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Can You Grow Tomatoes Next To Blackberries – Companion Planting

Whether you are starting to plan your garden plots or have an already abundant garden, you want to add a tomato plant or blackberry bush; it is crucial to know if a gardener can grow tomatoes next to blackberries.

No, you should not plant tomatoes and blackberries next to each other. Additionally, you should not plant a blackberry bush in soil that had previously grown any nightshade plant, including tomatoes. 

Read on to discover more about growing blackberries and tomatoes. 

Why Should You Avoid Planting Tomato Plants Near Blackberries?

Due to the possibility of soil pathogens, a gardener is advised not to plant tomatoes and blackberries near one another. For the same reason, it is also advised not to plant blackberry bushes in soil that has previously housed a tomato plant, eggplants, peppers, potatoes, or raspberries.

The recommended time for this avoidance is two years, but many gardeners feel safer planting their blackberry bushes in new soil. Even if the blackberry bush is not sharing soil with the nightshade family plants (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants), a gardener should be cautious with contaminated equipment going from one plant to the next.

Always clean and sterilize your gardening sheers with rubbing alcohol between cuts to avoid cross-contamination. 

What Should Be Planted Near Blackberries?

While a gardener can plant blackberry bushes and leave them without companion plants, there are certain crops one could grow alongside blackberries to help them thrive! Below, you will find a selection of companion plants for blackberry bushes and their benefits.

Pest Control

Nothing is more disappointing than walking out to your garden expecting to enjoy some delectable, juicy berries only to find that mice, moths, or other pests have had their feast first! To help avoid this tragedy, gardeners know which plants to grow near their blackberry crops.

Hyssop will help prevent infestations of insects like flea beetles and cabbage moths. Tansy and Rue are also fantastic companion plants for pest control. To help prevent damage to your blackberries from Japanese Beetles, mice, ants, flies, and striped cucumber beetles, plant Tansy and Rue in your garden!

Pollinator Friendly

Every gardener knows that you need an abundance of pollinating insects for your plants to thrive! Growing plants that attract bees and other insects that pollinate your plants will help increase your fruit yield from your blackberry bush. Bee balm is a great companion plant for blackberry bushes.

Bee balm grows tall, almost three feet, and displays bright, beautiful purple blooms all summer long. If you want to avoid tall plants to make harvesting your blackberry bushes easier, planting chives, mint, or lemon balm can benefit pollinator-friendly plants without compromising your access to the bushes! These herbs also make a great addition to your kitchen! 

Food Crops

Why stop at blackberries? You can plant other edible and delicious crops to harvest and benefit your blackberry bushes! Blueberry plants make a great companion plant for blackberry bushes.

Pull some mint listed above from the pollinator section, add fresh lemon juice and enjoy a delicious garden fruit salad. Blueberry and blackberries both enjoy the sunshine and need a lot of it for optimal growth, at least six hours a day.

Since both blueberry and blackberry bushes grow to about to same height, you will not have to worry about one creating too much shade for the other plant. A few plants that thrive well in the shade of a blackberry bush include hazelnut bushes, roses that bear hips, and thimbleberry shrubs. 

Aronia, commonly known as the chokeberry, with leaves

What Should Be Planted Near Tomatoes?

Just as certain crops make great companion plants for blackberry bushes, there are things you can plant to help your tomatoes thrive! From plants that attract pollinators, repel pests, and provide additional food sources, below find a list of great options for tomato companion plants.

Pest Control

Growing plants near your tomatoes that help ward off pests is a significant help in protecting your plants from outside damage. While you can always spray pesticides to keep plants from being susceptible to bugs and other insects, growing these plants will add some extra protection and brighten up your garden.

Basil makes a great companion plant for your tomatoes! It helps ward off flies, fruit flies, and mosquitos. Red spider mites hate garlic, and to eliminate root-knot nematodes, plant marigolds! 

Pollinator Friendly 

Just as bee balm, chives, and lemon balm are great pollinator-friendly plants for blackberry bushes, they are also perfect for tomato plants!

Plant some mint and parsley to add some flavor to your pollinator-friendly garden. Another great pollinator plant is the marigolds mentioned in the previous paragraph. With their beautiful bright flowers, marigolds add some color, promote pollination, and help ward off pests! 

Food Crops

What else do you need to enjoy a beautiful fresh garden salad? Lettuce and cucumbers, of course! Lettuce enjoys the partial shade produced from the tomato plant and acts as a natural mulch, helping keep the soil moist!

Cucumbers make a delicious addition to your garden, and while they may not provide a necessary benefit to your tomatoes, there is no harm in planting them near each other either.

Growing carrots near your tomato plants help keep the soil loose, allowing for the roots to absorb nutrients and minerals more effectively. Celery and garlic also make great food crop companions for tomatoes. Soon you will have an entire garden of delicious herbs and vegetables! 

What Should I Not Plant Near Tomatoes?

Now that you are excited to plant and begin plotting out your garden, some plants should not be planted near tomatoes. As mentioned earlier in this article, Blackberries are not a good companion plant for tomatoes for fear of contamination.

Eggplant, peppers, and potatoes are nightshade plants, as are tomatoes. Planting eggplant, peppers, or potatoes near your tomato plants can set a gardener up for failure. Nightshade plants are susceptible to early or late blight, which builds up in the soil each season and can harm or even kill your crops.

While lettuce is a great companion for tomato plants, as mentioned earlier, any crop in the cabbage family could be detrimental to your tomato plant. This includes cabbages, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale.

Fennel is a bad choice for your tomato crop’s companion plants as the Fennel plant releases a substance from its roots that can prevent your tomato plant from growing correctly. Gardener’s tip: the substance secreted from Fennel is detrimental to many plants in your garden; it is best to avoid planting this near any crops and advised to grow in pots for containment. 

Final Thoughts 

Grab your gloves and shovel; now that you know that tomato plants and blackberry bushes cannot be planted near one another, you are ready to start planting! Whether growing blackberry bushes with blueberries, mint, and bee balm or planting lettuce and carrots near your tomatoes, you can feel confident that your garden is set up for success!