How close for marigolds and tomatoes?

eyesofthewolf(8b)February 1, 2010

I plan to use marigolds and basil for companion plants for my tomatoes and can`t find how close you need them to be, just in the area or 6 inces away? I would post on the companion forum but it doesn`t seem to get alot of traffic. I have searched the web and not very much luck in spacing issues. Sooooooo if any one can chime in with some advice I would appreciate it. Thanks :o) Deanna

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bigdaddyj(Zone7)

I wouldn't plant marigolds anywhere near tomatoes. Marigolds attract spidermites like crazy and can decimate a tomato plant pronto. Basil is just fine and I plant about 3' away from my unpruned huge monster sized plants. If you are a pruner you can go closer.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 7:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Strongly agree - no marigolds. Inter-plant Basil, if you feel you must for some reason, but several varieties can get as tall as the tomato plants so 2-3 feet away minimum.

I would post on the companion forum but it doesn`t seem to get alot of traffic. One might wonder why that's the case? ;)

Dave

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 8:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
anney(Georgia 8)

Too many old wives tales passed on to the (innocent) naive that end up being downright wrong? Or not useful -- for instance, I believe I've read that French marigolds ARE good for driving away nematodes, yet you need to plant huge amounts of the marigolds around your plants to drive the nematodes away. None of us has enough garden space to do that!

I think it's hard to find reliable information about what plants actually do well together or are mutually beneficial in a garden environment. But science is gradually taking notice and testing and either confirming or debunking the claims. Here's one.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 9:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Good article Anney. Thanks for posting the link. While much of the "School of Companion Planting" hasn't been officially debunked by scientists, it has been by many home gardeners who tried it for themselves and kept notes/journals on the results.

An article in the current issue of Mother Earth News once again claims that inter-planting borage with your tomatoes will prevent hornworms - they call it a "sure stopper". Sorry, been there, done that, and had the hornworms to prove it doesn't work.

Dave

PS: For those interested, this MENs article is the results of the "best tomato" and "best regional tomato to grow" online survey many of us participated in last year.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 10:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
laccanvas

I thought you were suppose to just incorporate marigold leftovers into the soil...like for compost while tilling. It suppose to help with soil crap...like nematodes.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 11:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
helenh(z6 SW MO)

Dig dirt many other forums are slow because it is winter. Tomato growers are obsessed as you know. I have read that french marigolds used as a cover crop preceding tomatoes may reduce the nematodes, but that companion planting at the same time does not help. It seems you have to plant the marigolds thick with no weeds because if there are weeds or other susceptible plants they just move to those and multiply there. I like the look of flowers in the vegetable garden it helps me take better care of it.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 11:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Dig dirt many other forums are slow because it is winter.

Yes, I know. However one reason the CP forum is so inactive much of the time is the lack of devotees.

I too like the look of flowers in the vegetable garden and plant many of them as well as herbs. I just don't count on them for any of the supposed companion planting benefits. Instead I try to insure they don't create additional problems for the primaries - the vegetables.

Dave

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 12:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

The main problem with companion planting as I see it is that seldom are any controls done, that is, using the same tomato variety, plant basil, garlic, whatever, around one of the plants and at a distance don't plant those things around the plant. And then compare. And what is one looking for anyway? Increased yield? Better taste? Less critters?

One person was convinced that basil improved the taste of tomatoes. How the heck can some substance, leave the root structure of the basil plant, move through the soil and get absorbed by tomato roots when tomato roots don't take up complex molecules, rather, they take up the building blocks, as nutrients, that allow complex substances to be constructed within the tomato plant.

Many years ago I read Louise Riotte's book on companion planting and I tried it b'c many years ago that was the thing to do. I never found any substantial difference with and without companion planting, using controls.

As for nematode control it's true that one has to plant a cover crop of Marigolds or ebon rye or the other items that have been suggested for nematode control, and then that has to be turned over and incorporated into the soil.

So that takes the planting area out of use for a whole season. And the results I've seen posted haven't convinced me that doing that even does work. Most of my tomato friends who live where Root Knot Nematodes are a problem eventually go to growing plants in containers.

And geographically, RKN's are found only in specific areas of the US so they are a problem for folks who garden only in those areas.

Carolyn

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 1:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
laccanvas

Try growing asparagus with tomatoes...

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 3:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
eyesofthewolf(8b)

Ummmmmmmmm does any one want some marigolds? I have a whole bunch sprouting. Thanks everyone for the info sure busted my bubble tho. I thought I was on to something wonderful, a garden of eden with all my show stopper veggies, ok back to the drawing board. Does anyone like the Arkansas Traveler tomato with a side of neem oil. :o) Deanna

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 8:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
californian

Dave, getting back to Borage as a companion plant for tomatoes. I just bought a pack of Borage seeds to plant with my tomatoes. We don't have hornworms where I live, but I bought the borage because it was supposed to improve the taste of tomatoes and make the plants healthier from what I read in some hype. Did you notice any inprovement in taste? It is supposed to also attract bumblebees which are supposed to improve tomato yields by 50% if they help pollinate the tomato blossoms (I said bumblebees, not honeybees which don't go on tomato blossoms). But will the bumblebees that are attracted prefer the borage to the tomatoes, so the borage would actually cut production? I also found out after I bought the seed that borage will self seed and become invasive, did you observe that?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 8:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
helenh(z6 SW MO)

Marigolds are pretty. In fall they are as colorful as mums and have the fall colors. I love the little signet marigolds. Butterflies - skippers I think like marigolds. Cottage gardens are wonderful. Plant what you like and enjoy your garden. This is a demonstration garden in a park in Springfield, MO

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 9:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
trudi_d

EyesofTheWolf,

It's your garden. Plant what you want and learn from the experience. I always have marigolds bordering my tomatoes and an under-planting of nasturtiums and alyssum, plus there's coleus and impatiens and cornflowers and pansies and tunias and black-eyed-susan and mint run amok and so much else.

The nasturtiums are a trap crop for aphids and that attracts a hoard of preying mantids that eat up whatever they can catch. The alyssums are loaded with butterflies and bees and they smell awesome too. The rest just fill in the blanks.

My tomato beds are probably 25 to 33 percent tomato plants, the rest is veggies and flowers. There are poles with overhead lines of climbing cukes and beans, there are gourds and squash trailing here and there, volunteer amaranths turn into purple fantasies dotting the landscape, live-for-ever sedums grow like shrubs...it's just a marvelous blend of life and beauty. Lots of flying things here--birds, butterflies, bugs. There's a lot of IPM going on, there's a lot of organic practices like leaf and grass mulches, there's an enormous feast for the eyes as well as the kitchen table.

Your garden is your oasis. It is your sanctuary.

Enjoy your marigolds.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 11:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
struwwelpeter(5)

preying mantids that eat up whatever they can catch

They won't eat lightning bugs. After the first bite, they will drop it and then bite into the nearest leaf to wash the taste out of their mouth.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 11:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
helenh(z6 SW MO)

That is good because lightning bugs eat slugs.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 12:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
trudi_d

Glow little slow worm, glitter spitter.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 1:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vermontkingdom(4a)

What an interesting point about fireflies eating slugs. I taught biology for 36 years and had never come across that fact. I used adults for various biolumenescence experiments by extracting luciferase from their abdomens. I thought it might be a spoof so I did a quick check and, sure enough, found the larvae also eat earthworms.

When I was growing up some 50 years ago we always had lots of fireflies during the summer months. However, it's been a long time since I seen one now in Vermont.

GardenWeb is definitely a must for us old lifelong learners!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 10:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bcskye

Love the information on fireflies. By the way, many, many years ago I read where the French Marigolds repelled rabbits and that's why they were good to plant in or around the garden. I never tried it, but do any of you know if it is true?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 12:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
John11840(z6/CT)

I was told (probably another old wives tale) that interspersing the giant marigolds between the tomatoes would keep criters away, so I did that for several years. I have no evidence that it really helped, but also didn't have a problem with criters. I found, however, that the giant marigolds actually got big enough to shade the tomato vines, so last year in planted them around the outside of the tomatoes. Well, last year also was a bad year for slugs and the slugs ate up the marigolds for 3 plantings. I don't know if it had anything to do with it, but the slugs didn't touch the tomatoes.
John A

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 10:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vikingkirken(6b)

I have always planted marigolds around my tomatoes... don't know if it has actually helped them, but it certainly doesn't seem to have hurt them at all. My tomatoes have been trouble-free except for late blight during last year's wet summer.

I love companion planting; it makes for a beautiful garden and attracts lots of pollinators and beneficial insects, if nothing else. Sometimes my N of 1 finds good results from something I try... like the nasturtiums acting as a very effective trap crop for aphids, or the squash interplanted with flowering radishes which were untouched by SVB while the others were all hit. Coincidence? Maybe, but it certainly didn't hurt anything, and might have helped!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 11:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
trudi_d

I have SVB problems each year with my zukes, I'll try your suggestion VikingKirken. I may be the only person on the planet who doesn't have enough zucchini ;-O If I figure you right you planted radishes in the Spring where the squash were later planted, didn't pull the radishes and the flowered in they heat of summer. I'll give it a try.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 11:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
compost_pete-grower

Well I have found that planting more tomatoes around tomatoes helps with the total yield, and yes I think I can back it up with some numbers. The best companion plant for tomatoes is more tomatoes!!!!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 12:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kottonbail

I like marigolds in the garden . I planted because of the same insect control wives tell. I have done this for 5 years and there is not an increase in bugs.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 12:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
star_stuff(Greensboro NC 7a)

Yikes, giant marigolds are mite magnets. Last year I grew both giant marigolds (Crackerjack), and Dwarf Bolero marigolds (which I think French?). The Dwarf Boleros were fine and looked wonderful, but the giant marigolds were attacked by bugs and were dreadful looking. So maybe certain varieties of marigolds are okay...

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 12:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cyrus_gardner(8)

=========================
Posted by compost_pete-grower (My Page) on Sat, Feb 6, 10
at 12:21

Well I have found that planting more tomatoes around tomatoes helps with the total yield, and yes I think I can back it up with some numbers. The best companion plant for tomatoes is more tomatoes!!!!
=========================================================
I LIKE THIS ONE.lol

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 2:25AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Please Critique Selections for 2015
My garden each year seems to expand here in N. Indiana...
hoosier318
What are you growing for 2015?
Hi all! I'm a fairly new gardener (this will be my...
sarcastichousewife
Rio Grande Tomato
Okay got a quick question but can't seem to find the...
brenzo77
Supermarket Tomatoes Plants II
Here we go again. I have started 8 more seedlings for...
garf_gw
Are You Germinating Yet ?
Now that you've got all the seeds and have decided...
seysonn
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™