In one of our previous articles, we discussed and shared how you can protect your tomato plant from bugs. Now, we shall be looking at what to plant with tomatoes to keep bugs away or, as my good friend would say, “plants that bug bugs.”
There are individual plants that make good companion plants simply because they possess the abilities to repel bugs away from other friendly plants, and in this case, away from tomatoes.
Apart from discussing what to plant with tomatoes, we’ll also tell you what to spray on tomato plants to keep bugs away.
What To Plant With Tomatoes To Keep Bugs Away
Below are some of the things you can plant with tomatoes to keep bugs away:
Basil has proven to be a good companion plant to tomato plants. Basil, when planted near tomato, helps keep bugs away by repelling bugs like mosquitoes, fruit flies and other flies. It also improves the flavor of tomatoes and ensures the optimal growth of the tomato plant.
Borage is a friendly plant of tomatoes. Borage, when planted near tomatoes, helps to keep bugs away. Borage is specifically resistant to tomato hornworms. If you grow your tomato plants near borage, they will not suffer any attacks from hornworms.
Gardeners that usually grow borage alongside complained that in the season they didn’t include borage in their gardens, hornworms attacked their tomato plants.
This goes to show that borage possesses some repelling powers against bugs such as hornworms.
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Marigold is an herb that keeps bugs away from tomato plants. It does this as a result of its strong scent. Marigold has a strong smell that repels tomato bugs like an aphid, whiteflies, tomato hornworms, and thrips.
Researches also report that marigold, when planted alongside tomatoes, helps repel pests such as root-knot nematodes. This is because marigolds produce a substance known as Alpha-terthienyl, which helps get rid of root-knot nematodes in the soil.
Generally, tomatoes do well when planted nearby marigold.
Garlic is a useful companion plant of tomatoes. Garlic also helps to keep bugs away from tomatoes. Garlic possesses repelling power against red spider mites and blights.
Rosemary, as an herb, is useful in the fight against bugs that attack tomatoes. Rosemary repels mosquitoes and a host of other insects that attack tomatoes.
Rosemary can be grown in a container or directly in the ground. It gives off oil and odor that is unpleasant and toxic to insect pests. Hence its use in keeping bugs away from tomato plants.
Dill is another herb that is used by gardeners to keep bugs away from tomato plants. It possesses some repelling powers against insect pests. For tomatoes, when dill is planted near it, it repels aphids and hornworms.
Therefore, you can use plant either dill or borage alongside tomato plants to keep them safe from hornworms.
Thyme, like most herbs that are companion plants of tomatoes, improve the taste of tomato plants and keep bugs away from them. When tomato plants are grown close thyme, they do not suffer attacks from hornworms nor whiteflies.
Thyme repels hornworms and whiteflies from tomato plants.
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Nasturtium has been named poster child for companion planting. It offers a lot of benefits to plants that are grown near it. Nasturtium gives off an airborne chemical that repels insect pests.
Ideally, nasturtium is planted around the edges of a garden to keep insect pests away. Despite its high repulsive power, it does not repel insect pollinators, such as bumblebees.
What to Spray on Tomato Plants to Keep Bugs Away
Aside from planting beneficial companion alongside tomato plants or around the edges of a garden to keep bugs away from tomato plants, you can also spray some horticultural oils.
Horticultural oils are oils that have a natural base. They are made from natural plants and ingredients and have proven to pose no toxicity to plants when sprayed on them.
Listed below are some conventional horticultural oils used in keeping bugs away from tomato plants.
Neem oil is a popular horticultural oil used in getting rid of bugs and insect pests. Neem oil repels bugs from tomato plants by suffocating and poisoning insect plants that attack tomato plants.
Garlic oil, when sprayed on tomato plants, protects the plant against red spider mite and blight.
Rosemary is an herb that repels insect pests. Its oil is also useful in repelling insect pests. Aside from its oil, you can also make rosemary spray by boiling one quart of dried rosemary in one quart of water for 20-30 minutes.
Strain the liquid into a container that contains a quart of cool water. Store in a cool, dry place and spray on your tomato plants in the morning, once every week.
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Hopefully, you now know what to plant with tomatoes to keep bugs away, as well as what you can spray on tomatoes for the same purpose.
Bugs usually plague tomato plants, and their flavor is easily affected. To preserve and improve its flavor and vigor, the use of a chemical is highly discouraged while the use of companion plants and horticultural oils are encouraged.
These plants and oils keep bugs away from tomato plants while improving on its overall quality and vigor.