Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Companion Planting Tobacco
We do a fair amount of companion planting around the Small-Hold gardens. We use the standard Marigolds which never seem to work as well as the claims I have read about them but we also use pigweed and lambsquarters as an edible incentive to lure some pests away from our other plants.
Blister beetles will attack tomato plants if they don't have enough pigweed to devour. Same with cucumber beetles as well.
Along this same vein of reasoning I have been using tobacco plants to lure the hornworms away from my tomatoes and peppers and so far it has been working great.
Since I haven't really worked out a good curing process for such small batches of tobacco yet and even if I did I really wouldn't know what to do with it once it was finished, I haven't been too worried about harvesting any of it. However I did notice the first year I planted it that the hornworm population on my tomatoes diminished by a huge amount. Last year with the drought I had very few hornworms at all so I really couldn't tell if the tobacco plants were working but this year once again proved to me that around here anyway both types of hornworms prefer tobacco leaves over tomatoes.
I also find the worms are much easier to notice and locate on the tobacco plants compared to the long vine tomatoes.
This tactic did not work on grasshoppers however. Those vermin seem to like the tomatoes over the tobacco plants.
So far it seems the best tactic is planting the tobacco plants on at least two sides of the tomato section within about 10 to 15 foot of the edge. I can't really say if the worms prefer the leaves or if it is just the moths prefer to lay on the tobacco plants over the tomatoes but I was noticing about 5 worms per tobacco plant to every 1 on a tomato this year. The worms were a mix of the red horned and black horned varieties as well.
I found that the worms eating the tobacco plants didn't piss me off as much as it does when they get on my tomatoes so companion planting them really helped my blood pressure as well.
Something you might want to think about.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!