Tomato and pepper planting

Thu. May. 21, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Tomato and pepper planting

I know a lot of folks have already planted tomatoes. We then had a record cold of 26 degrees! BRRRRR……..  while it didn’t last, that did NOT make the tomato plants happy. Peppers like it even warmer.

The ground temperature should be at least 60 degrees for tomatoes and warmer for peppers. There are plenty of soil temp gauges out there, it’s worth your while to pick one up. When planting, be sure to sink that tomato plant deep, they will root from anywhere on the stem, also, they are heavy feeders.

Check out this video I made for my show “DigIn Minnesota” in 2013. This is GREAT information. Tom has been growing heirloom tomatoes for years and they are amazing.

If you’re not into using fishheads, as Tom does, add a Drammatic Organic fertilizer with kelp. Also place a barrier around the stem at soil level to deter cutworms. 

snipped off the side leaves to plant deep
You can use just about any type of barrier to guard against cutworm

Stake or cage your tomato plants right away.  They’ll get better air circulation, have fewer pest problems and allow the fruit to totally ripen.  You can use old nylons to tie the stem to the stake, if necessary and prune the weak side stems.  You’re growing the plant up not out.

Tomato ‘Midnight Snack’ – these are tasty if you can be patient and wait for them to be mostly orangey red!

As for peppers, hold off another week. It’s not that they’ll die, but they won’t grow and be very happy. Imagine yourself in the cold without a jacket!

Pepper ‘Godfather’ 2009
Peppers on the porch! I managed to get a few peppers – this guy didn’t get quite full sun!
Pepper ‘Cherry Bomb’

I live in Zone 4 climate and I typically don’t plant tomatoes or peppers until Memorial Day weekend!