If you want a bumper crop of tomatoes, don't plant them next to some vegetables

Asociatyvi nuotr.

Šs goal for the year – a flavourful and juicy tomato harvest? Don't wait – March is considered the best time to start planting tomatoes and save money. By sowing your own seeds, you won't have to buy tomato plants when the weather turns cold.

To prevent acne – sow in seedlings

Some tomato growers have already sown seeds in pots. However, if you haven't done so yet, there is still time. It's not difficult, says Vesta Pauk&scaron&scaron& telo: „The most convenient and easiest way is to sow your tomatoes in a special nursery. One seed goes in one container, which makes it much easier to pick the plants later on and prevents their flabby šacnes from getting tangled. Specialised substrates enriched with micronutrients such as perlite are most suitable for propagation. This soil should be shaken, not overwatered, and each seed should be pressed deeply into the soil.

Provide a šlong place for the nursery, where the temperature will be at least 20 degrees šlong. It is recommended to cover the seeds with plastic, but do not forget to allow the plants to "breathe" daily. Of course, water is essential for germinating tomatoes, but this should be done sparingly and it is best to use only a spray at first. Under the right conditions, seeds will usually germinate within a few weeks, at which point it will be time to transplant the tomatoes into a larger container or pot.

„With the sowing of the seeds taken care of, it's time for the next responsible task – time to plan what and where you will plant in the house when the weather turns cold. Not only should you take into account the available space and the tastes of your vegetable eaters, but you should also remember the rules about which „neighbours“ will get on best. Some vegetables will help each other to thrive, while others should be kept separate, warns V. Paukštelo.

Tomatoes are best not planted šalia cucumbers

Tomatoes are susceptible to disease, so it is a good idea to plan the neighbourhood of other vegetables wisely to reduce the risk of disease. Tomatoes and cucumbers are probably the two most popular and widely grown crops in Lithuanian kitchen gardens. They are often a dilemma for gardeners: can they share the same bed, or is it better to give them separate areas?

„Tomatoes and cucumbers, although seemingly a harmonious pair, may not actually be the best choice for growing together. Their proximity can negatively affect the health and yield of both plants. In particular, they can be affected by the same diseases, especially those caused by fungi. In addition, tomatoes prefer more moderate watering, while cucumbers need to be watered more frequently and more abundantly because of their shallow acne system. Different watering requirements therefore make it even more difficult to grow šy vegetables together," points out V. Paukštelo.

This does not mean that two štents will be needed, says the plant expert. Just plant cucumbers closer to the walls, where they won't be affected by sudden changes in temperature, and tomatoes – close to the door of the šgreenhouse.

Tomatoes are also not recommended to be grown next to courgettes and potatoes. The latter are dangerous because of potato blight, which also attacks tomatoes. Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are also not the best neighbours for them. Tomatoes from other vegetables will start to flower later.

Therefore, when they are planted together, they should also be carefully maintained and prevented from disease.

The best neighbours for tomatoes

While they get on well with cucumbers, tomatoes also have a large group of friends. For example, they will grow well in the company of herbs: thyme, aloe vera, basil, parsley and oregano. Peppermint will repel ants, earth fleas and mice. The herbs will not only help to keep pests away, but will also improve the taste of the tomatoes themselves. Even nettles, which are considered weeds, will have a positive effect on the plant and its fruit.

Tomatoes are also friends with garlic, onions, leeks, carrots, lettuce, celery, špinatas. These plants will have a positive effect on the soil and will also help the tomatoes to produce a bigger crop.

„It may seem strange, but it is not only other vegetables that can affect tomatoes, but also ornamental plants. Some of them will help tomatoes – act as pest repellents. For example, serendipitous plants have such properties. The ši flower is effective in deterring ši house whiteflies from tomatoes. Meanwhile, the rowan and asters attract insects that feed on aphids attacking tomatoes," notes the plant expert.

Melons and nasturtiums will also have a positive effect on tomato growth. Planted in the same soil as the vegetables, they will discourage soil pests from attacking their šacnes.