It’s time to start planning your summer vegetable and herb gardens. Once nighttime temperatures stay above 50 degrees, plants will thrive outside and start churning out some of the best things about warm weather.

Tomatoes won’t start fruiting, let alone ripening, until the nights hit 60 degrees, so you’ve got some time there. But now would be a great time to get your basil plants going, as the bigger and sturdier they get, the more basil they’ll be able to produce when you plant tomatoes right next to them in a couple of months — tomatoes that, thanks to their leafy, astringent next-door neighbors, will make it to caprese season unscathed by buzzing intruders. Rubbing fresh basil leaves on your skin will even provide temporary mosquito relief. And if you need one more reason, simply refer to the above photo: Tomatoes and basil look beautiful together.

Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow, needing nothing more than sunlight, water and frequent picking to thrive, and it is a delicious addition to fresh summer meals as well as insurance for those home-grown tomatoes you’ve been looking forward to since last November.

Dust off the gardening equipment, and check out a few more expert hacks from the self-sufficiency experts at Old World Garden Farms.