worst companion plants for tomatoes: Unleash the Best Tomato Garden by Avoiding These Plant Pairings

Looking to avoid worst companion plants for tomatoes and unleash the full potential of your tomato garden by avoiding detrimental companion plant pairings? Keep reading as this article breaks down the best companion plants for tomatoes and the worst plants to pair with tomatoes in your garden.

Whether you are looking to maximize your tomato harvest or keep pests away from your garden by growing healthier plants, companion planting, the practice of growing specific crops in close proximity to each other to enhance nutrient uptake, provide pest control, encourage pollination, and increase crop production—can help you achieve these goals.

While traditional companion planting was often based on folklore and conjecture, a more modern, science-based approach has emerged, backed by research and proven plant partnerships in recent years.

If you could walk away with a takeaway in this guide, I would hope that exploring the 22 science-based tomato companion plants can help deter pests, improve plant health, reduce disease, and enhance pollination, ultimately leading to a more bountiful tomato garden. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or just starting, this guide will introduce you to a new kind of companion planting that can benefit your tomato garden.

When it comes to creating a thriving tomato garden, understanding the dynamics of plant pairing is crucial. This article dives deep into the interactions between tomatoes and various other plants, providing valuable insights into the combinations that can hinder their development.

From nutrient competition to the risk of disease transmission, we explore the potential challenges and pitfalls that gardeners may encounter.

Armed with this knowledge, you can make informed decisions to create an optimized environment for your tomatoes, ensuring a bountiful harvest. Trust our expertise to unleash the best tomato garden possible.

Key Takeaways

  • Brassicas like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower should not be planted together with tomatoes as they compete for nutrients and negatively impact the growth of brassicas.
  • Plant tomatoes and corn apart to prevent pest infestation by the corn earworm, which attacks both crops.
  • Dill is a beneficial companion for tomatoes when young, as it repels aphids, but mature dill negatively affects tomato growth and should be avoided.
  • Eggplants and tomatoes compete for nutrients, and planting them together may result in blight. Keep them separate to ensure optimal growth.

What Plants To Keep Away From Tomatoes?

Here are 10 worst companion plants to keep away from tomatoes:

  1. Cabbage
  2. Corn
  3. Broccoli
  4. Fennel
  5. Dill
  6. Potatoes
  7. Eggplant
  8. Walnuts
  9. Brussels sprouts
  10. Cauliflower

These plants can compete with tomatoes for nutrients, attract pests, or spread diseases, so it’s best to avoid planting them near your tomato plants.

Brassicas and Tomatoes

To ensure optimal growth and productivity in your garden, it’s important to consider the compatibility of different vegetables. When it comes to brassicas and tomatoes, it’s best to keep them separate.

Brassicas, which include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower, have high nutrient requirements, just like tomatoes. When planted together, these two heavy-feeding vegetables will compete for nutrients, leading to hindered growth and lower yields for the brassicas.

To avoid this issue, it is highly recommended to provide a minimum of 3 feet of space between brassicas and tomatoes when planting them in your garden. This generous spacing will allow each plant to access the nutrients they need without depriving one another.

By following this simple guideline, you can ensure that both your brassicas and tomatoes have the best chance to thrive and produce a bountiful harvest.

Corn and Tomatoes

To ensure a successful tomato garden, it is important to consider the compatibility of different vegetables, such as corn and tomatoes.

While both crops are popular choices, it is best to plant them separately due to the presence of destructive pests. Specifically, both corn and tomatoes are susceptible to the corn earworm, also known as the Tomato Fruitworm.

By planting corn and tomatoes together, you increase the risk of pest infestation, which can lead to significant damage to your crops.

To protect the health of your plants and prevent the spread of pests, it is recommended to keep corn and tomato plants apart. By providing adequate spacing between them, you can promote optimal growth and minimize the chances of encountering pest-related issues.

This responsible approach will help you maintain a thriving garden and ensure the success of your corn and tomato crops.

Dill and Tomatoes

To ensure the best growth and health of your tomato plants, it’s crucial to consider the compatibility of dill and tomatoes.

While young dill can be beneficial by repelling aphids, mature dill can actually deplete soil nutrients that tomatoes need, which can hinder their growth. Therefore, it is not recommended to plant dill near mature tomato plants.

On top of that, dill can also bloom and further impede tomato growth. To avoid these potential issues, it’s best to keep dill and tomatoes separate in your garden.

This way, your tomato plants will receive the necessary nutrients and resources for optimal growth. If you do want to grow dill, consider planting it in a separate location to prevent any negative impact on your tomato plants.

Eggplants and Tomatoes

To ensure the optimal growth and harvest of your eggplants and tomatoes, it is important to keep them separate in the garden. Planting these two crops together can lead to nutrient competition and potential blight issues. Both eggplants and tomatoes have similar needs but compete for nutrients, which can result in stunted growth and reduced yields.

Additionally, eggplants are susceptible to blight, a fungal disease that can easily spread to nearby tomato plants. This can compromise the health and productivity of both crops. Therefore, it is best to avoid planting them in close proximity to minimize the risk of blight transmission.

To successfully grow eggplants and tomatoes, provide adequate spacing between the two plants. This will help minimize nutrient competition, allowing each plant to receive the necessary nutrients for optimal growth. It is recommended to follow the spacing guidelines provided on seed packets or plant labels.

Fennel and Tomatoes

When planning your garden, it is important to consider the potential impact of fennel on tomato growth. While fennel is often considered a bad companion plant for tomatoes, there are both pros and cons to planting them together.

Negative Impact

Positive Impact

  • On the positive side, fennel attracts beneficial insects that can attack tomato pests, offering a natural form of pest control for your garden.
  • Additionally, planting fennel can add diversity to your garden and create an aesthetically pleasing landscape.

Given these factors, it is crucial to carefully weigh the potential benefits against the potential drawbacks before deciding to plant fennel near your tomatoes. By doing so, you can ensure that you make responsible choices that will promote healthy and thriving plants in your garden.

Potatoes and Tomatoes

When planning your tomato garden, it’s important to avoid pairing potatoes with tomatoes. Both of these crops belong to the nightshade family and are prone to similar diseases, such as blight.

Planting them together can increase the risk of disease transmission and hinder the growth and productivity of both crops. To illustrate this point, take a look at the table below, which outlines the potential negative impacts of pairing potatoes and tomatoes in the garden:

CropPotential Negative Impacts
PotatoesIncreased risk of disease transmission, reduced growth
TomatoesIncreased risk of disease transmission, reduced growth

To minimize the risk of infection and promote healthy growth, it’s best to keep potatoes and tomatoes separate in the garden. Additionally, rotating planting locations can further prevent the spread of diseases and ensure the success of both crops.

Following these responsible methods will help you maintain a thriving tomato garden while minimizing the chances of disease transmission and maximizing the productivity of your crops.

Sunflowers and Tomatoes

When growing tomatoes, it is important to be aware of their compatibility with sunflowers. Sunflowers have the potential to negatively impact the growth of tomatoes due to their competition for nutrients and resources.

The large size of sunflowers can cast shade over tomatoes, which can hinder their growth and productivity. Moreover, sunflowers possess deep root systems that can deplete soil moisture, further affecting the overall health of tomatoes.

To mitigate these issues, it is highly recommended to plant sunflowers at a significant distance from tomatoes. By doing so, you will minimize the competition between these two plants and allow them to thrive independently. Consider designating an area in your garden specifically for sunflowers, allowing them to serve as a separate focal point. This will ensure that both sunflowers and tomatoes have enough space and resources to grow optimally.

Hot Peppers and Tomatoes

To ensure the health and productivity of your hot peppers and tomatoes, it is important to keep them separate in the garden. This is because both hot peppers and tomatoes are susceptible to blight, a fungal disease that can cause wilting, yellowing, and ultimately the death of the plants. Additionally, tomato hornworms, a common pest, can affect both hot peppers and tomatoes.

To avoid the risk of disease transmission and pest infestation, it is recommended to plant hot peppers with companion plants that offer benefits without these drawbacks. Basil, onions, and carrots are great options for companion planting with hot peppers.

Basil not only repels pests but also enhances the flavor of hot peppers. Onions, on the other hand, repel pests and discourage fungal diseases that can harm hot peppers. Carrots improve soil structure and also enhance the flavor of hot peppers.

By choosing these companion plants, you can create a thriving and healthy garden for your hot peppers. It is important to note that these companion plants can be planted alongside hot peppers without any negative effects.

Remember to keep hot peppers and tomatoes separate to prevent the buildup of blight and protect your plants. By following these guidelines, you can ensure the best possible outcome for both crops in your garden.

Kale and Tomatoes

When it comes to optimizing your tomato garden, it’s important to consider the compatibility of kale and tomatoes. While kale can grow well with other nightshades like eggplant and peppers, it’s not the best companion for tomatoes as it tends to deplete the soil of nutrients.

However, if you still want to plant kale with tomatoes, there is a responsible method to ensure their growth.

To make kale and tomatoes compatible, you need to provide them with plenty of nitrogen-rich fertilizer. This will help replenish the nutrients that the kale may take away from the soil. By using a fertilizer high in nitrogen, you can ensure that both plants have the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. Remember to follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging and apply it according to the recommended dosage.

While planting kale and tomatoes together is possible, there are other plant pairings that work better for kale’s optimal growth. Consider planting kale alongside plants like cabbage, broccoli, or lettuce. These companions not only provide a more harmonious environment for kale, but they also have similar nutrient requirements, making it easier to maintain the overall health of your garden.

Kohlrabi and Tomatoes

When planning your garden, it’s important to consider the compatibility of different plant varieties. Just like kale and tomatoes, the relationship between kohlrabi and tomatoes should be carefully considered. Kohlrabi, being a brassica, competes with tomato plants for nutrients, especially nitrogen. To ensure optimal growth for both plants, it is recommended to keep at least 3 feet of distance between kohlrabi and tomatoes. Even better, consider planting them in separate beds. Here’s a visual representation of their relationship:

Competes with tomatoes for nutrientsCompetes with kohlrabi for nutrients
Requires nitrogen-rich soilRequires balanced nutrient levels
Plant at least 3 feet apartPlant at least 3 feet apart
Consider planting in separate bedsConsider planting in separate beds
Explore other companion plants like onions, beets, or lettuceExplore other companion plants like onions, beets, or lettuce


In conclusion, understanding the potential interactions between tomato plants and other companion plants is crucial for creating a thriving tomato garden.

By avoiding certain plant pairings such as Brassicas, corn, dill, eggplants, fennel, sunflowers, hot peppers, kale, and kohlrabi, gardeners can optimize the growth and productivity of their tomatoes.

By considering factors like competition for nutrients and disease transmission, gardeners can make informed decisions to ensure a bountiful harvest in their tomato gardens.

My Key Helpful Citations:
[1] https://extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/companion-planting-home-gardens
[2] https://extension.wvu.edu/lawn-gardening-pests/gardening/garden-management/companion-planting
[3] https://www.almanac.com/companion-planting-guide-vegetables

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