For best results, especially in climates that are a little cooler, try starting your tomato and pepper plants indoors 6-8 weeks before your last average frost date. Tomatoes and peppers do well with transplanting and rarely experience “shock” once they are moved from their indoor locations out into their permanent home in the garden.
Add your nutrient dense soil into your 5 gallon bucket. Dig a hole deep enough for you to plant your seedlings and then add a small amount of vegetable or tomato plant food at the bottom of each hole. Give the soil a light water with a watering can.
Place your tomato plant inside the hole and then fill the surrounding area with soil. Remember that you can bury your tomato plants extra deep, up to their first set of true leaves. This long “stem” that you’re burying into the soil will actually help the tomato plant develop a strong root system. So bury those tomatoes deep! They love it.
To help keep weeds down in your container, spread a thin layer of mulch on top of the soil. This will also help keep the soil moist and from drying out too quickly. Because you’re growing in containers, the soil will dry out sooner than if it had been planted directly into the ground, so keep an eye on it. Peppers don’t mind soil that is slightly dryer, once the plant is established but your tomatoes will need regular watering. Too much, or too little watering will result in cracked tomatoes, or blossom end rot, once they have reached maturity.