Growing tomatoes in a vertical space can be tricky because you might not know how much yield to expect. Fortunately, you can grow a variety of plants under your tomatoes to make the most out it. This is known as intercropping, and there are many benefits in doing so!
Companion Planting is an easy way to increase your tomato yield. Here are some of the best ways you can do it – and protect soil for long term success!
What is Companion Planting?
When designing your garden, don’t forget that not all plants need the same space to grow. Grouping them together can result in wasted space and increased pest or disease risk for you!
It’s not just about growing your favorite produce anymore. With companion planting, you can grow multiple crops together in a single garden and protect the soil from evaporation while giving plants more access to water!
Companion Planting, also known as intercropping, essentially requires you plant multiple types of crops together and can help protect your soil from erosion while giving plants more access water than they would have on their own!
The soil will stay covered to protect diversity, prevent weed seeds from germination and preserve soil quality.
Companion Planting is the best way to get a good harvest without spending hours in front of your garden. But, there are some plants you should avoid when growing tomatoes- tomatoes and spinach is a big no-no, lettuce on the other hand, works better since it doesn’t take up much space or nutrients.
12 Plants to Grow Under Tomato Plants
Growing herbs with your tomatoes is a smart idea. Not only are they easy to care for, they will never compete for nutrients or water, or sunlight with tomatoes!
Some of the best herbs to grow with your tomatoes include: Mint, parsley and sage. Add some oregano for an Italian flair or dill (harvest early so its tall growth doesn’t interfere with your tomato plants). For a more fragrant flavor try chives or basil!
Basil has numerous health benefits and can repel insects as well. It’s also been shown to improve the growth of tomatoes, so you’ll have more than just a fresh flavor with your favorite veggies!
Almost every groundcover plant can be grown with tomatoes. Most of these are also herbs, like marjoram and oregano but you may want to grow your tomato plants low enough so they don’t take up much space or compete for nutrients!
Lettuce is a great living mulch for the soil, which will help keep your tomatoes cooler. Lettuces reduce spread of disease in gardens too!
Beans and tomatoes are a great match for the backyard gardener. Beans love rich soil and add nutrients to the soil, while tomatoes require plenty of nutrients from their environment to grow well, so it’s smart to grow these two together to maximize your tomato yield!
Grow bush beans next to pole varieties if you have space in your garden because they don’t need as much groundcover or support structures like poles provide.
Growing radishes under tomatoes is a smart choice. Your plants will stay cool, which can prevent them from bolting and doing damage to both of your crops!
6. Root Vegetables
Root vegetables are a great way to add some extra nutrients and flavor into your garden. Root crops like carrots, beets grow well in the shadow of tomatoes! The best type of soil for these veggies is one high in phosphorus but lower in nitrogen content.
Growing these crops beneath your tomatoes is a great way to ensure that they don’t receive too much nitrogen – but the plants below love it!
You’ll be surprised to learn that not only do flowers increase pollination from beneficial insects, but they also reduce the likelihood of pests being drawn to your tomatoes. Marigolds can help prevent soil-based nematodes and attacking tomato plants like hornworms!
The viola is a great plant for anyone who wants to add some color and fragrance without the hassle of more complicated flowers. It can be planted right inside the bed. It needs less sunlight than most other plants, which makes it an excellent choice in a shady spot.
The tomato and the rose might seem like rivals, but they actually have a lot in common. Although roses can compete for space if both plants are not pruned properly, it turns out they might actually benefit from having a tomato vine climbing up their stems! Rose leaves get protection against black spot thanks to tomatoes.
Growing onions beneath your tomato plants is a great way to encourage them without compromising the airflow or soil nutrients.
Garlic is a great companion plant that will help you fight off late blight and repel red spider mites. Like onions, garlic also takes up minimal space with its tiny cloves! Growing it near tomatoes? You’ll have everything you need for a delicious pasta sauce!
The amaranth is an excellent crop for growing next to tomatoes. It helps keep the bugs away and will not take up any of your precious water or soil space!
Borage is a plant that grows very similarly to lettuce, so you can plant it beneath your tomato plants without having worry about competing for space or nutrients.
The leaves of this herb also protect against tomatoes’ most common pests: hornworms! You can even use the borage leaves in salads too!
Asparagus is a great crop to grow under tomatoes. It will come back every year and add some nice green color.
There are many benefits to growing tomatoes and asparagus together. You can harvest young shoots of the former two so they do not interfere with leafy growths on your favorite veggie!
The best way to get rid of nematodes is by planting asparagus, while tomatoes can kill off any beetles that come looking for a snack. It’s win-win all around!
How to Choose the Right Plants to Grow With Your Tomatoes
The most important thing to consider is the amount of sunlight they need. The perfect balance of sun and shade to get the most from your tomatoes is important. Herbs are especially suited for this since they don’t require as much sunlight or nutrients, in many cases!
You may be wondering which tomato plant is best for your crop. Some types of tomatoes typically grow bushy and close to the ground, while others are tall and spindly; in most cases you should choose a sparse-leafed variety like carrots instead of those that have lots or extra leaves (like broccoli).
If you want to grow bushier types of tomatoes, then it’s best not to plant seed-cover crops that produce tall foliage and can get up into the vine. Instead try planting herbs or low growing flowers like marigolds for vines; these will help keep things neat looking without competing with your fruit plants’ growth needs!
If you’re a fan of tomatoes, make sure to prune them regularly and provide good airflow. Just as with any garden task, watering is essential too