can I plant multiple heirloom seed varieties?

I am new to gardening but I'm starting off with heirlom seeds. I wanted to plant multiple varieties of tomatoes and peppers. Can I do this or would it affect the plants by cross-pollination? If it is an issue, could I just plant them on opposite sides of the garden? It's not a terribly large garden, 20x10 or so. Or does it really matter?

Thank you!

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

Unless you are saving the seed then it doesn't matter. Tomatoes are self fertile for the most part, so while you may get some crossing many people are saving seeds from unbagged tomatoes with out a problem. Peppers tend to cross more, but not badly.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I agree with Doug. Go for it! I'll have at least 8 different varieties of heirlooms growing in the same bed by this weekend. And, I do save the seeds. We shall see!

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes. That's what we do.

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

According to Carolyn Male, the tomato expert who graces our Tomato forum, has said that tomatoes normally self-pollinate and that the risk of cross-pollination that would affect home gardeners is low.

David

Portland, OR

As to peppers, you will want to separate your hot peppers from your sweet ones.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Or you'll end up with hot sweet peppers or sweet hot peppers.

Lake Charles, LA(Zone 9a)

If you're not collecting seeds, then I wouldn't worry about it. just remember to keep them spaced properly when their seedlings are about three inches. Most tomatoes are fairly big plants and take up a lot of room, and if you plan using that same little plot next year, be sure to rotate your crops. Tomatoes are heavy feeders and drain the soil of vital nutrients and protiens most plants need. Any type of beans or peas would be a good plant to use in its stead.

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