Strawberries and tomatoes can be planted together if they are supported by good amounts of mulch, good soil and full sun. While tomatoes and strawberries can be affected by the same pests and diseases they can still be happy neighbors and grow well together.
I have planted strawberries and tomatoes together in my raised garden beds and they are thriving together. This was achieved by improving the soil first so the plants grow strong and healthy and are more resistant to disease.
Tomatoes and strawberries can share the space as long as there are both given enough nutrients and water to thrive. This article will explore all you need to know about growing strawberries and tomatoes together successfully.
Growing conditions for strawberries and tomatoes
Here are the similarities and differences between the needs of strawberries and tomatoes to help you to work out how to grow them well together in the same space.
- Both grow most of their fruit over spring and summer
- Pests, insects and birds all love to eat strawberries and tomatoes before you can pick them
- Both love consistent water
- Mulch is essential for both
- Full sun or a bright position
- Can catch similar diseases such as verticillium wilt
- Strawberries are perennials while tomatoes are annuals
- Tomatoes grow to a large upright position while strawberries grow like small bushes
- Tomatoes will need staking while strawberries will not
- Strawberries will re-produce and spread via runners while tomatoes will not
Strawberries and tomatoes can catch diseases from each other like verticillium wilt but this can be minimized by following a few easy tips.
Tips for growing tomatoes and strawberries together
Here are a few ways to successfully grow tomatoes and strawberries together in the same in ground garden bed or raised bed. Follow these steps to keep each of the plants living happily together.
Mulching benefits both strawberries and tomatoes by keeping the moisture in the soil for longer during summer. This will also keep weeds away and stop the soil from being splashed up onto the leaves and stems of the plants.
Keeping the soil off the leaves and stems of both tomatoes and strawberries can stop fungal disease from attacking the plants. Water both plants at the base of the stem around the roots to water the plant deeply.
I like water both plants in the morning so the soil does not stay wet overnight. Any water that accidentally splashes up will dry quickly throughout the day instead of sitting on the leaves and encouraging root growth.
Planting tomatoes and strawberries in good soil
Tomatoes and strawberries both love soil rich in organic matter and that drains well. Start off by adding aged cow manure and compost to the soil before planting. Pelleted chicken manure will also work well mixed into the soil or added on top of the soil as a slow release fertilizer.
Strawberries can be planted in soil that is mounded up slightly. This will help with drainage and keep the crown (the center stem) out of the soil and stop it from getting too wet.
Tomatoes can be planted at the same level at which they were grown or slightly deeper. They will actually grow extra roots up the stem if they are planted a little deeper than the previous soil level.
Both tomatoes and strawberries will thrive if they are given regular water over spring and summer. This will help them to form large, juicy fruit over the warmer weather. Both will benefit from watering 2-3 times per week deeply.
I give my tomatoes and strawberries the same amount of water throughout the year. I have been experimenting with growing tomatoes over winter because we have mild winters in our sub-tropical climate.
This has meant that my cherry tomato is fully established by the start of spring and already has flowers. I have also planted some more advanced tomato seedlings nearby in the same bed and they are all thriving together.
The tomatoes have flowers and the strawberries have fruit already.
How close to plant tomatoes and strawberries
Allow at least 10 inches of space between the strawberry plant and tomatoes. This is ideal as it will give your plants the space they need to spread their roots and absorb the nutrients they need. This will also allow enough sunlight to reach each plant and encourage more fruit on both tomatoes and strawberries.
Planting these close together actually has its benefits because bees will come to visit both plants. When they both grow flowers in spring bees will have a feast collecting nectars from all plants and increasing the chance of successful pollination.
Companion plants for tomatoes and strawberries
While tomatoes and strawberries can grow well together they will both benefit when planted with other companion plants. These can help to deter pests and attract pollinating insects.
Herbs that grow well with tomatoes include basil and chives, flowering plants such as violas and marigolds will attracts bees and borage is one of the bees favorites.
Nasturtium is also a great hardy plant to grow near your tomatoes and strawberries. This will grow with limited water and the flowers are edible.
Can you plant strawberries and tomatoes together? | Summary
Tomatoes and strawberries can grow happily together. Give each plant at least 10-15 inches of space either side to allow them the space to grow their roots and to avoid the spread of disease. Both plants will grow well together with regular water, mulch and organic fertilizer like pelleted chicken manure.
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I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.