Skip to main content

How to grow better tomatoes: This TikTok tip will help your garden thrive

Grow stunning tomatoes with this simple trick

There are tons of places across the internet you can go to for great gardening tips, and TikTok is quickly rising through the ranks. While not every video is a winner, we’ve found one we think you’ll love! The TikTok video below from GardeningSimplified explains how to grow tomatoes more easily through the use of companion planting. Not sure what companion planting is or how it works? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Tomato plant tips I’ve learned along the way #gardening #gardening101 #gardeningtips #gardeningtipsforbeginners #gardeninghacks #growingtomatoes

What is companion planting?

Companion planting is simply the technique of planting veggies and other plants near each other. Plants that have similar preferences for things such as water, sun, and soil type typically make good companion plants. Pairings, where one plant provides a benefit to the other, make exceptionally good partners. These benefits could include adding nutrients to the soil, providing shade, or even keeping pests away.

Tomatoes and basil

What do these companion plants offer tomatoes?

The most common companion plant for tomatoes is basil. They taste great together, and strong-smelling herbs like basil are reported to keep pests away. Peppers and squash love the same conditions as tomatoes. Peppers are even in the same family as tomatoes (as are potatoes and eggplants).

The lettuce in this grouping serves as a type of living mulch. Lettuce shields the ground, slowing evaporation and helping keep the tomato plant’s roots warm and safe. In return, the tomatoes, peppers, squash, and basil shade the lettuce. As a cold-weather vegetable, lettuce can bolt quickly in warm weather. By growing it in the shade of the other plants, you can keep it from bolting and extend your growing season.

Cupped hands holding ripe and unripe cherry tomatoes

Are there other companion plants for tomatoes?

If you’re not a fan of squash or peppers, you might wonder if you can swap them out for other plants. The good news is you can! Tomatoes grow well with many plants. Here are just a few.

If basil doesn’t appeal to you, try planting borage, marigold, thyme, parsley, or chives. These grow nicely with your tomatoes, repel pests, and they’re delicious (yes, even the marigolds). You can also swap out squash for other cucurbits like cucumbers, zucchini, or small pumpkins. However, you should avoid some of the larger cucurbits like watermelons, as they can crowd your tomato plants.

Many root vegetables make great companion plants for tomatoes as well. You can plant carrots, radishes, and beets around the base of your tomatoes. Their leaves will give the soil many of the same benefits lettuce will, and their nutritional needs complement each other.

One plant family you should avoid planting with tomatoes is brassica. This includes cabbage, kale, and broccoli. They compete for the same nutrients, which leads to stunted growth and sick or weak plants.

Now that you know a little more about tomato companion planting, you’re ready to get out into your garden! Planning your garden with effective companion planting is easy, and the results speak for themselves. You’ll be thrilled when you see your thriving plants and abundant harvest.

Editors' Recommendations

Cayla Leonard
Cayla Leonard is a writer from North Carolina who is passionate about plants.  She enjoys reading and writing fiction and…
Loofah plants are unique and interesting vegetables – here’s how to add them to your garden
How to grow and care for your own loofah plants
A ripe loofah gourd on a vine

Summer vegetable gardens are often filled with tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans, but there are other options for more adventurous gardeners. The loofah plant, sometimes also spelled luffa, is a prime example. Loofahs are tasty, useful, a great conversation starter, and even make wonderful gifts. Want to know more about growing this unusual vegetable? Here’s your simple guide to growing loofahs.
What are loofah plants?
When you hear the word loofah, your first thought is likely the sponges — and you’d be right! Loofahs are a member of the cucumber family native to South and Southeast Asia. When the vegetables are young, they’re edible and have a flavor similar to zucchini. If the vegetables are left to mature and dry, then they can be harvested and turned into sponges.

Loofahs are warm-weather vegetables, and they don't tolerate the cold. Additionally, they are annuals. If you want to keep growing them, you’ll need to plant more each spring.

Read more
The low-maintenance vegetable garden: 5 unique perennial vegetable plants that produce year after year
Amazing perennial veggies to plant in your vegetable garden
Person holding produce in a bowl over vegetable garden

If you're looking to plant a vegetable garden that's low maintenance and sustainable, incorporating perennial vegetable plants is a great idea. Many of them are packed with nutrients and can offer visual interest and other benefits to your garden. Let's explore the upside of growing perennial vs. annual vegetables, discuss which ones to plant, and the delicious recipes you can make with each of them.

Benefits of perennial vs. annual vegetable plants
Perennial vegetable plants are plants that live for more than two growing seasons and continue to produce edible parts year after year. There are a ton of benefits when it comes to perennial vs. annual vegetable gardens:

Read more
What types of plants can you grow from garden boxes? You’ll be surprised with all your options!
Your comprehensive guide to choosing and setting up a garden box
Garden boxes with legs

Growing plants in containers can be a convenient way to enjoy harvests when you don’t have time or energy to build full-blown garden beds or manage crops directly planted in the ground. However, there may be times when you simply need bigger containers.

There’s where garden boxes come in. While they may sometimes be conflated with raised garden beds, garden boxes are often smaller and much more transportable than beds — many also come with convenient features like wheels and legs, too! If you feel curious about garden boxes, we’ve got you covered with a comprehensive guide on what they are and what you can plant in them.

Read more