Thursday, June 23, 2011

Companion Planting: Tomatoes Love Basil

Illustration by the Girl

There are few things that go together as well as tomatoes and basil in cooking. Caprese salad, Margherita pizza, and tomato basil soup are some of the best dishes that come to mind for these two ingredients. But did you know that they compliment each other when growing as well as on the plate in a finished dish?

There are a lot of vegetables, herbs, and even flowers that help each other grow when planted near each other. Throughout this summer I will be posting a series of "companion planting" updates (complete with a hand drawn illustration by the girl).

Planting basil as a border to where you are growing tomatoes will help the tomatoes resist disease and will help to make the tomatoes taste better. The tomatoes will grow better because basil attracts bees which results in increased pollination. Basil will also repel flies and mosquitoes. I've even heard of people planting basil by the back door for the mosquito repellent effect!

Next year when you are planning your vegetable garden, be sure to put some basil with your tomatoes, you won't be sorry!

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