The Q&A Archives: Planting Tomatoes And Peppers Beside Each Other In Garden

Question: A garden reference manual said not to plant tomatoes and pepper plants side be side since they are both members of the tobacco family. I have a very limited garden space and these are two of my favorites. I have planted them close in previous years, with some success, but the peppers never do as well as the tomato plants. Do these plants inhibit each from developing? Or is recommendation due to some other factor?

Answer: The plants do not send inhibiting chemicals out, but tomato plants are more vigorous than pepper plants, so they may have outcompeted your peppers for moisture and nutrients. I've always grown tomatoes and peppers within a row of one another in the garden and never had a problem, but I also make sure to rotate my crops from year to year, never planting members of the same family in the same spots year after year. If your garden space is limited you and you have no choice other than to plant the same crops in the same soil over and over again, be sure to clean up plant debris at the end of the season to eliminate overwintering insect and disease problems, and then sow seeds of a cover crop to help replenish the soil. Choose vetch or winter rye and dig the plant residue into the soil in the early spring, before they flower and set seed. Growing cover crops is an easy way to improve your soil and keep down winter weeds, all at the same time. Hope this information helps!

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