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!!!


  1. Great minds think alike, I started leaving lambs quarters and pigweed in the garden and they draw a lot of those little beetles away from the beans and other vegetables. I tried to grow tobacco but never found any seeds that I was able to sprout. I never saw anything messing with marigolds other than japanese beetles but I have some unidentified weed that they love so I let that grow as well. The companion planting really works but you have to let some weeds grow to make it work and some people can't handle having weeds in the garden. The lambs quarters is one of the best greens that you can grow in the spring.

  2. Tobacco leaves laid around the soil by the trunks of fruit trees will kill borers. My daughter did this for free, by asking the local smoke shop for the old leaves in which the cigars were packed. It worked. Since you already have the tobacco, thought you might like another use for it.

  3. If things come down to a barter economy you will be able to trade your tobacco. It's like coffee, people feel better under stress if they have their tobacco so they'll be looking for a supplier.

  4. After my issues this past summer with the pickleworms I plan to do some companion planting this next spring. That is a good idea with the tobacco plants. I need to remember that.

  5. I assume this companion planting is for organic farming??

  6. Mixing them up with different plants has worked well for me, too. And I'm with you on marigolds: pretty... and pretty worthless.

    I did figure out a pretty decent process for getting a nice pipe tobacco at home. One of these days I need to post it.


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