Do you love fresh tomatoes but hate dealing with pesky bugs? Don’t worry, there’s an easy solution! Planting certain plants alongside your tomato garden can help to keep away unwanted pests. That’s right – by following our strategy below, you will have a legup on keeping bugs away.
In this blog post we will explore the best companion plants for growing tomatoes as well as other tips and tricks for keeping those pests at bay. So get ready to learn all about what to plant with tomatoes to keep bugs away!
Choosing the Right Plants to Plant with Tomatoes
Herbs are a great choice for planting alongside tomatoes. Not only will they help to repel pests, they can also provide additional flavor to your dishes. Basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary are all excellent choices that will repel bugs. Planting herbs near tomatoes is beneficial because the strong scent of the herbs can help mask the smell of the tomatoes which may attract certain pests.
Marigolds are another popular companion plant for tomatoes due to their ability to deter harmful insects such as aphids and whiteflies. The bright orange or yellow flowers emit an odor that many pests find unpleasant. This makes marigolds an effective way to keep unwanted visitors away from your garden. Additionally, marigolds contain pyrethrum which is a natural insecticide that helps protect against certain types of bugs without harming beneficial insects like bees or butterflies.
Most bugs find the pungent aroma of garlic offensive, so it has long been used as a natural pest repellent. Planting garlic around your tomato plants will create an invisible barrier that keeps away unwanted guests. Note that you should plant garlic at least one foot away from other vegetables. Its strong smell can affect the growth and taste of other vegetables if planted too close together.
Experienced gardeners often recommend nasturtiums as companion plants for tomatoes. Nasturtiums naturally repel several common pests such as aphids, squash bugs, caterpillars and beetles. They impart a peppery taste similar to watercress to their edible leaves and flowers, which can be used in salads or garnishes.
By choosing the right plants to plant with tomatoes, you can create a garden that is both lush and bug-free. Next, let’s look at how to care for these plants in order to ensure they thrive.
Key Takeaway: Herbs, marigolds, garlic and nasturtiums are all great companion plants for tomatoes. These plants create an invisible barrier that keeps away unwanted bugs without harming beneficial insects like bees or butterflies.
Preparing the Soil for Planting
When it comes to planting tomatoes and their companion plants, soil preparation is key. Check the pH level of the soil to balance it, add enough compost to improve its quality, and ensure proper drainage and sunlight to ensure a successful harvest in your garden.
Testing the pH Level of the Soil
The first step in preparing your soil for planting tomatoes is testing its pH level. This will tell you if it’s acidic or alkaline. Tomatoes prefer slightly acidic soils with a pH between 6-7. Anything lower than 5.5 can be too acidic for them to thrive. You can purchase an inexpensive test kit from most gardening stores or use litmus paper strips. These will change color when placed in water mixed with soil samples from your garden bed.
Adding Compost or Manure to Improve Soil Quality
Once you know what type of soil you have, adding compost or manure can help improve its quality. A good quality compost can provide essential nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus which are important for healthy plant growth. Adding organic matter also helps increase water retention so that plants don’t dry out quickly during hot summer days. It also improves aeration so roots will get plenty of oxygen even during wetter periods in springtime months.
Ensuring proper drainage and sunlight exposure is essential for a successful tomato garden. Adequate drainage will help prevent root rot caused by overwatering. During fruiting season, plants must receive at least six hours of sunlight per day. Adequate sunlight is necessary in order to give them enough energy to carry out photosynthesis.
Key Takeaway: The key to a successful tomato garden is soil preparation. This includes testing the pH level of the soil, adding compost or manure to improve its quality, and ensuring proper drainage and sunlight exposure.
Planting and Caring for Your Tomato Companions
When planting tomatoes, it is important to consider the companion plants that will be planted alongside them. Different plants have different spacing requirements and can provide various benefits when grown together. Here are some tips for selecting and caring for your tomato companions:
Spacing Requirements for Different Plants
When planning a garden layout, it’s important to consider how much space each plant needs in order to grow properly. Herbs such as basil or oregano should be spaced 6-12 inches apart from one another. Marigolds should be placed at least 18 inches away from other plants. Garlic and nasturtiums need more room. Garlic bulbs should be planted 3-4 feet apart while nasturtiums require 12-18 inches of space between each plant.
Watering and Fertilizing Tips for Optimal Growth
Tomatoes require 1 inch of water per week during the growing season in order to stay healthy and produce fruit. If you live in an area with low rainfall, supplemental watering may be necessary. Additionally, fertilizing your tomatoes once every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer will help ensure optimal growth throughout the season.
Recommended Fertilizers for Tomatoes
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Pruning and Training Techniques to Maximize Yields
Pruning excess foliage off of tomato plants helps promote air circulation. This will reduce disease risk and increases yields by allowing more sunlight into the center of the plant where fruits form. Additionally, training vines up stakes or trellises can also increase yields by keeping fruits off of the ground where they could rot due to excessive moisture or become infected by pests or diseases present on soil surfaces.
By following these tips when planting companion plants, you can maximize yield potential by ensuring proper spacing. Make sure to provide adequate space for the tomato plant and its companions, as overcrowding can lead to reduced yields. Plant taller varieties of tomatoes away from shorter ones so that they don’t shade each other out. Place companion plants such as basil or marigolds near the base of the tomato plant.
Additionally, be mindful of how much water each type of plant needs; some may require more frequent watering than others. Finally, mulch around all plants with organic material like straw or wood chips. This will conserve moisture and keep weeds at bay.
Key Takeaway: When planting tomatoes, it is important to consider companion plants and their spacing requirements. Make sure to provide adequate space between different types of vegetables in your garden. Water them regularly and fertilize them every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer. Additionally, prune excess foliage off of tomato plants and train vines up stakes or trellises to maximize yields while deterring pests and diseases.
Common Pests That Attack Tomatoes and How to Combat Them
Tomatoes are a popular and delicious addition to any garden, but they can also be vulnerable to pests. Identifying signs of infestation in your garden is the first step towards protecting your tomato plants from damage. Look for wilting or discolored leaves, holes in the foliage, and yellow spots on the fruit itself. These are all indicators that something is wrong with your tomatoes.
Natural solutions such as companion planting can help keep pests away from your plants without resorting to chemical insecticides. If natural methods fail or an infestation has become too severe for home remedies alone, chemical insecticides may need to be used as a last resort. Before using any type of pesticide, always read the label carefully. Be sure to follow instructions closely for proper application techniques and safety precautions when handling these products around children or pets at home.
Taking steps now to protect your tomato plants against common pests will ensure you get plenty of fresh fruits throughout the growing season.
Harvesting and Enjoying Your Tomato Bounty!
Knowing when tomatoes are ready to pick is the key to enjoying their bounty at its peak freshness. The best way to tell when tomatoes are ready for picking is by looking at their color. If they’re a deep red, orange or yellow hue, then they’re ripe and ready for harvesting. You can also gently squeeze them; if they give slightly but don’t collapse, then it’s time to pick them off the vine. Another good indicator of ripeness is that the stem will easily separate from the plant with little effort.
Storing tomatoes properly for maximum freshness is essential in order to enjoy your harvest over an extended period of time. To store tomatoes properly, keep them out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources such as ovens or radiators. Place your tomatoes on a flat surface in a single layer so air can circulate around each one evenly. Avoid stacking them too high as this could cause bruising or damage delicate fruits. Refrigerate any tomatoes you won’t be using within two days of picking. This will help preserve their flavor and texture longer than leaving them at room temperature.
Key Takeaway: Tomatoes are a great addition to any garden, and harvesting them at the right time is key for maximum freshness. Store tomatoes properly in order to enjoy their bounty over an extended period of time.
FAQs About What to Plant With Tomatoes to Keep Bugs Away
Tomatoes are a versatile vegetable that can be planted with many other vegetables and herbs. For example, planting basil near tomatoes will help to repel pests and enhance the flavor of both plants. Other companion plants for tomatoes include carrots, onions, peppers, parsley, chives, oregano and marigolds. Planting these vegetables together helps to improve soil fertility while also deterring certain pests from attacking your tomato crop.
Tomato worms can be a nuisance in the garden, but there are several companion plants that can help keep them away. Planting marigolds near tomatoes has been shown to repel tomato worms and other pests. Garlic and chives planted nearby also act as natural insect repellents. Additionally, planting basil alongside your tomatoes will attract beneficial insects like wasps which feed on tomato worm eggs. Finally, adding mulch around your plants helps reduce the number of larvae that survive to adulthood.
Planting certain herbs and flowers can help keep bugs away from your vegetable garden. Marigolds, for example, have a strong scent that deters many pests. Nasturtiums are also effective at repelling aphids and other insects. Additionally, planting garlic or onions near your vegetables can help ward off unwanted critters. Finally, adding companion plants such as basil or chives to the mix will attract beneficial insects like ladybugs which feed on destructive pests.
One of the best ways to protect your tomatoes from being eaten is by using physical barriers. This can include fencing, netting, or cages around your plants. Make sure that any barrier you use is tall enough and sturdy enough to keep out animals like birds, rabbits, and deer. Additionally, you can spray a repellent on the leaves of your tomato plants to make them less attractive to animals. Finally, if all else fails you can always hand-pick any pests off of your tomatoes as soon as they appear.
FOR FURTHER READING
- The Secret to Perfectly Pollinated Tomatoes
- The Perfect Time to Plant Tomatoes in California
- Cherokee Purple vs. Black Krim: Which One To Grow?
- Sun Sugar Tomato vs Sungold: Which One is the Better Tomato?
Final Thoughts on What To Plant With Tomatoes to Keep Bugs Away
Now that you know what to plant with tomatoes to keep bugs away, you can enjoy a more lush garden full of healthy and delicious tomatoes. With the right companion plants in place, you’ll be able to ward off common pests and reap the rewards of your hard work.