By Joanne K., Pitt County EMGV
But if you can't resist the allure of an early harvest and decide you must transplant your tomatoes now, be prepared to cover them if a frost warning is issued.
It’s best to buy and plant your tomato and pepper transplants after March 30, Eastern NC's last average frost date. If you want to grow your own pepper and tomato transplants, start the seeds 6 to 8 weeks before their recommended transplant date, which is April 15 for both plants.
While all of these vegetables and herbs can be planted directly in the ground, you may prefer to grow them in a container garden if you have limited space or prefer the ease of maintaining a container garden.
When planting in pots, be sure to use potting soil rather than garden soil, which will compact and drain poorly.
Potting soil also reduces the chances of weeds and soil-borne diseases.
Most potting soils incorporate fertilizers, which will get your plants or seeds off to a great start.
Photos: J. Kollar