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14 Bad Companion Plants for Tomatoes You Should Avoid

14 Bad Companion Plants for Tomatoes You Should Avoid

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Tomatoes are the pride and joy of many gardeners, and nothing beats the satisfaction of biting into a juicy, homegrown tomato.

However, it’s crucial to remember that not all plants play nice with our beloved tomatoes.

Some plants can inhibit their growth or even attract pests, so it’s essential to know which ones to avoid.

In this article, I’ll share my personal experiences and discuss 10 plants you should avoid growing next to your tomatoes to ensure a bountiful harvest.

1. Potatoes

Growing potatoes near tomatoes is a big no-no.

Both belong to the nightshade family, which makes them susceptible to the same diseases and pests, such as blight and Colorado potato beetles.

Planting them together increases the chances of these problems spreading between the two crops.

Moreover, they’re both heavy feeders and will compete for nutrients, ultimately affecting their growth.

It’s best to plant them separately and rotate your crops to minimize these risks.

2. Corn

Corn and tomatoes may seem like a match made in heaven, but they’re actually a disastrous duo.

Corn is a tall plant that can cast shade on your tomatoes, limiting their sun exposure and slowing their growth.

Additionally, corn and tomatoes share a common enemy: the tomato fruitworm, which also goes by the name corn earworm.

By planting them together, you’re essentially creating a buffet for these pests.

To prevent any unwanted feasts in your garden, keep these two plants far apart.

3. Cabbage

Cabbage, along with other members of the Brassica family, like broccoli and cauliflower, isn’t the best neighbor for tomatoes.

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The reason is that tomatoes and cabbages require different growing conditions.

While tomatoes thrive in slightly acidic soil, cabbages prefer more alkaline conditions.

Planting them together can make it challenging to create the ideal environment for both plants.

Moreover, cabbages can attract pests like aphids, which can then spread to your tomatoes.

4. Fennel

Fennel is notorious for being a poor companion to most plants, and tomatoes are no exception.

Fennel releases compounds that can inhibit the growth of other plants, including tomatoes.

This allelopathic effect can stunt the growth of your tomato plants, leading to a less-than-impressive harvest.

Save your fennel for a separate location in your garden, far away from your precious tomatoes.

5. Walnuts

Walnut trees produce a chemical called juglone, which is toxic to many plants, including tomatoes.

Juglone is released through the tree’s roots, leaves, and even its fallen fruit.

If you have a walnut tree nearby, make sure to plant your tomatoes at least 50 feet away to minimize the risk of damage from juglone exposure.

Otherwise, you may find your tomato plants wilting and dying.

6. Dill

Dill can be a good companion to tomatoes in its early stages, as it can attract beneficial insects that prey on tomato pests.

However, once dill matures and starts to flower, it can stunt the growth of your tomato plants.

If you want to keep dill in your garden, consider planting it a safe distance away from your tomatoes and harvest it before it reaches its flowering stage.

7. Sunflowers

Sunflowers are beautiful and can add a touch of whimsy to any garden, but they’re not the best companions for tomatoes.

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These towering flowers can cast shade on your tomato plants, depriving them of the sunlight they need to thrive.

Additionally, sunflowers have large, aggressive root systems that can compete with tomatoes for water and nutrients in the soil.

This competition can lead to stunted growth and a disappointing tomato harvest.

To enjoy both sunflowers and tomatoes in your garden, plant them in separate areas where they won’t negatively impact each other.

8. Cucumbers

While cucumbers aren’t directly harmful to tomatoes, they can attract cucumber beetles, which can carry bacterial wilt.

Bacterial wilt is a devastating disease that can spread to your tomato plants and cause their leaves to yellow and wilt.

Even though cucumbers and tomatoes can be good companions in some respects, it’s better to err on the side of caution and plant them apart to reduce the risk of disease transmission.

9. Mint

Mint is a vigorous grower and can quickly take over your garden if left unchecked.

This invasive herb can compete with your tomato plants for water, nutrients, and space, leading to stunted growth and reduced yields.

If you want to grow mint, consider planting it in a container or a separate area of your garden to prevent it from overtaking your tomatoes.

10. Peppers

Peppers, like tomatoes and potatoes, belong to the nightshade family.

Planting peppers near tomatoes can attract pests and diseases that affect both plants.

Additionally, peppers and tomatoes have similar nutrient requirements, which can lead to competition and reduced yields for both plants.

To keep your tomatoes and peppers happy and healthy, give them their own space in the garden.

See also  13 Plants That Could Be Damaging Your Peppers

Additional Plants to Avoid Planting with Tomatoes

Besides the 10 plants already mentioned, there are a few more plants you should avoid planting near your tomatoes to maintain a healthy garden:

  • Asparagus: Heavy feeder, competes for water and nutrients, different pH preferences
  • Mustard: Attracts pests, prefers different soil pH
  • Okra: Casts shade, attracts stink bugs
  • Raspberries: Competes for nutrients, potential for cross-contamination of pests and diseases

With this comprehensive list of plants to avoid planting near your tomatoes, you can now better plan your garden layout for a successful and fruitful harvest.

Remember, a diverse garden with compatible plant companions is essential for promoting overall garden health and productivity.

Final Thoughts

Growing tomatoes is a rewarding experience, but it’s essential to choose their companions wisely.

By avoiding the plants mentioned above, you can help your tomatoes thrive and enjoy a bountiful harvest.

Don’t forget that the key to a healthy garden is diversity, so make sure to include a variety of plants that support and complement each other.

Happy gardening!