Eggplants are generally not seeded directly,
but grown from transplants because of their long growing
season requirements. Peppers may be direct
seeded in areas that have longer growing seasons.
They are best planted on raised beds made by adding
large amounts of soil amendments so that a bed is established
above the previous level of soil. At each place a plant
is desired, scatter seeds on moist soil, about 8 to
16 inches apart in the row. Plant more seeds than necessary
so as to make up for any losses. Plant seeds in rows
with 3 to 5 feet between rows. Push seeds just below
the soil line. Fill these holes by scratching the surface,
firm the soil lightly, and cover with a thin mulch
of grass clippings or other organic material in order
to hold soil moisture. Keep soil moist during the germination
period. When the plants are about 3 inches high, thin
to 2 feet apart down the row.
For transplants, use young plants, 3 weeks
old with 4 to 6 true leaves, wider than tall, stocky,
succulent, and slightly hardened to outdoor conditions.
Make sure the planting site is level. Spread and mix
organic matter and a high granular phosphorus fertilizer
over the area. Mark where you want each plant and make
the hole deep enough to bury the stem as far as the
first leaf. Place plants about 18 to 24 inches apart
in 3- to 5-feet rows. Press the soil firmly around
the plant and water thoroughly to remove any air pockets.
If transplanting in the summer, shade the plants in
the middle of the day for the first week or use floating