With the help of supporting planting, stay away from tomato hornworm and other common tomato pests.The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.
When planning your garden, it is a good idea to carefully consider your tomato companion plants. If you avoid planting related plants such as chilies nearby, you will achieve a greater harvest. This is because these plants are susceptible to the same pests and diseases. Instead, try some of the tomato companion plants listed below. Matching these herbs, flowers, and vegetables with tomatoes can help you achieve a larger harvest, naturally combat pests, and provide many other benefits.
Tomatoes and basil are a perfect match in dishes such as margarita pizza and caprese salads. But these two plants are not just perfect companions in the kitchen. Growing basil with tomatoes is also a classic companion plant option in gardens, benefiting both plants.
The rich aroma of basil helps repel common tomato pests, such as thrip. In turn, the large head and rich leaves of tomatoes provide basil plants with afternoon shade, protecting their young leaves from excessive sunlight.
Borage is a frequently overlooked plant. Although its leaves and flowers are edible and taste a bit like cucumbers, it is mostly preserved as an ornamental plant. In gardens, borage is a good pollinating plant that will attract bees to help pollinate your tomatoes and improve your harvest.
More importantly, planting borax and tomatoes together seems to improve tomato growth and enhance their natural resistance to disease. Borax also helps prevent tomato hornworms, which can damage your tomato plants.
Flea beetles can be problematic pests that can create uneven holes in your tomato leaves and spread diseases such as bacterial wilt. Interestingly, flea beetles absolutely love radishes, so planting radish seeds next to tomatoes can help protect your tomatoes from pests.
In addition to providing natural pest control, interplanting radishes with tomato plants is a wise way to maximize garden space. While waiting for the tomatoes to ripen, you can continuously plant radish seeds and harvest one or two batches of radishes before midsummer.
Like basil, thyme has a rich aroma that helps keep pests away. Specifically, thyme can be used to repel tomato hornworm and whiteflie, and research has found that it can also reduce the number of armyworm.
Thyme is a slow growing plant that is a good choice for natural mulch. Planting creeping thyme around tomatoes helps suppress weeds and prevent soil from drying out too quickly. Remember, thyme is a perennial plant in most regions, and it returns year after year. In contrast, tomatoes are annual plants that last only one growing season.
Peas and beans
Beans, peas, and other legumes have the ability to fix nitrogen into the soil, thereby naturally increasing soil fertility. Planting beans and peas near tomatoes can increase their nutrition and promote their growth.
In addition, if you struggle with green bugs in your garden, cowpeas are one of the best trapping crops. These annoying insects can also cause spots and other problems on tomato skins. However, cowpea can attract bugs on your tomatoes.
Dill and other plants in the carrot family can help attract beneficial insects to your garden. From ladybugs and grasshoppers to parasitic wasps, these useful creatures will control the number of pests. These carnivores feed on tomato hornworm, aphids, and several other common plant pests.
To maximize the benefits of your dill plants, let them bloom. Because the taste of dills can change after flowering, you may want to continuously plant your dills to ensure that you have enough dills and beneficial insects.
Crimson & Clover
If you have ever weeded clover in your garden, planting clover seeds around tomatoes can be counterintuitive. However, dark red clover has many benefits for tomato plants, and it is an annual plant that withers in winter.
When you plant on a garden bed, the crimson clover can serve as a living cover, naturally suppressing weeds and protecting your soil from the effects of bad weather. As a member of the legume family, it also enriches the soil by adding nitrogen. Finally, when dark red clover blooms, it is attacked by pollinating and beneficial insects, which can control pests and increase tomato production.
The broad flower heads of sunflowers make it difficult for bees and other pollinating insects to resist. Planting sunflowers near tomatoes can improve pollination rates and help you harvest more juicy, mature tomatoes.
Because sunflowers are high, you don't need to worry about your tomatoes submerging them or blocking their sunlight. That is, if you have a small garden, or if you plant tomatoes in a flowerpot, there are many varieties of short sunflowers that are suitable for small spaces.
Collard greens and other members of the cabbage family are excellent trap crops. When planted near your tomatoes, these plants can lure pests such as clowns away from your tomato plants.
Planting fast growing kale with tomatoes can also improve garden productivity. When you are waiting for tomatoes to ripen, you can collect a large pile of fresh green leafy vegetables.
Sweet alyssum is usually preserved as an ornamental plant due to its low growth habits and white and purple flowers. These flowers are very popular among pollinating insects and beneficial insects, including parasitic wasps. Conveniently, parasitic wasps are one of the top predators of tomato hornworms.