Today, my daughter helped me transplant the pepper and eggplant seedlings into garden bed number one. I originally planted the seeds on March 14th. We followed much the same transplanting procedure as last year and the year before. The peppers have been blooming for about a week, so they really need to go in the garden. I have been putting the seedlings outside every day over the past week or so to acclimate them to real weather.
I had already marked where I wanted to transplant the peppers and eggplant last week when we transplanted the tomatoes. We followed the same procedure, cutting X-shaped holes in the garden fabric and digging out a hole to fit the seedlings, but unlike the tomatoes, I didn’t plant them deeper than they were growing in their pots. I also watered the newly transplanted peppers and eggplant with 18-24-16 water soluble fertilizer like I did with the tomatoes.
We moved the water jackets from the tomatoes to the newly transplanted seedlings to protect them from temperature swings, the wind, and intense sunlight. I then placed tomato cages around the tomatoes, tying them to electric fence posts with twine string so they don’t fall over in the wind. I need to make one more tomato cage, so I planned to leave a water jacket around one group of tomatoes; but as you can see in the photo, that water jacket fell over, and I decided to remove it rather than re-fill it.
We placed the eggplant closest to the tomatoes, the jalapeno at the front of the bed, and the other peppers in between.
I also transplanted two groups of marigolds between the tomatoes, in the middle of the garden bed. I forgot to plant any marigold ‘golden guardian’ seeds this year, but some “volunteers” came up in this same bed this spring, so I saved some in a couple of pots before I dug up the soil to prepare for planting. This marigold variety is supposed to repel or kill nematodes that feed on the roots of other plants, especially tomatoes. I don’t know if these volunteers will be as effective as those grown from the seeds I bought, but then I also doubt I have a nematode problem. In any case, they’re pretty to look at.