If you want to grow tomato plants from seed, you might think that germinating the seeds and doing all that stuff is everything you need to do. Well, that’s not the truth at all. You see, if you want your tomato plants to prosper once they are planted, you’ll need to surround them with companion plants.
What are companion plants?
You should think of companion plants as allies in the garden that help boost the growth and health of your tomato plants. They can deter pests, improve soil quality, and even enhance the flavor of your tomatoes.
These plants repel pests
Pests are constantly trying to get to your tomato plants. It doesn’t matter if you start them from seed or buy your tomato plants from a garden center; pests always try their best to cause all kinds of problems.
You know that marigolds have beautiful bright yellow flowers, but they also have a scent that repels pests like nematodes, beetles, and aphids. What you do is plant marigolds around the perimeter of your tomato patch to help deter these insects from attacking your tomatoes.
Basil isn’t just for pesto; it’s also good at repelling thrips, flies, and mosquitoes. Basil masks the odor of your tomato plants, and pests won’t be able to find them. Yes, you read that right; basil seems harmless to people, but if you’re a fly, it’s your worst enemy.
Garlic isn’t just good at keeping vampires away and repels aphids, spider mites, and cabbage worms. If you don’t want to plant garlic, toss some garlic cloves near your tomatoes, which will work, too. Unless your aphids are Italian, they’ll find a way to turn it into a tomato sauce.
Some plants attract helpful insects
You might not know it, but some insects are helpful. Not everything creepy and crawly is harmful to your tomato plants. Sometimes, the best kind of friends to have are the ones who love to eat insects as much as you love to eat tomatoes.
Sunflowers attract bees, and everyone knows that bees are needed to pollinate tomatoes. The bee population right now is in short supply, and you need to do your best to attract them. The best way to do it is by making your garden super tempting, and nothing can do that, like sunflowers.
Calendula is another flower that you should consider planting near your tomato plants. Calendula attracts hoverflies, ladybugs, and parasitic wasps, and they love to eat the pests that tomato plants attract. Using calendula is an all-natural way to eliminate pesky pests without using chemicals.
Two key plants are needed to add much-needed nutrients to your soil
Beans and peas are legumes that fix nitrogen from the air into the soil. Flowering plants need nitrogen because it is used during the fruiting process.
Oregano injects calcium, potassium, and magnesium through its roots into the soil. The tomato plants you start from seed will get all these nutrients when the leaves from the oregano plant fall off and decompose.
Who knew nature could solve all these problems
Just think, for any problems your tomato plants have, nature has a solution. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about attracting or repelling pests or adding nutrients to the soil; all of these things are Mother Nature’s way of helping you grow the best tomatoes possible.