Post Classifieds

Get Your Garden On: Planting

By Jeff Dutton
On April 20, 2011


Now that your garden bed is tilled, loamy, level and ready to go, you are set to start planting. We will now go over how to plant the two staples of any garden: tomatoes and peppers.

If it has rained since you tilled and leveled your bed, you are going to want to take your bow rake and break up the top layer of soil, since the rain should have caused it to crust over. To do so, simply use the teeth of the rake to break up the top crust and then re-level the bed. Once you have a level bed with loose soil you, are ready to plant.

The first thing you are going to have to consider is how you are going to space your plants; generally, you will want to plant in rows of three or four plants, depending on how wide your bed is. When planting in rows, you want to have at least eight inches side by side between the plants in a row, and 15 inches between rows. This is the optimal spacing for tomatoes; with peppers you can plant your plants about two inches closer to one another, both in a row and between rows. It helps to use twine and some stakes to mark you rows and planting positions.

With your layout established, the brainwork is over and it is time to utilize your muscles. You are going to have to pick up the spade shovel you avoided using when tilling your bed and get dirty digging some holes.

For tomatoes, you want to dig down eight inches with the spade shovel, dumping the removed soil next to your fresh hole. Peppers require slightly less work, in that you need only to dig down four inches for proper planting. Now that your bed is pock marked by a litany of four and eight inch craters, you are ready to prep each hole for planting.

The first step in the preparation process is to pour a half of cup of fertilizer into each hole; I use and recommend organic fertilizer for this step. After every hole has been fertilized, you need to fill each hole to the top with water, and then wait for it to drain into the soil. Once you have fertilized, filled, and allowed for the drainage of each hole, you are ready to put the young plants you purchased at your local garden center into the ground.

For tomato plants, you want to make sure that all of the roots and about one inch of the stalk are planted below ground. When planting, use the pile of dirt next to your hole to fill the bottom of the hole in, if needed. This may be required to assure that you get the right amount of the plant (roots and one inch of stalk) underground.

You should then use the soil pile to fill in the remainder of the hole around your plant, and to make soil mounds around your stalk. These mounds are piles of dirt with the stalk at the center of them, and they should rise about two inches above the base level of your garden bed. These mounds They will create depressions between your plants, which will act as water reservoirs after you water your garden or when it rains.

For pepper plants, the process is pretty much the same, except it is not required that you bury an inch of the stalk underground with the roots. The key to proper pepper planting is to make sure that no more than three inches of the stalk is above ground, assuming, of course, that you are planting average sized (about six inch tall) seedlings; if you are planting larger plants, this rule does not apply.

When planting peppers, you want to make the same soil mounds at the plant's base that you did with your tomato plants. Take the mounds into account when you are making sure that only three inches of stalk is above ground. You don't want to have three inches of stalk above your bed's base level and the mound covering two of those inches.

With your neatly laid out garden planted, having appropriate soil mounds at the base of each plant, you are ready for the last step in the planting process: make it rain as if Noah has built an arch in your garden bed. This is to make sure that your freshly planted garden is heavily saturated, but in all seriousness, don't create a pond in your backyard.

If you would like tips on planting other vegetables, herbs, or flowers, check out the Independent on the web (, leave your questions in the comment section of this story, and they will be answered in a timely manner.

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

Recent neiuindependent News Articles

Discuss This Article



Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format