World War II, known as Victory Gardens. The plants to avoid with tomatoes were also grouped as another form of Victory garden. The victory Garden page demonstrates the tomato Victory Garden or Soup Garden. The recipes using the companions of the tomato Victory Garden are not relegated to soup alone. A great number of recipes can be created using the plants of the Tomato Victory garden. The Tomato Recipe pages on this site present some of the possiblities.




Looking for more Gardening details? Follow the Victory Garden Project Series.

Step by Step building a garden from scratch. Details, Tips and shortcuts and more will be discussed and demonstrated. The good, bad and ugly of gardening. When it's all done a garden sanctuary designed for companions capable of feeding the family year after year.



Looking for great tomato Recipes? Check the Everything Tomatoes Recipe List


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