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Tips for Gardening in Atlanta

Check back often for additional tips about how to grow your garden in Atlanta.

Tips for Growing Awesome Tomatoes

We sow and grow all of the tomato plants we sell in our Stone Mountain greenhouses.  We think it makes a big difference that our plants don't sit on a hot parking lot or get trucked in from miles away.  We grow over 45 varieties each year.  Have a favorite you'd like for us to grow in your Atlanta area garden?  Please, let us know!   

Growing tomatoes in the ground:

  • Must plant in a location with at least 6 hours of sun per day.
  • Amend clay soils with 2-3” of organic material. Apply ¾ cup of hydrated lime per plant. Work into top ½” of soil.
  • Plant so most of the stem is under the soil. Either dig a deep hole & plant upright or dig a long trench & place the plant on its side, lifting top above the soil.
  • Space plants 1-2 ft. apart in rows. Stake or cage shortly after planting.
  • Add a small amount of fertilizer when planting. Do not add more until the plant flowers.
  • Side-dress fertilizer no closer than 4-6” to the stems to avoid burning plants, every 4-6 weeks.
  • Mulch your plants using straw or newspapers.
  • Keep moisture balanced as much as possible.
  • Plant companion plants like Borage and Nasturtium close by help keep pests from tomatoes.

Growing tomatoes in containers

  • Use 3 parts potting mix to 1 part organic amendment. Add ¾ cup hydrated lime.
  • Containers must be at least 12” across and 15” deep. Fill to within 1 1/2 “ of the rim. A 5-gallon bucket works great
  • Tiny Tim and Better Bush are good varieties for containers, but larger ones may be grown with proper support. Cage or stake after planting.
  • Add a small amount of fertilizer when planting.
  • Feed again when plant flowers and once a week thereafter. Water dry plants before fertilizing.
  • Water evenly as much as possible.

Tips for Growing Tasty Peppers

We sow and grow all the pepper plants we sell right here in our Stone Mountain greenhouses.  Whether you like peppers sweet or hot we have a plant that will thrive in your Atlanta area vegetable garden. 

  • Must plant in a location that gets 6 hours of full sun per day.
  • Amend clay soils with 2-3” of organic material.
  • Space plants 18-24” apart in rows.
  • Peppers prefer “moist” soil. Water regularly, but avoid “wet” soil.
  • Mulch with straw or newspaper to keep weeds down and retain moisture.
  • At first, fertilize with a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) at ½ strength, every other week. Once in flower, use a fertilizer with higher phosphate and potassium, and lower nitrogen, a 1-2-2 ratio.
  • Stake or cage to support plant.
  • Watch for aphids and spider mites. Treat with insecticidal soap when evident.
  • Sow radishes beneath plants. The radish’s green tops deter flea beetles from the pepper plants.
  • Harvest peppers by snipping, not pulling.
  • Green Bell Peppers will mature to yellow or red if allowed to remain on the plant.
  • Peppers are self pollinators. Occasionally, they will cross pollinate from pollen carried by bees or other insects. To minimize this possibility, don’t plant hot and sweet peppers too close. Don’t worry though, it will not affect the fruit of this year’s crop.  The cross will show up in the genetics of the seeds, if you save them to sow for another season.