Planting Eggplants and Peppers in My Vegetable Garden
The season’s outdoor vegetable crops are all thriving and looking great.
My gardeners and outdoor grounds crew have been very busy in my new vegetable garden. Over the last six weeks, we’ve planted many crops – potatoes, asparagus, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, artichokes, herbs and more. This week, we planted eggplants and peppers – both sweet and hot. I love these vegetables and always plant enough to share with my family and friends. Soon the entire garden will be filled with rows of wonderful and nutritious produce.
Enjoy these photos.
The new giant half-acre vegetable garden here at my farm is doing so well. Whenever I can, I walk through and check on our growing crops. Here are the beets. Beets are highly nutritious and very good for maintaining strong cardiovascular health. It’s low in calories, contains zero cholesterol, and is rich in folates, vitamin-A, B-complex, and antioxidants.
And look at the curly parsley. Curly parsley is an easy-to-grow type of parsley with round, curly leaves. In general, it is milder than the flat leaf variety.
Everything is looking so lush and green. This is just some of the spinach. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B2.
On this day, Ryan and Phurba planted the eggplants – all different varieties. Eggplant, Solanum melongena, also called aubergine or Guinea squash, is a tender perennial plant of the nightshade family Solanaceae. Eggplant has a flavor similar to summer squash or zucchini – tender, mild, and sweet with a slight vegetal bitterness.
The first thing I always instruct the crew to do is use twine or string to ensure the rows are perfectly straight. My gardens are often photographed and videotaped for television, print, and social media – from the ground and from up above, so it is crucial that they look their best. Ryan extends the gardening twine the entire length of this bed to mark where the center line is and where the center row of three will be planted.
Next, he measures the sides and starts to place the eggplants where they will go – equally spaced and about 16 to 18 inches apart.
Here are all the eggplants positioned in their designated spots. Some of our eggplants came from outside sources while some were started from seed right here in my greenhouse.
For planting vegetables, we use small shoveling tools. The mini trowel and mini shovel are from Gardener’s Supply. They’re perfect for making holes in the garden beds.
Phurba uses a garden trowel to dig the holes. The eggplants should be grown in soil that’s at least six inches deep.
Phurba removes the eggplant plant from its pot, teases the roots and inserts it into the hole…
…And then lightly presses the soil down around the plant. Plant eggplant in a location that gets full sun – at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day. Eggplant grows best in a well-drained sandy loam or loam soil that is fairly high in organic matter.
Eggplant needs warm weather and will not thrive during a cool season. Ryan schedules when to plant things outdoors according to the weather in this area. We had an unusual late frost just a couple weeks ago – it’s important to watch the weather forecasts to prevent losing any plants.
Here is one of the eggplants in the ground. Eggplants are ready to harvest as soon as 70 days after sowing the seeds.
It didn’t take too long to plant our entire bed of eggplants – they will do so well here. In another month, we will provide low stakes to support the growing fruits. Staking various vegetables is necessary to keep fruits off the ground and to reduce the risk of disease and rot.
And here comes Pete with our trays of peppers – also ready to get into the ground.
I plant lots of peppers – sweet bell peppers in all colors. Green peppers feature a more bitter flavor. Orange and yellow bell peppers are sweeter, with the sweetest being the red bell pepper. I also plant a variety of other peppers from mild to hot in taste.
Ryan measures the bed and decides how many rows can fit.
He uses a piece of cut bamboo as a guide for spacing the plants. Pepper plants should also be about 16 to 18 inches apart.
Here is one bed of sweet peppers all laid out and ready to plant.
Meanwhile, Ryan also makes the appropriate markers for the plants. It is always good to take the time to make markers, so one knows which varieties do best and should be planted again next year.
Phurba starts planting the peppers. Set pepper plants in a hole that is twice as wide as the seedling root ball and about one inch deeper so a portion of the stem is below soil level.
By afternoon, our peppers are in the soil and everything is ready for a good drink. Fortunately, we had a good rainstorm a couple hours after these were planted. I am so pleased with how our vegetables grow here at Cantitoe Corners. I’ll share more photos from the garden as our crops develop. I hope you have some time to plant in your gardens this holiday weekend.