The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Planting Peppers and Aubergine

June 7th, 2011 · 2 Comments · Posted in garden

An eggplant seedling finds a new home

I was late starting my peppers, eggplants and tomatoes this year. But they’ve been coming along fine in their tiny cells, soaking up sun lately in an improvised hoop house in the front yard. Yesterday I got up at the crack of dawn to move them into their permanent home. I always have more than I think: 28 aubergine, divided between the big “Black Beauty” and the long, skinny Asian variety, “Ping Tung.” There were 35 pepper plants–a mix of bell peppers, jalapenos and hot reds. Altogether, it was enough to fill an entire vegetable bed where I’ve already installed 10 tomato plants with rebar stakes.

My procedure for transplanting is pretty simple. First I use my forked spade to heave the soil a little throughout the bed, then I get down on all fours and remove any weeds. Next I scatter a thin layer of compost over the entire area and work it into the soil with my stirrup hoe. The soil at this point is so friable I don’t even need a tool to dig holes. I simply plunge my hand into a designated spot and push the soil aside to create an opening. I use a spoon to pry an eggplant seedling out of its cell and lower it into the hole.

It’s easy and I like working my hands into the soil. But I can’t help imagining that this would get old if you were working a farm and planting hundreds or thousands of these seedlings instead of just a few dozen.

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