Best companion plant for tomatos

greenepastures(9)January 19, 2013

Marigolds? Bush beans / peas? What works best here in Central Florida..(Seffner to be exact)

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I'm south of you but in my experience beans are NOT good companions. Marigolds are supposed to help with nematodes, but I'd recommend basil instead...

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 10:17PM
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Two years ago I planted bell peppers with my tomatoes and had to battle whiteflies all season long. Last year I grew only tomatoes and didn't see any whiteflies. Maybe it was just a coincidence but I'm not taking any chances. No more bell peppers for me!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 12:16PM
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L_in_FL(8B/9A Border, NW FL)

Some marigolds DO work against nematodes; I have seen the results myself, comparing roots of tomato and pepper plants that were thickly underplanted with marigolds with roots of plants that had few or no marigolds nearby. But as I said, the marigolds have to be thickly underplanted (completely surrounding the tomato plant and quite close to it) to be effective. That means they are competing with your tomatoes for moisture and nutrients. Also, tall varieties of marigolds can outgrow and completely overwhelm a young tomato plant.

Another way to use marigolds for nematode prevention is to grow a dense cover of marigolds in your tomato area the season before planting. That should drive off the nematodes for a few months and give your tomatoes a good shot. Of course, that means you're not growing a crop in that area for a few months while the marigolds are driving off the nematodes.

If nematodes are not a concern, I second the recommendation for basil. Basil and tomatoes get along as well in the garden as they do in the kitchen. If you let it flower, the basil will bring bees into your garden, too.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 12:24PM
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I've planted carrots around tomatoes with good results. Similar water/fertizer needs. They don't take up much space or get too tall, and the greenery tops are thick enough to help keep weeds at bay.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 11:56AM
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Basil and cloves are great.In special the cloves who input a lot of Nitrogen in the soil and help the tomatoes to have a healthy and more crop then ever.Lettuce are working to and you don`t need to walk to much to make the salad....hihihi!!!!!

This post was edited by moringaplace on Mon, Feb 4, 13 at 0:01

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 9:55PM
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If you are worried abt. nematodes, plant the 'maters in pots.....or work lots of compost into the beds, the more the better because nematodes don't like compost or rich soil... marigolds draw spider-mites like crazy and they hide in those crinkly leaves, so nix the marigolds... I don't plant anything w/'maters because it hinders movement around the plant and makes it harder to work around them....sally

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 1:38PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Sally - You are so right! I try not to plant anything around the tomatoes, our weather is too hot and humid and planting anything around them is to have a bigger problem with foliage diseases and bugs. I stop planting marigolds a long time ago because they are very attractive to pests.

My tomatoes always are planted in pots.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 2:56PM
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Silvia, I drool over your 'maters! you are so organized and neat neat neat,I have learned so very much from you.... thanx, sally

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 6:46PM
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