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Gardener shares 'old school tip' for protecting your tomato plants from pests: 'I do this every year'

"Marigolds are wonderful garden helpers!"

Companion planting hack for pest control

Photo Credit: @plantedinthegarden/ Tiktok

Chances are, if you're thinking about getting a vegetable garden going, you're planning to grow some tomatoes, which are by far the most popular produce grown at home across the globe.

Excited gardeners aren't the only ones eager to see those delicious tomatoes, however — all manner of annoying insects like to feed on tomato plants, too. 

Thankfully, TikToker Planted in the Garden (@plantedinthegarden) shows us a great "old school" way to protect your tomato plants that'll make your garden beautiful — with the added perk of not using any toxic chemicals or pesticides.

@plantedinthegarden Old school garden that kept my tomatoes safe from pests #gardentok #learning #fypシ ♬ original sound - Planted in the Garden

The scoop

The technique is a form of companion planting, a process where gardeners plant various species of plants together, which confer unique benefits to their neighboring plants.

In this instance, marigolds are what this gardener recommends planting alongside your tomatoes.

"It will attract many beneficial insects like bees and parasitic wasps. And when the flower blooms, it produces a strong odor that repels unwanted pests," they explain in the video

"Marigold is a low-maintenance plant, and they're really easy to grow," they add.

They recommend planting one marigold per tomato plant and collecting the dried flowers for the seeds, to be used the following year.

How it's helping

Nobody wants to go out into their tomato garden to discover it's being eaten up by annoying bugs. Gardeners invest a lot of time and care into their plants, and this tip will go a long way in keeping them healthy and happy.

Perhaps more importantly, any method of pest control that doesn't use harmful, toxic chemicals is a really good thing. An ever-increasing pool of data suggests that the worrying decline of insect populations around the globe can be directly attributed to pesticides, alongside other threats like habitat loss and a warming planet.

What everyone's saying

Mostly, people loved the idea.

"Marigolds are wonderful garden helpers! I plant them every year," read one comment, lauding the companion plant of choice. 

"I love this, I do this every year and we always get amazing tomatoes," another commented.

One commenter, however, had some reservations, and they asked, "Did he say parasitic wasps?"

Other TikTokers were quick to assure them that parasitic wasps are actually a great benefit for the tomato garden. 

"They use other insects to reproduce, very good for pest control," explained one, while another added, "They aren't the usual wasps like paper wasps. They lay eggs in caterpillars that can damage tomato plants."

So if you are thinking of planting some tomatoes, why not grab some marigolds while you're at it?

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