Tomato, Pepper, & Onion

Tomatoes and peppers are just plain easy to grow. Both benefit enormously from the entire companion group. Parsley, onion and basil are absolute essentials. Tomatoes and peppers require at least two gallons of soil per plant. Tomatoes in particular have a far greater yield if caged or grown on a trellis. Cherry tomatoes simply must be grown vertically and peppers can be trained to grown vertically as well. But you must know that tomatoes and peppers both despise corn, potatoes, and the entire cabbage family. You must put distance between them.

 Although each plant requires 2 gallons of soil a 5-15 gallon container provides space to include many of the companions in the same collection. Add onions, maybe some parsley, the essential basil, and an assortment of flowers such as petunia, nasturtium and calendula. Not only will your peppers and tomatoes thrive this collection is down right beautiful. Please note that parsley requires darkness to germinate. If started under lights in bio sponges pluck off a fragment of bio sponge with tweezers and cover the seed.

 When we include the onion family with our tomatoes and peppers we have choices. As discussed in the earlier post we can select from onions, bunching onions, garlic, leeks, chives or shallots. Chives should simply be grown in it’s own container. In fact grow several containers of chives because lots of things benefit from their presence. But just remember to keep them away from your peas. They aren’t friends.

 Peppers and tomatoes can be started indoors under lights 6-8 weeks before your last frost date. It is important here to know the details of the varieties you have selected. Count back the days carefully from your last frost date. Tomato and pepper plants get quite large under lights and can not be planted out until there remains no danger of frost. While indoors they can be managed by pinching out the top leaves. Don’t start too many plants. One exceedingly well-grown tomato or pepper can out produce a half dozen or more poorly grown ones. Both like to be foliage fed with fish fertilizer. When blossoms start to form sprits them with Epsom salts solution, one tablespoon to a quart of water. This enhances production enormously. 




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