Are nasturtiums good companion plants for tomatoes?

Answered by John Hunt

Nasturtiums are indeed good companion plants for tomatoes. There are several reasons why these two plants work well together in the garden.

Firstly, nasturtiums act as natural pest deterrents for tomatoes. The strong scent of nasturtiums can help repel aphids, whiteflies, and other common tomato pests. In my own experience, I have noticed a decrease in pest damage on my tomato plants when I have nasturtiums growing nearby.

Additionally, nasturtiums can attract beneficial insects to the garden. Bees and other pollinators are attracted to the bright, vibrant flowers of nasturtiums. These pollinators can then transfer pollen from the nasturtiums to the tomato plants, resulting in better fruit set and increased yields. I have personally observed an increase in pollinator activity in my garden when I have nasturtiums blooming alongside my tomato plants.

Furthermore, nasturtiums can provide some shade and ground cover for tomato plants. The large, lily pad-shaped leaves of nasturtiums can help protect the soil around tomato plants from excessive sunlight, which can dry out the soil and stress the plants. Additionally, the dense foliage of nasturtiums can help suppress weed growth, reducing competition for nutrients and water.

Another benefit of growing nasturtiums with tomatoes is their ability to act as trap plants. Nasturtiums can attract certain insect pests, such as aphids and flea beetles, away from the tomato plants. This can help protect the tomatoes from infestation and reduce the need for chemical pesticides. I have found that nasturtiums often attract more pests than my tomato plants, allowing me to closely monitor and control the pest population.

Lastly, nasturtiums add aesthetic appeal to the garden. Their vibrant flowers come in a range of colors, including shades of orange, yellow, and red. These colorful blooms can create a visually pleasing contrast when planted alongside the green foliage and red fruits of tomato plants.

Nasturtiums make excellent companion plants for tomatoes due to their pest-repellent properties, ability to attract beneficial insects, shade and ground cover benefits, trap plant capabilities, and aesthetic appeal. By planting these two together, you can create a thriving and visually appealing garden.