Funnily enough, plants have friends too. Some plants grow better together than others, and figuring out what to plant next to each other can make a world of difference. It’s even said that when different plants are planted together, they improve each other’s taste. So, can you grow tomatoes and jalapeños together?
Yes, you can grow tomatoes and jalapeños together in a small garden bed. Tomatoes and jalapenos are wonderful companions and require similar soil, sunlight, and nutrient conditions.
Read on to see how to plant your tomatoes and jalapenos together and to see what else makes a great tomato companion.
How to Plant Tomatoes and Jalapenos Together
Tomatoes and jalapenos are best buds. They have roughly the same germination time, and seedlings are usually ready to be planted around the same time (6-8 weeks). Both plants love hot, dry, sunny weather and are ready to be grown by May and go all summer!
They do best planted in a bed together, with lots of room; make sure not to crowd the plants. The plants grow similarly, shooting upright with many different branches coming out. Their roots don’t spread huge but can dig deep. Tomatoes and jalapenos tend to do better when they aren’t planted in the same place each year. So make sure you rotate out your beds every year for the best results!
What Can Go Wrong Planting Tomatoes and Jalapenos Together?
Even though they are friends, there still may be some complications when planting jalapenos and tomatoes together.
You have to remember that tomatoes are more susceptible to disease than jalapenos. So your jalapeno yield may diminish slightly if you have a pest or fungi problem in your tomato plants. A good way to work around this is to keep your tomato plant trimmed up on the bottom and don’t over water.
When they are full-grown, Tomatoes tend to be much taller than pepper plants. This is something to keep in mind when you decide where to plant your plants. You don’t want your jalapenos to have less sunlight due to your tomato plant.
Why are Tomatoes and Jalapenos Good Companion Plants?
Tomatoes and jalapenos grow together so well for a multitude of reasons.
- They like the same soil.
- Both tomatoes and jalapenos love loamy, well-draining soil. They usually both like a pH of neutral to slightly acidic.
- They like the same weather.
- Tomatoes and jalapenos are both summer vegetables. They both love the warm, dry, hot climates.
- They like the same amount of water.
- Tomatoes are known for having a “funky” watering schedule. They like a strict watering schedule at the beginning of their lives, water every day until they begin to flower. Then, it’s time to cut back on their water. Wait until their leaves are wilting to give them their next dose. This helps the fruit of the plant become rich and bountiful. The same goes for jalapenos, so it would be so easy for them to be planted next to each other.
- They have the same growth time.
- When started off as seedlings, both plants take about 6-8 weeks to germinate and become sprouts. Both plants then will take the summer to flower and have their full life cycle.
- They taste great together.
- Not only do they grow well together, but they also taste great together! Enjoy a delicious tomato jalapeno salsa or burrito.
What Should Not Be Planted Next to Jalapenos?
Since jalapenos are so rich in flavor, there are some plants that, when planted next to jalapenos, take away their flavor. Some vegetables require different nutrients than jalapenos. Below is a list of the top five jalapeno enemy plants.
- Beans would be considered competition for jalapenos. They use many of the same nutrients (like nitrogen) and grow slightly similarly, so they actually take away a lot of the good stuff that jalapenos need to grow.
- Fennel attracts many different pests and should probably be planted alone.
- Cabbage needs different nutrients to grow and needs a pH level that is a bit more acidic than what jalapenos like. Cabbage also has long roots and can stunt growth.
What Should Not Be Planted Next to Tomatoes?
Tomatoes do like their space, and they tend to get pretty tall. Many vegetables clash with these desires. Here is a list of the top 5 worst plants to plant with tomatoes.
- Cabbage can get very large, and they really love to spread their roots. This can get in the way of tomatoes and stunt their growth.
- Corn is also very prone to many different bugs and mites. Having them next to tomatoes can be cause disaster.
- Other nightshades
- Despite tomatoes being nightshades, they don’t grow well with other nightshades. Blight, a fungal soil disease, is more likely to occur when nightshades are planted together. Blight can also build up in the soil year after year, making it worse the next year than it was before.
- Fennel has a substance in its roots that inhibits tomato plants from growing. Fennel does this to other garden plants as well and is better off alone.
- Walnuts also secrete a substance that inhibits the growth of most members of the nightshade family, called juglone. Tomatoes can also get the disease called walnut wilt.
Jalapeno Companion Plants
As I’ve mentioned earlier, jalapenos can bring the flavor out of certain other vegetables when planted together. Of course, you have to be careful what you plant next to them, but some plants simply thrive! You may find these vegetables tasting much better when planted next to a jalapeno plant.
- Basil improves the flavor of the jalapeno plant, not the other way around! Basil also deters pests like flies, mosquitos, spider mites, and aphids.
- Carrots can provide a living mulch for jalapenos plants while also controlling weeds in the garden with their long roots.
- Chard, since it can get too big, such a bug plant helps to protect the jalapeno by offering shade from the sun and blocking some wind. It is also a great use of space and helps keeps weeds away.
- Another great use of space and ward off bugs like aphids, slugs, and worms.
- Spinach is a simple plant and doesn’t need too much to grow, therefore not taking any nutrients away from jalapeno plants.
Tomato Companion Plants
Tomatoes’ companion plants usually have to do with what can ward off bugs and keep the tomatoes looking happy and healthy while thriving. Here is a list of the top five best companion plants for tomatoes.
- Just like with the jalapeno, basil actually enhances the flavor of the tomato! Not only that, but basil can ward off nasty pests like the hornworm and spider mites that may be attacking tomato plants.
- As we know, tomatoes are like loose, well-draining soil. Carrots are great at loosening up the soil as they grow. Carrots also ward off hornworms.
- Ward off nasty pests.
- Lettuce is a great companion plant for most vegetables. The roots are shallow, and it doesn’t take up too much space. Plus, the tall tomato plant can help shade the lettuce from the hot summer sun. If you need filler in the tomato garden or have some extra space, lettuce is the right way to go.
- Beans are a great source of nitrogen in the soil, which tomatoes need heavy doses of. They also fit wonderfully around tomato plants and help increase the air circulation around the plants to reduce fungal disease.
After reviewing everything above in this article, I hope there is a better understanding of why plants have certain friends and why some things should never be next to each other. But there is one thing for certain, jalapenos and tomatoes make great friends and compliment each other beautifully! Happy planting!
Hi there, my name is Allie and welcome to my blog; GareningWithAllie!
Much of what you see written here is just our personal experiences with gardening. Along with the content I write here, there is also a unique collection of gardening topics covered by some of our close friends. I hope you find everything you read here to be helpful, informative, and something that can make your gardening journey the most lovely experience ever! With that said, Happy Gardening!