Set plants 1 m (3′) apart.
Plant seeds 1 cm (½”) deep, indoors.
Full sun, hot weather plant. pH around 6-6.5.
Seeds will sprout in 7-14 days.
Susceptible to some fungal diseases, but problems with this plant are mostly caused by cultural practices that stress the plants. Make sure you keep the garden clean and tidy, water consistently and avoid directly spraying water onto the leaves. When plants get off to a good start, few pests will bother them. Protect young plants with floating row covers that are removed when flowering starts.
Start indoors in early April indoors under bright lights. Transplant into the garden at the mid to late May. Night-time temperatures need to be reliably above 10°C (50°F) to avoid shocking the seedlings. Before planting, pluck off the lower two thirds of branches and leaves to increase root growth. You won’t believe the difference in growth rate and especially in the yield.
Give the plants a trellis or cage to support them as they grow.