While tomatoes are incredibly rewarding to grow, like everything else in life, they are not without their pitfalls.
We are not the only ones who love tomatoes. There are other animals, birds, insect pests, and soil-borne problems that also love these vibrant, delicious plants.
It is also true that tomatoes are loved by other plants. You can help develop beneficial relationships for them.
Companion Planting – Symbiotic Relationships
Maybe you have seen an example of a symbiotic relationship in a documentary or nature show. It might be a gorgeous, majestic sea turtle that visits a certain spot every year. Interestingly, many species of fish come out to clean it. Or, a giant, deadly shark that has little fish swimming in and around its mouth. And they are cleaning its teeth!
These are just two examples of unique symbiotic relationships in the wild.
Plants Do It Too!
Incredibly, plants have many attributes that help out their neighbors.
A plant might be a nitrogen fixer. This means it takes nitrogen from the atmosphere and makes it available in the soil, improving the nitrogen uptake for all plants that surround it.
Or a plant might have long, deep, tough roots that help break up the soil. This allows it to release nutrients, making them more available for more shallow rooted plants.
As with wildlife, some plants are not good friends. One plant may grow aggressively, soaking up all the available nutrients and water and spreading all over the place. This essentially smothers nearby, less aggressive plants. Another plant might attract deer or rabbits to the garden. Then the hungry herbivores don’t discriminate and eat other precious plants during the visit.
In the case of marigolds, they do many friendly acts in the garden.