One Popular Vegetable You Shouldn't Plant Next To Your Tomatoes

Something about a homegrown tomato from your own garden just tastes sweeter and juicier than the store-bought version. While tomato plants are a common sight in most vegetable gardens because they are a versatile ingredient that is relatively easy to grow, there are a few mistakes that are easy to make but can unknowingly damage your plants and lessen your harvest. One of these mistakes is planting your tomatoes next to another common garden vegetable — potatoes.

The reason planting tomatoes next to potatoes doesn't work well is because the two veggies are both from the same family: nightshades. This means that the two plants require similar nutrients and can also get the same diseases. If you plant potatoes and tomatoes too close together, they may compete with each other for key nutrients like nitrogen and potassium. Furthermore, if one plant is infected with a fungus, it will quickly and easily spread to the other causing the destruction of both crops. So, what can you do to successfully grow both tomatoes and potatoes in the same garden?

How to grow tomatoes and potatoes together

Just because these two veggies don't grow well near each other doesn't mean you can't plant them together at all. In fact, tomatoes and potatoes do well in gardens when they are given enough space between them. Most gardening websites recommend at least five feet but preferably 10 feet of space between your tomatoes and potatoes. If you don't have a garden that is big enough to separate the plants by at least five feet, you can also plant them closer together if you purchase disease-resistant varieties. Another option is to put both plants in raised beds so they don't compete for nutrients and their roots remain separate.

It is also important to know that you shouldn't plant tomatoes in an area where potatoes were planted the previous year and vice versa. This is a bad idea because both plants require the same nutrients and will struggle in the soil where the other plant has grown previously. You should also avoid placing tomatoes where peppers and eggplants have been planted the previous year. Instead, try planting tomatoes where veggies from a different family (like lettuce, carrots, or legumes) previously grew.

Plants that grow well next to tomatoes

So, if you can't plant potatoes next to your tomatoes, what can you plant? Luckily, there are plenty of tasty and useful plants that do well next to tomatoes and are sometimes even labeled as companion plants for these juicy red veggies (technically fruits, but that's okay). Some of these possible tomato companion plants include garlic, onions, basil, chives, asparagus, celery, and parsley. There are also plenty of beautiful flowers that can draw pollinators to your yard and do well next to tomatoes such as marigolds and lavender.

Some other plants besides potatoes that you shouldn't grow near tomatoes include veggies like corn, cabbage, broccoli, fennel, dill, and cauliflower. Many of these vegetables are also members of the nightshade family and can't be grown near tomatoes for the same reason as potatoes. However, some, like corn, simply can smother tomato crops or even attract pests into the garden which will negatively impact the tomato plants along with the corn.

Recommended