Planting a garden is a great way get some fresh air and grow your own food—and absolutely nothing (and we mean nothing) tastes better than a tomato fresh off the vine. But by planting tomatoes with other companion plants, you may be able to improve your harvest. The idea of companion planting is part folklore, part science, but it’s based on the theory that certain plants may help each other absorb nutrients better, keep bugs away or attract beneficial pollinators and parasitoids, a type of insect which attack vegetable pests and provide natural pest control. ( Research has shown that by attracting beneficial insects such as green lacewings and ladybird beetles, you may be able to control aphids in your garden.)
There’s also some folklore that advises what not to plant with tomatoes. Granted, there’s limited research, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to plant these edible and ornamental plants as tomato companions in your garden. Whether some companion plant pairings are fact or fiction, at the very least they’ll support pollinators and add beauty to your garden. Even if there’s not a ton of science behind every recommendation, try them and see what works. After all, experimentation is half the fun of gardening!