Hey everyone, I’m back! It’s been a while since the last time I posted in the blog, simply because I got so busy with school, multiple jobs, and being a community activist. I have gained a lot of experience and also failures. Today I want to focus on my 2020 garden plan. Thanks to the help of my parents, we have been about to convert our suburban yard into a large intensive garden since the beginning of our garden journey. We have a focus on improving the health of the soil and making our garden into food forest once the garden reaches its full potential.
1. MY 2020 GARDEN GOALS-
In the months of January and February I have focus what are my primary goals for the garden for that particular year. As I continued to read and watch the news about COVID 19, I realized that I needed to increase the food production for the year, and in addition, I wanted to grow fruits and vegetables that I can easily grow from my backyard. I made a list of the most essential crops- That includes tomatoes, potatoes, tomatoes,peppers, eggplants, garbanzos, onions, carrots, raddish, broccoli, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, peas, lettuce- loose leaf & rominane, greenbeans, corn, summer squash, winter squash, cucumbers, strawberries, cantaloupes,watermelons and herbs – basil, mint (peppermint/spearmint), chamomile, dill, spicy oregano, sage, thyme & lastly cilantro.
2. Seed Inventory
I had to look at my seed inventory to see what I had available and what I needed to purchase. Some of my favorite seed stores that I like to purchase my organic seeds is – Johnny Seeds – https://www.johnnyseeds.com/ ; Native Seeds https://www.nativeseeds.org/ Baker Creek Seeds – https://www.rareseeds.com/ ; Seed Savers- https://www.seedsavers.org/ .
One of the methods that I use to increase production in my garden is succession planting. Successive planting is a technique often used by gardeners or small farmers to maximize their available space. I also plant the same crops every two weeks to have a continual harvest from the garden. I stop this process by the end of June. By that time, I start planning my fall crops and will begin to plant them in the ground by late July.
4. Start the seeds
Once I start to gather all my seeds. I begin to separate the seeds into crop family categories in table 1.
Once I finish sorting the seeds, I get and sanitize my 50 and 72 cell trays using a water and bleach solution. This will help kill any pathogens in the trays. I usually buy 8 of the Organic Coconut Coir Concentrated Seed Starting Mix and 3 bags of vermiculite mix.
Once I get all of my seeds in the to grow trays, I put my seeds into a portable greenhouse, that I have to install every year – starting in March. I always make sure to add an outdoor temperate/weather gauge to the inside of the greenhouse. To make sure I get the temperature where I want it to. I add a black outdoor carpet to the bottom of the greenhouse. This has allowed me to get a greenhouse to 80-degree temperature while the outside is 50 F degrees. I make sure to open the windows once I see little seedling coming up out the soil. This practice will prevent any fungal diseases from killing your delicate seedlings. Once I see temperatures going up to the 60-70s. I remove the black carpet and start opening the doors to allow more airflow into the seedlings.