Do you have tomato plants that are susceptible to bugs and pests? We understand how frustrating it is to see bugs all around your plants, ready to dig into those tomatoes you spent so long growing. Fortunately, there are ways you can keep those bugs away, and one method is through companion planting!
Companion planting refers to attracting beneficial insects and encouraging the growth of plants while keeping away pests. Read on to find out what to plant with tomatoes to keep bugs away!
What to Plant With Tomatoes to Keep Bugs Away
Various pests would prey on tomatoes, as they are a favorite among many insects like aphids, beetles, whiteflies, and more! To prevent them from infesting your tomatoes and ruining their growth, here are some companion plants to have:
Basil is one of the most effective companion plants for tomatoes. When they are planted near tomato plants, they help keep bugs away by repelling mosquitoes, fruit flies, among other kinds of flies. Furthermore, basil would also improve the flavors of tomatoes while ensuring proper growth.
Borage is another friendly plant to tomato plants. It will help keep various bugs away and is resistant to tomato hornworms. When growing borage near tomatoes, you won’t have to worry about hornworm attacks. Many gardeners have claimed the effectiveness of borage when repelling hornworms already!
This one’s a herb that helps keeps most bugs away from tomatoes thanks to its strong scent. Marigold dons a strong fragrance that can repel bugs such as aphids, tomato hornworms, thrips, and whiteflies.
When planted beside tomatoes, marigold can repel pests like the root-knot nematode. This is thanks to the presence of Alpha-terthienyl, which comes from marigolds.
Garlic is another helpful companion for tomato plants. It would help repel bugs from the tomatoes thanks to its repelling power against blights and red spider mites.
Rosemary is an herb useful to fight against bugs attacking tomatoes. It would repel mosquitoes and various other insects attacking the plant.
You can grow rosemary in a container or in-ground. It will then give off oil and fragrance that is both unpleasant and toxic to insects, keeping them away from the garden.
Dill is another awesome herb gardeners use to keep bugs out of tomato plants. It would have to repel powers that keep aphids and hornworms out. You may want to plant both borage and dill with tomato plants so they are safe from hornworms.
Thyme, similar to herbs that are companion plants for tomato plants, can help improve the taste of tomatoes while keeping bugs out. When tomatoes are grown near thyme, they won’t suffer hornworm or whitefly attacks.
This plant is the poster child when it comes to companion planting. It would offer tons of benefits to most plants grown nearby. This is because the plant emits airborne chemicals that would repel insects well.
It is best to plant nasturtium around the garden’s edges so insects stay away. While it has high repulsive power, it won’t repel helpful insect pollinators like bumblebees.
Bad Plants to Avoid
While there are awesome companion plants suitable for tomatoes, there are also plants you need to watch out for. Bad companion plants will most likely stop or slow down tomato plant growth as they are both fighting for nutrients!
Here are bad companion plants that should not be near tomato plants:
- All the relatives of cabbage would stunt tomato plant growth, including cabbage, broccoli, collards, cauliflower, turnips, kale, rutabaga, and Brussels sprouts.
- Corn plants would attract the corn earworm, which is similar to the tomato fruitworm. When growing corn nearby, both corn and tomato plants are susceptible to the same pests that may end up wreaking havoc.
- Plants from the nightshade family such as eggplants, potatoes, and peppers will need to be avoided as well. Like tomatoes, these plants are susceptible to blight, which may build up in the soil, worsening every year.
- Fennel would create a secret substance from the roots, which then inhibit plant growth while affecting other plants nearby.
Wrapping It Up
There are various methods you can follow to keep bugs away from your tomato plant, such as setting out traps, fertilizing and watering your plants regularly, or even having tomato cages for protection. Companion planting is another effective method you can try following, provided that you plant the right ones known to encourage growth while keeping bugs at bay.
With the right companion plants, you can help your tomatoes grow and stay protected, enjoying your harvest more once ready. So get on it and start planting more for your tomatoes now. Good luck!