Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tomato + Basil — classic companions in the garden and kitchen

Tomatoes and basil go together like peas and carrots, but I suppose that's another post :)

When grown together they are supposed to improve each others flavor and vigor, but that may just be an old wives tale, since I can't find any research to back up the claim. I will say it's convenient to plant them together so it's easy to harvest them together for all the tasty foods they go together in — soups, pastas, salads, etc.

The tomato I'm growing is the Patio by Bonnie. It's a very small, determinate plant. It's very sturdy, and not supposed to need support, but I gave it a little anyway since it can get pretty windy in Iowa. It's grown at least a foot since I bought it back in mid-April.

The basil isn't doing well though. It really didn't like all the rain we got the last few weeks. The leaves yellowed, and a few dropped off — a tell-tale sign of overwatering. But I swear I had nothing to do with it; Mother Nature is to blame.

They have been doing better since it warmed up. Highs are in the 80s, and it's supposed to stay this warm for the rest of the week. I hope they continue to improve.


  1. I'm going to have to look into that Tomato variety! Good luck with the basil, mine have had a hard time with pests this year.

  2. basil and tomato are totally the best of friends. Carrots too like to join this happy friendship. Hope the basil thrives again, if not it'll flower, drop seeds and self sow again in no time - mine did that all summer! (and they sowed themselves in pots that they weren't supposed to)

  3. Oh no! I don't want to hear about more basil trouble! I had such an easy time with it before, I really hoped it'd always be that simple and forgiving. But, if it doesn't take off right away, at least I still have some pesto cubes in the freezer.