Companion Planting – Attempting Tomatoes & Bell Pepper Together
Haven’t we all read about companion planting for our gardens? Most of the time, I associate that with compatible colors in the garden or the Three Sisters method of corn, beans and squash grown together for centuries from an ancient practice of the Iroquois. And there are other garden companions that are practiced, but for me, I am considering companion planting purely for the sake of having my two vegetables in one pot!
Have I mentioned that I am not a very good vegetable grower? I guess that is fairly obvious by now.
My Companion Planting – Tomato and Bell Peppers
I have one large planter that I want to use for both plants. I know I have a really small “vegetable plot,” but that is all we really need. It seems to give us a lot of tomatoes…when they grow right. Last year was one of my better years, but some years have been really pitiful. But instead of having a large pot for bell peppers and another large pot for my tomato, I decided to grow them together in one pot as companions to each other.
I understand that these plants are of the same Nightshade family? So if they are cousins, they should get along. When I tried looking up info on planting them together, I got conflicting information. Some source said NOT to plant them together, but others said it was fine. I have decided that this year, I will do my own experiment and plant them together and see what happens.
It has been a few days and so far neither have keeled over. So maybe the source I decided to go with is correct. Here is a link to that info: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/can-green-pepper-plants-planted-next-tomato-plants-95480.html
The tomato I chose to plant is the Early Girl tomato which is an indeterminate, meaning it will keep growing until frost kills it in the fall. ( Or I kill it myself.) We had a great success with this one last year and my husband, who is the tomato lover, really liked its flavor. Only three of us in the family eat tomatoes, sometimes my grandson will eat some too, but he is usually always willing to try something new and we can experiment when we have them on the vine. My husband just likes to pick one off the vine, sprinkle with pepper and salt, and eat it sitting on the deck. He says it’s best to have some cornbread with it. How does that sound to you?
Do you believe in the Three Lobed Myth for Bell Peppers?
If and when I shop for bell peppers, I believe in the Old Wives’ Tale of the 4-lobed pepper being the sweeter one. The 3-lobed bottom is the one for cooking and the 4-lobed one is the one to eat raw. When I shopped for a plant this year, I found the label on the plant indicated it was a 4 lobed pepper! Well, if they are selling/marketing that way, then there must be some truth to the myth or Old Wives’ Tale. Or maybe it’s just because I am an Old Wife?
Both bell peppers and tomatoes are fruits/vegetables that don’t store well in the refrigerator. They are warm weather vegetables and are best left on the table or window sill to finish ripening if needed. If they need to go in the fridge prior to serving chilled, use a paper bag. I remember my Mom always having me go through the vegetables and put them stem side down to finish ripening. Is that another Old Wives’ Tale or is there some truth to that? Have you heard that too?
I have a great recipe using the bell peppers. If you grow cauliflower, then this could become one of your favorites. It you eat low carb, this goes well with steaks too. Here is the link to that recipe with instructions on how to fix it. It is a raw salad and mixes up in a few minutes. You’re welcome!
And since I don’t have any bell peppers ready yet, I have to go to the store. Raw pepper recipe, get 4-lobed ones! Happy grilling!
Update: It is August now, and the pepper in with a tomato vine just didn’t work. I can only assume that the tomato swamped the pepper so that it didn’t grow to its full potential. We never got any peppers except this fine specimen which may or may not ripen and be edible. FAIL.
Also, the type sticker on that tomato may have been switched? It grew into a bush and then died after providing a good amount of great tasting tomatoes. It must have been a determinate type, right? Did I say I am not a vegetable grower. <sigh>
I love this idea. My container garden is in my deck and I feel like I waste so much space by just having one plant per container. I will keep this in mind!
It’s working but the little pepper is getting swamped.