Matching plants that are mutually beneficial in the garden makes sense for not only the seasoned organic gardener but the backyard beginner as well. Known as "companion planting," the idea is to maximize the growing space by choosing plants with similar fertilizer and watering needs that also provide a benefit to one another by attracting beneficial bugs or repelling pests. Tomatoes are common garden plants with a number of companion plants.
Who knew that growing the main ingredients to many tomato dishes together would make the tomatoes taste better even while growing? Plant an Italian-sauce theme garden by planting basil, garlic, parsley, onion and chives together. All of these plants not only have similar nutrient needs from the soil but also improve each other's flavor when grown together.
Grow healthier plants for your family by skipping the chemical pesticides and planting natural deterrents near your tomatoes. Many old wives' tales tout the magic of marigolds as an animal deterrent, but the truth is there's no scientific proof that marigolds keep rabbits or deer from your garden. Marigolds are a must around your tomatoes though because they repel a microscopic predator called a nematode that feast on tomato roots.
Other plants that help as a natural pesticide include basil and borage.
Avoid planting tomatoes near potatoes and corn, however, as they both attract the same pests and blight. Gardening professionals even advise not planting tomatoes in the same soil plot corn and potatoes were grown in previously.
Tasty fruit only comes from healthy plants, and healthy plants are the product of not only the proper nutrients but also the right companion plants. Vegetables that help improve the health of tomatoes include peppers, asparagus, carrot, celery, cucumber and onion. (Carrots grown near tomatoes tend to stay smaller in size but big in flavor.) Herbs such as dill, borage, parsley, mint, chives, bee balm and basil are excellent choices to grow alongside your tomato plants to improve plant health.