Tomatoes and red peppers are favorite fruits and vegetables among many gardeners. Both plants are available in many popular varieties such as cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, beefeater tomatoes, red bell peppers, and red chili peppers. As foods both low in saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and calories and high in vitamins and minerals, tomatoes and red peppers are beneficial foods that offer many health benefits. In addition to being good for people, red pepper is also beneficial to tomatoes. Many gardeners use red peppers as companion plants for tomatoes as well as use red pepper flakes to ward off pests like rabbits. But, why does red pepper protect tomato plants?
Many gardeners use red pepper plants to protect tomato plants through a gardening method called companion planting. The concept behind companion planting is that many plants contain natural substances that are beneficial to other specific plants. For example, some plants excrete substances that repel insects while other give off substances that attract insects. If a plant needs certain kinds of insects for pollination, planting this type of a plant next to an insect-repelling plant is probably not the best idea. Additionally, other plants give excrete substances that enhance the growth or flavor of other plants. Both sweet red peppers and hot red chili peppers are beneficial to tomato plants. Sweet red peppers are believed to improve growth while hot chili peppers prevent certain tomato plant diseases. Plant red peppers among tomatoes to protect and improve these fruits in your garden. Plus, with both tomatoes and red peppers in my garden, I have the start to a delicious batch of ratatouille!
Red Pepper Flake Pest Management
In addition to using live red peppers to protect tomato plants, many gardeners also use dried red pepper flakes to protect plants. To prevent beetles and other insects from destroying your tomatoes, create a mixture of one gallon of water, six drops of liquid soap, and two tablespoons of crushed hot red pepper powder. Spray this solution on your plants weekly. Rabbits hate the smell of chili powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and hot red pepper powder. Sprinkle these on the soil around your plants to repel rabbits, squirrels, and other animal pests. Powder cayenne pepper mixed with water can also be applied to tomato leaves to deter rabbits from nibbling on these plants. Remember to reapply any sort of pepper flake or powder to the soil or leaves after watering or rain.
Many gardeners use red pepper to protect tomatoes. First, many gardeners use tomato as a companion plant for red pepper. Protect tomato plants from disease and improve the growth of this fruit by interspersing tomatoes with red peppers in your garden. In addition to using live red pepper plants, also use crushed or powdered red pepper to ward off insects and pests.
Companion Planting: http://www.ghorganics.com/page2.html
Garden Toad’s Companion Plant Guide: http://www.gardentoad.com/companionplants.html
Home Remedies for Gardening Pests: http://www.grandmashomeremedies.com/gardening-pests.html
Nutrition Data – Red Pepper: http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2896/6
Nutrition Data – Tomatoes: http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2682/2
Red Pepper Flakes: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Red_pepper_flakes.jpg
Tomato Plant: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Solanum_lycopersicum_003.JPG