Document Type



Rappahannock Community College

Publication Date

Spring 2016


Allelopathy is a trait within certain organisms that allows them to produce and secrete certain biochemical that have various effects on other organism’s growth, survival, and reproduction processes. This study compared the growth results of the allelopathic relationship between basil and tomatoes against fertilized tomatoes and untreated tomatoes. With the information from this study and conclusions can be made about whether or not allelopathic or “companion planting” can serve as a viable alternative for fertilizer.

After nearly 5 months of growth, the allelopathic properties of basil were found to be equal, if not more, beneficial to the growth of the tomato plants as fertilizer. Basil being planted along the tomato plants resulted in more tomatoes produced, faster germination time, and more massive roots. In those cases, the findings were all significant and the null hypothesis was rejected. There was no significant difference in the effects of basil or fertilizer final plant height, final plant biomass, and root length and growth rate. In those cases, the null hypothesis fails to be rejected.

This study seemed to indicate that the allelopathic relationship seems to greatly benefit the root growth of tomato plants. With more massive, dense roots, the plants maintain greater water retentions which is likely the cause of its greater tomato production. Considering this may mean the companion planting is in fact a suitable alternative to fertilizer, thus lessening the effects of its harmful chemicals.


Keondra Jenkins received the 1st place Spring 2016 Student Research Paper Award from the Rappahannock Community College Library for this paper.



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