Spacing of tomatoes, peppers and basil

allhailerisMay 7, 2012

I'm almost done prepping an area for tomatoes, peppers and basil. I have a space that has been cut in half, and my husband took a square out of it for his own thing (a sculpture kind of thing), so I have one spot that is about 5'x3' and another that is 7'x3' with a stone walkway between and walkway all the way around it.

I want to grow a jalapeno and sweet pepper plant, and if space, an anaheim and second sweet pepper. These plants are the lowest on my needs in this area.

I want to grow as much basil and tomatoes as I can. I like non-sweet tomatoes, heirlooms grow really well here, I know we have a good variety to choose from, and I want to can as much as I can, so I need a bunch of roma tomatoes.

How would you lay this out? I am going to buy plants, nothing from seed. Do I intermix the basil with the tomatoes? In the past I've done the basil in pots and it flowers too soon. I want to avoid the constant trimming of flowers if I can.

I don't want to overcrowd, but want to use the space as much as I can.

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anonymouspeoria(zone 5)

Keep your sweet peppers and hot peppers apart in the garden. Heat compounds from the hot peppers can/will affect the flavor of your sweet peppers. Since most pepper plants stay fairly small, I plant my stems around 16-18" apart if I'm pressed for room (18-24" apart if not pressed for space). I've never had a pepper really grow out of a cage, so I just use the cage size as a guide.

Spacing of tomatoes depends upon the type grown -- cherry tomatoes planted on same spacing as peppers, and any slicing tomatoes given at least 2 sq.ft.

Spacing and layout (going by your two oblong boxes): I'd plant 2 peppers side by side on opposite ends of each of the boxes if going with 4 peppers (if only two peppers, replace one space with a basil so you can still keep the pepper varieties apart). Then follow by: tomato, 2 basil, tomato, 2 basil, etc., until you run out of room. This should give you the most bang for your buck, since you have path access on both sides, without restricting tomato room too much.

Example for 5x3 box:


Hope this helps. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 3:18PM
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Keep your sweet peppers and hot peppers apart in the garden. Heat compounds from the hot peppers can/will affect the flavor of your sweet peppers.

This is a common belief, but it's not true. Peppers are insect pollinated and will cross. However, this will only affect the succeeding generations - it won't affect the taste of this year's crop whatsoever. The reason this might seem to be true is that many seed vendors do a lousy job of isolating their peppers. Heat is a dominant trait, so a hot x sweet cross will have heat in the f1 generation.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:13PM
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So it sounds like I can fit in 4 peppers, 5 tomatoes and about 10 basil?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 12:14PM
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