What should you not plant next to tomatoes?

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What Should You Not Plant Next to Tomatoes?

Key Takeaways

  • Cole crops such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and collard greens should not be planted next to tomatoes as they release chemicals that inhibit tomato growth and health.
  • Companion plants that benefit tomatoes include basil, borage, radishes, thyme, legumes, dill, crimson clover, sunflowers, collard greens, and sweet alyssum.
  • Practicing companion planting and avoiding unfavorable plants can promote healthy tomato growth, control pests, and improve plant vigor.

When it comes to growing a successful tomato garden, companion planting can play a crucial role in promoting healthy growth, controlling pests, and enhancing overall plant vigor. However, not all plants make good neighbors for tomatoes. Certain companion plants can have a detrimental effect on the growth and development of tomatoes, hindering their productivity and health. In this article, we will explore the plants that you should avoid planting next to tomatoes to ensure optimal growth and yield.

The Dangers of Cole Crops

Cole crops, which include vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and collard greens, are known to be unfavorable companions for tomatoes. These plants belong to the Brassica family and can release certain chemicals into the soil that inhibit the growth of tomatoes. These chemicals, known as glucosinolates, can stunt the growth of tomato plants and affect their overall health.

It’s important to note that even though cole crops can be harmful to tomatoes, they can still be grown in separate parts of the garden. Just make sure to keep them away from your tomato plants to prevent any negative effects.

The Best Companion Plants for Tomatoes

While it’s important to know what not to plant next to tomatoes, it’s equally essential to understand which plants can benefit your tomato garden. Companion planting can help attract beneficial insects, repel harmful pests, improve pollination, and enhance the flavor and growth of tomatoes.

According to various sources, including The Spruce and Better Homes & Gardens, here are some of the best companion plants for tomatoes:

  • Basil: Basil not only enhances the flavor of tomatoes but also repels pests like flies and mosquitoes.
  • Borage: Borage attracts pollinators and repels tomato hornworms.
  • Radishes: Radishes help deter pests like aphids and beetles.
  • Thyme: Thyme can improve the overall health of tomato plants and repel pests.
  • Legumes: Legumes like beans and peas add nitrogen to the soil, benefiting tomatoes.
  • Dill: Dill attracts beneficial insects like wasps, which feed on tomato pests.
  • Crimson Clover: Crimson clover acts as a living mulch, suppressing weeds and improving soil fertility.
  • Sunflowers: Sunflowers attract pollinators and provide shade for tomato plants.
  • Collard Greens: Collard greens can provide shade and help repel pests.
  • Sweet Alyssum: Sweet alyssum attracts beneficial insects that prey on tomato pests.

These companion plants can be grown alongside tomatoes to create a harmonious and beneficial garden environment. They not only add beauty and diversity to your garden but also contribute to the overall health and success of your tomato plants.


In conclusion, it is important to avoid planting cole crops like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and collard greens next to tomatoes as they can hinder their growth and development. On the other hand, incorporating companion plants such as basil, borage, radishes, thyme, legumes, dill, crimson clover, sunflowers, collard greens, and sweet alyssum can help promote healthy tomato growth, control pests, and improve overall plant vigor.

By practicing companion planting and being mindful of the plants that should not be planted next to tomatoes, you can create a thriving tomato garden that yields bountiful and flavorful fruits.

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Q: What is companion planting and how does it benefit gardeners?

Companion planting is the practice of placing certain plants together to enhance their growth and deter pests. It benefits gardeners by improving crop yield, attracting beneficial insects, and reducing the need for pesticides.

Q: Which plants should not be planted next to tomatoes?

Certain plants, such as corn, potatoes, and fennel, should not be planted next to tomatoes. These plants can compete for resources and may attract pests or transmit diseases to tomatoes.

Q: What are the ideal growing conditions for tomatoes?

Tomatoes thrive in full sunlight, well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0, and consistent moisture. Providing these conditions will help ensure healthy tomato plants.

Q: Why is crop rotation important for tomato planting?

Crop rotation is crucial for tomatoes as it helps prevent the build-up of diseases and maintains soil fertility. By rotating crops, you reduce the risk of soil-borne diseases and improve overall plant health.

Q: What are some nematode-resistant plants to plant near tomatoes?

To mitigate potential nematode damage to tomato plants, consider planting marigolds, French marigolds, or marjoram near tomatoes. These plants have natural nematode-repelling properties.