Companion Plants for Tomatoes

captaincompostal(z7 AL Bham)April 15, 2003

I just planted my tomatoes last weekend.

I know tomatoes are heavy phosphorus users because of the large tomato fruit and flowering.

Therefore I planted them several feet apart with lots of compost and bone meal under the mulch.

I want to grow something else in between the tomatoes in the rows as a companion plant. I've tried basil in past years. I thought about companion planting eggplants and peppers in between the tomatoes this year.

Is that legal? Will they compete against each other for NPK needs?

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robhuffstedtler(z7/8 NC)

How did the basil work out? I planted a tomato and basil in a container a few weeks ago, and they both seem to be suffering from what I think is a fungus. There is oregano in the pot as well, which is doing fine.

I've heard that tomatos and peppers are susceptible to a lot of the same diseases, so that might be something to keep in mind as well.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2003 at 3:52PM
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captaincompostal(z7 AL Bham)

Tomatoes and basil are two of the best companions in the world! They work great together. I just don't want a lot of basil this year. Just lots of tomatoes for selling.

For fungus, I've found that just sprinkling corn meal or a corn meal compost tea all over the tomato plants and the mulch and soil eliminates mostly all fungal diseases.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2003 at 4:05PM
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Brit_G(N TX)

I've heard that marigolds are great for companion planting with tomatoes; not to eat (unless they're etible & I don't know it), but more as a bad-bug preventor. I can't remember if the marigolds draw the baddies away from the toms, or are poisonous to toms or what, but that's what I read in my veggie OG handbook. It also mentioned that one commonly accepted companion was not as good as people thought; sorry I can't remember which one (maybe if I knew more about gardening). I'll try to remember to look in the book tonight.

I've also heard, but don't remember where, that peppers & toms aren't so good together because of similar susceptibilities & also both heavy feeders. I'll try to find something about that, too.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2003 at 4:09PM
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Al, do cilantro! It grows fast and when it blooms it attracts bennies and a gazillion butterflies. If you want a ground cover I would suggest nasturtiums, they generally are recommended for poil soil, so in rich soil you can expect big leaves and a few flowers...but as you grow organically you can eat the leaves in a salad. Yumyum...very peppery, like black pepper, not jalepeno hot. The leaves will double as a living mulch, cooling and shading the ground and keeping down on moisture loss from the sun.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2003 at 9:20PM
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Brit_G(N TX)

I brought the book. It's "The Vegetable Gardener's Bible" (not intended to be blasphemous, he he) by Edward C. Smith. For toms, it says...

Rotation Considerations: Avoid following potatoes, peppers & eggplant;
Good Companions: asparagus, basil, bush bean, cabbage family, carrot, celery, chive, cucumber, garlic, head lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley, pepper, pot marigold;
Bad Companions: pole bean, fennel, dill, potato

For peppers, it says...

Rotation Considerations: Do not follow with tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes;
Good Companions: carrot, onion, parsnip, pea;
Bad Companions: fennel, kohlrabi

Hope this helps some. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2003 at 10:48AM
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captaincompostal(z7 AL Bham)

Thanks everybody!

I also got a lot of red onions from the produce trash that I may plant around the tomatoes also in order to repel some pests.

Is that ok?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2003 at 2:03PM
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robhuffstedtler(z7/8 NC)

Back on that cornmeal idea - how much cornmeal should one apply? And does one use the same sort of cornmeal that one makes cornbread with, or am I looking for some sort of finer ground stuff specially for horticultural usage?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2003 at 11:24AM
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organicdan(z5b Nova Scotia)

Combinations of interplanting are numerous. Most antagonist plantings should be at least 8 feet away. Do cross-reference your planting to avoid hostilities. Put the plan on paper.

Here is a quite complete chart for your use.

Here is a link that might be useful: One Companion Chart

    Bookmark   April 18, 2003 at 7:41AM
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Heeeeeeey DAN Wow !!!!
The One Companion Chart is the best!!! Thank you for sharing this! Already got it under my Fav.,on Desktop,Printed out and Stored on a Floppy Disc!! I Believe this to be a major Alternative to Chemical Pesticides!! PLANT IN PEACE,

    Bookmark   April 18, 2003 at 11:52PM
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Kelly_in_PA(Z6 PA)

I checked out the One Comapnion Chart and noticed that cabbage and tomatoes are listed as compatibel. I oculd have sworn I read the opposite somewhere?? ANy ideas on this one?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2003 at 9:59AM
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captaincompostal(z7 AL Bham)

I believe cabbages and tomatoes work together, because tomatoes need lots of phosphorus for large fruit yield, while cabbages love lots of extra nitrogen.

The combination causes the tomatoes not to get too leggy, but find more available phosphorus from the soil.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2003 at 10:10AM
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