Do not Develop These 11 Crops Subsequent To Your Tomatoes

Tomatoes are among the many hottest and versatile backyard crops, however they don’t get together with all people. You’ll be able to interplant these savory fruits with marigolds, lettuce, basil, and plenty of different greens, however there are just a few crops that ought to by no means develop subsequent to tomatoes. 

Let’s dig into some tomato progress antagonists to maintain in separate beds.

What Crops Ought to I Keep away from Rising Subsequent to Tomatoes?

Fennel features feathery, fern-like leaves and a bulbous, celery-like stalk.
Maintain fennel away from tomatoes to stop progress interference from allelopathic compounds.

Potatoes, corn, fennel, brassicas, and walnuts are just a few of the crops that needs to be avoided tomatoes. Nightshade cousins can share most of the similar pests and illnesses as your tomato crops. Corn grows too tall and might solid shade over sun-loving crops.

Brassicas might compete for water and vitamins, however they will develop in the identical mattress so long as there may be further fertilizer. Nonetheless, the most important antagonists for tomato progress are fennel crops and walnut bushes, each of which produce allelopathic (growth-harming) compounds from their roots.

11 Worst Crops to Develop With Tomatoes

Companion planting entails rising symbiotic or complementary crops in the identical backyard mattress. There’s an abundance of nice companions for tomatoes. Nonetheless, some crops can predispose them to extra pest and illness points. Others can steal daylight, water, or fertilizer out of your crops, hindering their progress and yields.

It’s greatest to maintain these crops in a distinct mattress or space of the backyard:


Potato features sprawling vines with palmate leaves and produces a cluster of small white flowers.
To keep away from points, plant potatoes in separate areas.

This nightshade-family crop is intently associated to tomatoes. Typically, potatoes and tomatoes make poor companions as a result of they compete for vitamins and house. Each crops have deep root techniques. The tuberous roots of potatoes can simply infringe on the deep, winding tomato roots. 

Each of those crops additionally share the identical pests and illnesses. Hornworms, early blight, late blight, and tobacco mosaic virus are main points for each crops. For those who develop them in shut proximity, the same leaf scent can entice pests. 

The vulnerability to pathogens additionally will increase with an absence of airflow or correct spacing. Overcrowding is usually a recipe for catastrophe as a result of it permits fungal spores to simply blow from one plant to a different, proliferating within the moist surroundings of each crops’ leafy progress.


Close-up of freshly picked vegetables, potatoes, pea pods, a bunch of carrots and beet.
For twin tomato and potato harvests, strive the modern “Ketchup ‘N Fries” plant!

The one exception to this rule is the distinctive “Ketchup ‘N Fries.” This grafted plant is made by grafting (splicing) a tomato plant on prime of a potato rootstock. Small-space gardeners can harvest tomatoes and potatoes from the identical plant!

Relaxation assured, this plant will not be a GMO. It’s extra like a mix-mash of spliced crops. You could have heard of grafting heirloom tomatoes onto disease-resistant rootstock. An identical methodology is used for fruit bushes to reinforce their general vigor and resilience. Since these crops are each a part of the Solanum genus, they’re botanically associated sufficient to develop collectively as one plant.


Corn displays tall, leafy stalks with long, slender leaves and produces tassels of silk and ears covered in rows of kernels.
Maintain corn separate to keep away from shading and yield points.

This grass-family crop is often a foul companion as a result of it casts a shadow over them. Corn grows as much as 10 toes tall! This crop have to be planted in a block to make sure correct cross-pollination from the wind. 

Tomatoes also can develop tall, however they require lots of sunshine. If corn is rising close by, it will probably shade out your tomato patch. The end result may very well be pale foliage and poor fruit yields. These crops are greatest grown in separate areas.


Fennel showcases feathery, fern-like leaves and bulbous, celery-like stalks.
Fennel’s allelopathic results are minimal on mature tomato crops close by.

Analysis exhibits that fennel has allelopathic tendencies. Allelopathic signifies that this plant can launch compounds in its root zone that hinders the expansion of different crops. Opposite to in style perception, fennel might not be tremendous allelopathic towards mature crops. It’s extra more likely to inhibit the expansion of weed seeds or lettuces germinating in its neighborhood.

Satirically sufficient, fennel (and its cousin dill) can truly be wonderful crops to develop in a neighboring mattress. When these crops bolt, their flowers produce an abundance of helpful bugs like tachinid flies and parasitic wasps to assist management hornworms. The flowers additionally entice a lot of pollinators to make sure fertilization of nightshade blossoms.

So fennel gained’t outright hurt your tomato crops, however it’s higher to develop it on the margins of the backyard in its personal develop bag or raised mattress. The frilly foliage might additionally trigger an excessive amount of stagnant air if grown too shut.


Cabbage presents large, round head of tightly packed, overlapping leaves, green color.
Planting cabbage too shut can result in progress conflicts.

The large low-growing stature of a cabbage plant will not be superb for nightshade beds. The principle motive why this combo fails is because of seasonality and vitamins. Cabbage is a cool-season brassica that doesn’t do very nicely in summer season’s warmth. In distinction, tomatoes clearly love the heat and thrive in midsummer. Planting them collectively might trigger one to endure from overheating or the opposite to battle within the chill.

Nutrient competitors can be a priority since each crops are heavy feeders. Cabbage usually requires lots of fertilizer to develop these large broad leaves and dense central heads. Equally, tomato crops use a great deal of vitamins to gasoline their leafy progress and enormous fruit units. It’s greatest to maintain them in separate beds at completely different instances of the yr.


Kale features curly-edged leaves with a dense rosette shape, in shades of green.
Kale thrives in cooler climate and desires ample house to develop.

This leafy brassica will not be essentially a villain, but it surely has just a few attributes that make it a poor companion. Like its cabbage cousin, kale prefers cooler spring or fall climate, whereas nightshades favor summer season heat. 

Kale can be very shrubby and might develop fairly tall, probably inflicting overcrowding points close to the bottom of tomato crops. An absence of airflow from leaves brushing up in opposition to one another might trigger undesirable illness issues like powdery mildew.

The nutrient wants of kale should not as excessive as cabbage, however they could nonetheless compete beneath the floor. Each crops require important nitrogen. Finally, kale has much better companions to think about. 


Broccoli displays thick, stalk-like stems with large, dark green leaves and clusters of tightly packed, edible flower buds.
Planting broccoli close to different crops can result in overcrowding points.

It’s uncommon to see an enormous broccoli plant rising pleasantly alongside a tomato plant. Whereas this combo might work, it in all probability isn’t well worth the added effort. The principle difficulty is plant progress habits and spacing. Tomatoes want lots of pruning to maintain oxygen flowing by way of their decrease leaves, particularly if they’re trellised with nearer spacing. The large leaves of broccoli might create issues with illnesses.

A broccoli plant grows extensive and bushy, usually reaching one to 3 toes tall and extensive. They want ample house to unfold out and produce a decently-sized head of florets. As you may think about, these massive crops suck up a lot of soil vitamins, which might hinder the expansion of their neighbors.

For those who should develop broccoli in the identical mattress, present at the very least three to 4 toes of house between the crops. Irrigate recurrently, as each crops are water-demanding. Add a lot of further fertilizer to make sure there isn’t any nutrient competitors. 


Turnips have low-growing rosettes of lobed leaves and produce round roots in a purple hue.
Turnips don’t sync nicely resulting from seasonal mismatches.

This bulbous brassica isn’t often mixed with tomatoes within the kitchen or the backyard. Firstly, turnips are perfect for spring and fall rising. They aren’t often a major summer season crop. Secondly, turnips can bolt in scorching climate or drought circumstances. Tomato crops thrive within the warmth and have a tendency to suck up a lot of water from the soil. These crops don’t line up with seasonality or moisture wants. 


Spinach showcases tender, arrow-shaped leaves with a smooth texture and a deep green color.
Pairing spinach with warm-season nightshades isn’t superb resulting from their temperature preferences.

Cool-season spinach not often overlaps nicely with warm-season nightshades. The seasonality of those crops is misaligned. Spinach seeds won’t germinate in soils hotter than 75°F (24°C). The germination charges change into dismal as soon as the climate heats up. In distinction, tomatoes favor soils starting from 65 to 85°F (18-29°C). These temperature home windows don’t overlap sufficient to make this a worthwhile mixture.

If you wish to develop greens on the base of your tomato patch, I like to recommend lettuce or malabar spinach. Summer season lettuce appreciates the dappled shade of tomato leaves. This may stop bolting and maintain the low-growing lettuce crops cool. Malabar spinach is heat-tolerant and might climb a trellis subsequent to indeterminate crops.


Eggplant features broad, slightly fuzzy green leaves and produces glossy, purple, oval-shaped fruits.
Rising eggplant close by can result in shading and pest points.

Whereas eggplant is a nightshade member of the family, it isn’t an important companion resulting from measurement and shared pests. Eggplant grows fairly stout and will simply get shaded out by a tall tomato plant.

The Solanaceae-family crops can each be attacked by hornworms, aphids, flea beetles, and potato beetles. Rising them in a intently spaced space might entice much more bugs with the nightshade scent of their leaves.


Close-up of a man's hands showing a bunch of carrots which present feathery, fern-like foliage and produce long, tapered roots in orange colors.
Planting carrots close to tall crops can hinder progress.

At first look, this looks like a very good symbiosis: Carrots are small and tomatoes are tall. However their progress habits should not truly complementary. Carrots require full daylight and constant moisture. Their lengthy taproots dig deep within the soil to yield large, scrumptious carrot snacks. For those who plant carrots close by, the competitors for water may very well be a significant difficulty. 

Tomato crops might trigger carrot taproots to develop bizarre and spindly. Furthermore, shaded carrots often fail to provide robust roots as a result of their foliage is weak, they usually don’t obtain sufficient daylight to correctly photosynthesize.

Black Walnut

Bottom view of a large old Black Walnut tree with rough dark brown bark and green compound leaves with pointed leaflets.
Planting close to walnut bushes can hurt close by crops resulting from juglone.

Walnut bushes are extensively identified for his or her allelopathy. They produce a compound referred to as juglone, which suppresses or kills surrounding crops. This explains why walnuts are likely to develop in concentrated groves. They like to go along with their very own variety. Whereas it’s unlikely to plant a tomato close to a walnut tree, you need to additionally take into account the leaves, roots, and bark of this plant. 

Mulching your backyard with walnut leaves may cause issues. Don’t construct raised beds anyplace close to a walnut grove, because the roots can nonetheless attain far past the tree’s cover, releasing allelopathic compounds into the backyard. Lastly, keep away from mulching walnut bark or wooden chips close to vegetable beds. 

Closing Ideas

All the time analysis your vegetable crops earlier than planting completely different species in shut proximity. Whereas tomatoes profit from companions like marigolds, white alyssum, and basil, they don’t do nicely subsequent to potatoes, corn, fennel, brassicas, or walnuts. Some crops even have opposing seasonalities, water wants, or fertility wants that don’t align with this well-known nightshade. 

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