How to Grow Tomato, Eggplant, and Pepper from Seeds

Nightshades (Solanaceae) is a family of plants that includes tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers, which are annuals (live only within a year) and share similar growing habits. Below are the general instructions for growing these fruit-bearing vegetables.

To Start

Frost kills or severely damages the plants. We don’t plant the seeds until early March here in Ontario. We have found it’s better to start them a little later rather than too early, wherein they get leggy and stretched out. Start seeds in a suitable potting mix, and keep warm (around 70-75 F; 21-23 C) until sprouted. They need very strong light (growth light or full sun). Keep moist and they should germinate within 1-2 weeks.

To Transplant

Sow extra seeds and thin out the weaker seedlings. Don’t let the seedlings dry out. Transplant them in rich soil when ALL danger of frost is over. Plant a little deeper in the ground than they are in their pots. Provide trellis (support) when needed.

To Harvest

Heavy phosphorus (P) is needed for flowering & fruiting. Crushed eggshells, organic compost & aged manure are able to supply the much-needed nutrients. We do not recommend inorganic (chemical) fertilizer, which may kill the healthy microbes in the soil and pollute the groundwater.

Tomato, eggplant, and pepper are able to self-pollinate but they will all benefit from the help of bees and butterflies. It is suggested to plant multiple plants of the same species for cross-pollination. Plant perennial native flowers like purple coneflower, wild bergamot, and common milkweed will enhance your fruit yields in the long run.

Pests and Disease

No garden on earth is immune to pests and disease. Our strategy to fight them is to increase biodiversity. The more species you grow, the higher the success rate. And as always, plant native plants to invite beneficial insects to your place.

Whatever you garden, wherever you garden, we wish you all the best.  Thank you for your business. Please contact Hundredfold at if you have any concerns regarding your purchase.