How to Grow Tomatoes & Peppers from Seeds


Backyard gardeners often use their garden space for both tomatoes and the many species of peppers, most likely because the two vegetables have very similar growing requirements, according to West Virginia University. Both plants can be started once the last frost date passes in your region, but several specific cultivation issues, like fertilization needs, vary between the two.


Step 1

Select and prepare the gardening area. Tomatoes require full sunlight to grow. Break up the soil to a depth of 9 inches. North Carolina State University recommends mixing 3 inches of organic matter like compost into the ground to improve the soil's condition and help the dirt retain moisture and nutrients.

Step 2

Fertilize the planting area. Ohio State University suggests stirring 8-16-16 or 5-10-10 fertilizer into the gardening area at a rate of 3 lbs. for every 100 square feet.

Step 3

Plant the tomato seeds. Bury each seed approximately 1/2 inch below the soil surface. Separate the seeds by 24 inches, and space the rows apart by approximately 48 inches, according to North Carolina State University.

Step 4

Water the gardening area twice daily or as needed to keep the dirt moist. The tomato seeds will usually sprout within 14 days.


Step 1

Choose and prep the gardening site. Peppers thrive in full sun and well-drained soil. Mix 2 inches of compost into the gardening site to improve drainage and soil structure.

Step 2

Fertilize the garden soil. Peppers will respond well to a basic 10-10-10 fertilizer applied at a strength of 2 lbs. for every 50 square feet of gardening space, according to West Virginia University.

Step 3

Sow the pepper seeds, with each seed 1/4 to 1/2 inch below the surface of the dirt. Spacing needs vary by the specific pepper species. Most pepper plants should be separated by approximately 18 inches, with rows spaced apart by 24 inches, according to Ohio State University.

Step 4

Water the gardening site as necessary to keep the area consistently moist. The pepper seeds will typically germinate within two weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Compost
  • Tomato and pepper seeds
  • Fertilizer


  • "Burpee: The Complete Vegetable & Herb Gardener"; Karan Cutler, et al.; 1997
  • Ohio State University: Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden
  • North Carolina State University: Growing Tomatoes for Home Use
  • West Virginia University: Growing Peppers
  • Ohio State University: Growing Peppers in the Home Garden
Keywords: planting tomato seeds, planting pepper seeds, growing pepper plants

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.