Time to Plant Tomatoes, Peppers & Eggplants! (Zone 5)

this year I'm sharing her complete

spring planting schedule with you

step-by-step and even though it's only

March 11th and our last frost date is

almost seven weeks away our backyard

garden is already half planted kewlabah

crops are growing in the hoop house cold

frames and low tunnels and edible

perennials are growing in much of the

rest of the garden but I haven't started

many of our summer crops yet that will

change today when I plant tomatoes

peppers and eggplants



we start our tomatoes peppers and

eggplants six to seven weeks before our

last frost date if you're not sure what

your last frost date is you can easily

find it online for best results we start

these heat-loving crops indoors in our

grow room but this year as an experiment

I'll start some of the same Tomatoes I'm

starting indoors here in this cold frame

and we'll compare the results to see how

they do let's start first with our

indoor planting when talking about how

we grow indoors a good place to start is

with our seed starting mix so I change

the mix from year to year one thing that

remains constant is our use of

vermicompost from our indoor warm bins

this year i'm using a mix that's five

parts coconut coir four parts perlite

and three parts of vermicompost this

gives us a mix that is 25% vermicompost

with that much vermicompost our plants

get all the nutrients they need and we

never have to use additional fertilizers

to minimize up potting I'd like to start

tomatoes peppers and eggplants and these

relatively large repurposed 24-ounce

food containers which have holes cut in

the bottom for drainage if we have a

cold spring and transplanting is delayed

I may have to up putt to one gallon

containers before planting out but if

it's warm

I'll transplant earlier and may not have

to up pot at all I'm planting many

different tomato varieties this year and

a total of 30 plants some of our

favorite varieties that were growing

this year include sweet millions black

Verna saj pink borer blueberries

tomatoes organic sweetie black cherry

turkey purple and big rainbow please see

a list of all the tomato varieties were

growing in the description below to

plant tomatoes I filled the pots up

about halfway plant a few seeds in each

pot and cover them with about a quarter

inch of soil as the plants grow I'll

trim the lower leaves and fill the rest

of the pot with soil the tomatoes will

grow new roots along their stems as

they're covered with soil this will give

the plants more support as they grow

tall and may help me avoid having to up

pot now let's plant peppers this year

we're growing these varieties Jim minar


New Mexico Joey Parker Creoles Ella

chocolate peppers jalapeno and cayenne

start by filling the putz nearly to the

top with potting mix and then plant a

few seeds in each pot and cover them

with about a quarter inch of soil

I'll finish planting today with four egg

plant varieties black beauty Rosa Bianca

Japanese white egg and long purple I

plant eggplants exactly like a plant of

the peppers I filled the containers

close to the top drop a few seeds in

each container and cover them with a

quarter inch of soil now that all the

seeds are planted let's talk about

lights watering and germination

temperatures before the seeds germinate

I'll tap water as shown here after they


I'll bottom water by adding about a

quarter inch of water to the bottom of

the trays I'll wait for the soil service

to be dry before watering again

initially I place the pots very close to

the lights which will be on 14 hours a

day as the plants grow I'll adjust the

lights to keep them a couple inches

above the plants tomatoes peppers and

eggplants germinate best when the soil

temperatures around 80 degrees

Fahrenheit I know from experience that

this light fixture will generate enough

heat to warm the soil enough that these

crops will germinate but this light is

going to need a little help rather than

use heat mats I cover the light with an

inexpensive Mylar blanket the Bikol will

hold in enough heat to raise the soil

temperature for germination to take

place after the seeds germinate I'll

remove the blanket one final point on

the seeds I just started you may recall

that I planted a few seeds in each pot

this will hopefully ensure the least one

seed germinates in each pot if more than

one seed germinates I'll select the

healthiest plant in each pot and snip

the other ones I'll do this after the

plants develop their first true leaves

now let's head outside to plant tomatoes

in a cold frame for the experiment I

mentioned earlier

last year I attempted to start some

Tomatoes outside in plastic jugs but

that experiment didn't go very well but

what did work well if there's some

volunteer Tomatoes came up in one of our

cold frames and I kept some of the

strongest of those plants and they did

very well

I saved some of the seeds from those

plants I'm starting some indoors and

some in this cold frame and we'll

compare the results over time before

planting the tomato seeds I apply a thin

layer of vermicompost to the soil

surface I then plant a few seeds here

and a few more about a foot away

I'll let the healthiest plant in each

location grow to maturity in male plant

out two tomatoes that were started

indoors from the same seeds and I'll

compare the results over the course of

the growing season well that's all for

now I'll be back next week when I plant

basil in the grow room and potatoes

carrots and sugar snap peas outside

under cover I'll see you then if you

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