Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Tomato/pepper planting
While “normally” this coming weekend, Memorial Day holiday, would be the time to plant tomatoes and peppers, the warm season vegetables, I want to make sure that you know that, for the best results, your soil should be at least 60 degrees. Check the forecast for the next 10 days. If the temperatures are going to drop below 55 for a high during the day and/or nighttime temps drop below 45. Don’t bother to plant. Last week our temp dropped to 37 degrees.
Tomatoes and peppers (these even more than tomatoes) like it warm/hot weather.
Peppers can be planted at about 18 to 24 inches apart. Peppers are NOT planted deeply like tomatoes. Follow the instructions on the tag.
Peppers benefit from an all purpose fertilizer and, on average, an inch of water a week, MORE when it gets real hot, like upper 80’s and 90’s.
Mulching is a great way to help with weed control and to keep soil moisture more even. I’ve started using the dead ornamental grasses from last season, as you can see in the following pictures.
When planting, be sure to sink that tomato plant deep (keep in mind, you want that soil warm), they will root from anywhere on the stem, also, as my friend the Tomato Man, Tom McKusick says, they are heavy feeders. Depending on the type of tomato (determinate – quits growing at a certain size or indeterminate – continues to grow all season) you’ll plant your tomatoes at least 3 feet apart.
Tom puts a fish head in the bottom of the hole, then places the tomato plant, anchors it with soil and adds more amendments including worm castings and bone meal. If you’re not into that, add a fertilizer. Also place a barrier around the stem at soil level to deter cutworms. I use old yogurt cups.
This is the video I did with Tom in 2013…