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Tomatoes are one of the most popular choices for home gardens. They’re delicious, juicy, and perfect for both fresh eating and preserving. If you’re planning to grow tomatoes, consider companion planting. Certain plants can help produce beautifully juicy tomatoes, maximize your harvest, and promote healthier growth.

Companion planting is an age-old gardening method that prevents common plant issues and boosts crop yields. This system pairs plants together to form a mutually beneficial relationship, reducing troublesome pests and improving plant health. By using some of the best companion plants for tomatoes, you can achieve better harvests than ever before.

Here are the 15 best companion plants for your tomato garden.

1. Basil

Fresh green basil on black wooden table, flat lay
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One interesting aspect of companion planting is that many crops that pair well in the kitchen also thrive together in the garden. For example, basil is one of the best companion plants for tomatoes, and they also taste great together!

Basil is a leafy herb that enjoys the shady spots under taller tomato plants. In exchange for this shade, basil repels aphids and squash bugs and attracts pollinating insects. Basil also helps to improve the flavor of home-grown tomatoes.

2. Lettuce

growing lettuce
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Lettuce grows well in the shade under tomato plants, providing dense ground cover that suppresses weeds and prevents moisture from evaporating.

This pairing works well for ‘cut and come again’ lettuce varieties, which can be harvested with tomatoes all summer. Lettuce has low nutrient requirements, so it will not compete with tomato plants for essential nutrients. 

3. Chives

chives purple
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Chives are a delicious herb with a mild onion-like smell that repels aphids and mites. Planting small clumps of chives among tomatoes is a good way to keep pests at bay. They also make a great addition to a tomato salad. The large pom-pom flowers of chive plants will also attract pollinating bees to your tomato plants.

4. Marigolds

marigold plant
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It is very common to see rows of colorful marigolds planted alongside tomatoes. This companion pairing is a favorite among gardeners and homesteaders.

Marigolds have vibrant red, orange, and yellow flowers that attract a host of beneficial insects to the garden, from pollinating bees to pest-destroying wasps and butterflies. They are also one of the few companion plants that deter white flies, a destructive sap-sucking insect that targets tomato plants.

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5. Sage

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Sage is a low-maintenance perennial herb that deters cabbage moths, a troublesome insect that targets several vegetable crops. Its flowers also attract many beneficial insects that boost pollination and keep aphids under control.

Sage can be easily rooted from cuttings, so add this flavorsome herb to all your vegetable beds to maximize the benefits.

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6. Black-eyed Peas

Raw Organic Black Eyed Peas in a Bowl
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Black-eyed peas work slightly differently to boost tomato harvests by acting as a sacrificial trap crop. Southern green stink bugs, which spread bacterial wilt to tomato plants, cannot resist black-eyed peas and will leave your tomato plants well alone. Plant a clump of black-eyed peas a few yards away from the main tomato bed for the best results.

7. Parsley

bunch of green and fresh parsley leaves
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Parsley is a low-growing herb that forms a mat of ground cover under tomato plants. When used as a companion plant in the summer, it produces an abundance of tiny flowers that attract ladybugs, a major predator of aphids and hornworms. Parsley also tastes great alongside freshly harvested homegrown tomatoes.

8. Nasturtiums

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Nasturtiums are fast-growing annual flowering plants that attract parasitoid wasps—tiny flying insects that feed on aphids and hornworms. They can also be grown as a trap crop, luring aphids away from your vegetable crops. The colorful flowers have a delicious peppery flavor that makes a great addition to tomato salads.

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9. Radishes

Fresh radishes on old wooden table
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One great way to maximize space in the vegetable plot is to grow radishes amongst tomato plants. These fast-growing root vegetables shade the soil, creating a ground cover that suppresses weeds. Radishes grow quickly and can be harvested in just a few weeks, so sow regularly to ensure a continuous crop.

How to Harvest, Store, & Use Radishes

10. Cilantro

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Cilantro is a fast-growing annual herb that attracts parasitoid wasps, tiny insects that feed on tomato hornworms. Its distinctive aroma can also help repel Colorado potato beetles, which eat potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants. Cilantro will quickly flower and go to seed in the warmer summer months and is best sown every few weeks for maximum benefit.

11. Thyme

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Thyme, a low-growing perennial herb, is a must-have in every vegetable garden. The tiny, delicate flowers of thyme are irresistible to insects that boost pollination and keep pests under control. Thyme also contains compounds that can repel ants, aphids, and wireworms.

12. Sweet Alyssum

A cluster of white sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima). The flowers are small and have four petals. The leaves are small and green, and they are visible around the base of the flowers.
Image credit: Hectonichus, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

If you often have problems with aphids in the vegetable plot, then sweet alyssum might be the answer. This low-growing annual flower is highly effective at attracting parasitoid wasps, and it is one of the best insects for pest control. Sweet alyssum self-seeds easily without becoming too invasive.

13. Borage

Beautiful close-up of a borage flower .Colourful blue Borage flowers.
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Borage is a low-maintenance annual plant that will be buzzing with insects feeding on its delicate purple flowers. These insects then pollinate tomato plants and feed on pests such as aphids and hornworms. Borage plants self-seed easily but can become quite prolific, so weed out unwanted seedlings early in the spring.

14. Calendula

Flower with leaves Calendula (Calendula officinalis, pot, garden or English marigold) on blurred green background. Note: Shallow depth of field
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Calendula has a distinctive musky fragrance that will repel hornworms, aphids, and flea beetles from your vegetable plot. They are easy to grow and will form a mat of colorful flowers under your tomato plants all summer long.

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15. Carrots

Fresh carrots. Harvest fresh organic carrots on the ground.
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Carrots grow deep into the ground, helping to aerate the soil and boost the health of tomato plants. These two plants work well as companions as they have differing nutrient needs, avoiding any competition. The carrots will benefit from the shade provided by tomato plants, creating a ground cover that keeps weeds at bay.

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How to Support Tomatoes: Tomato Stakes vs. Tomato Cages

supporting tomatoes with stakes or cages
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Supporting garden tomatoes with tomato stakes or cages is necessary for all but a few varieties of tomatoes. Without some form of support, your tomato plant will sprawl out over the ground. Here, we’ll share some considerations to help you make a choice that will work for your garden.

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How to Properly Prune Tomato Plants

tomato plants in garden
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f you’re dealing with tomato plants that often get diseased, tend to droop, or look unhealthy, then pruning should be on your gardening checklist. Here’s how you can properly prune your tomato plants.

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17 Companion Plants to Grow Next to Sage for Healthier, Larger Crops

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Choosing the right plants to grow beside sage can make all the difference. Here are the best companion plants for sage.

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