Planning for 2021

Believe it or not, my seed shopping for 2021 is done! I like to wrap things up before the end of the year because a lot of seed companies sell out of favorite varieties early. Below I’ll share what I’m planning for 2021 and how I came to these decisions.

Grow what you eat

We live on nearly three acres in semi-rural San Diego but I grow vegetables in about 200 square feet of raised beds. This gives me what I need to feed our family and also offer goodies to neighbors. Two-hundred square feet means I can’t grow everything that catches my eye, so I prioritize vegetables I like to eat.

Last year I grew 21 squash plants. No one growing for a family of four should grow that much, but I was happy to do it because I like to eat zucchini in many recipes (including zucchini brownies!) and I like delivering baskets of zucchini and summer squash to friends and neighbors. I also have winter squash still sitting in the pantry, storing nicely and ready to make into a yummy soup on a cool January night.

My plan for 2021

Here’s a list of what I’m planting for the 2021 warm season. The first is a list of seeds from San Diego Seed Company.

  • * = trying for the first time
  • Holy Basil*
  • Purple Opal Basil (vigorous and beautiful)
  • Glass Gem Corn*
  • Candystripe Cosmos*
  • Sungold Dwarf Sunflower*
  • Muncher Cucumber
  • Tendergreen Cucumber
  • Narrow Leaf Milkweed*
  • Crackerjack Mix Marigold (these were huge/beautiful)
  • Kajari Melon
  • Costoluto Geneovese Tomato (deeply ribbed heirloom)
  • Lucid Gem Tomato*
  • Marianna’s Peace Tomato*
  • Wapsipinicon Peach Tomato
Tidy Treats Tomato from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. This is an incredible container variety, able to grow in very small spaces while being super productive. This is a photo of one of my Tidy Treat Tomato plants in December 2020.

From Johnny’s Selected Seeds:

  • * = trying for the first time
  • Dragon Tonque Bush Beans (heirloom)
  • Red Noodle Pole Beans*
  • Vision MXR Corn*
  • Unagi Cucumber*
  • Orient Express Eggplant*
  • Common Lemon Balm*
  • Sweet Marjoram*
  • Wild Marjoram*
  • Honey Blonde Melon
  • Cornito Rosso Pepper (winner of the Thanksgiving pepper taste test)
  • Blaze Pumpkin*
  • Jarrahdale Pumpkin (gorgeous blue-grey-green ribbed pumpkin–my favorite from 2020)
  • Long Island Cheese Pumpkin*
  • Musque de Provence Pumpkin*
  • Britton Shiso*
  • Butternut Butterbaby Squash*
  • Red Kuri Squash (a favorite from 2020 that I grew over arches)
  • Sunshine Kabocha Squash*
  • Tetsukabuto Squash*
  • Starburst Greenburst PMR Sunflower*
  • Citrine Tomato (absolute favorite from 2020)
  • San Marzano II Tomato (a high-quality hybrid version of the popular heirloom)
  • Tidy Treats Tomato (great for containers and small spaces)
  • Yellow Brandywine Tomato*
  • 8 Ball Zucchini (cute round zucchini, grew well in 2020)
  • Dunja Zucchini (super productive in 2020)
  • One Ball Zucchini (similar to 8 Ball but yellow)
  • Slick Pik Yellow Zucchini (another super producer)
Dunja Zucchini from Johnny’s. Gorgeous, easy to grow and super prolific.

From my own seed-savings and others’ saved seeds:

  • Pole Beans (forgot the variety!)
  • Purple Podded Pole Beans
  • Scarlet Runner Beans
  • Borage
  • Dahlia (I saved tubers)
  • Nardello Sweet Pepper
  • Sweet Potato Squash
  • Strawflower
  • Sunflower
  • Medium Red Tomato
  • Zinnia

Planning for 2021

In case you were wondering, yes, I plan on expanding the garden a bit more to fit all of these squash. I know a lot of people do really awesome and precise garden planning. Here’s what I do:

  1. Grow a bunch of seedlings.
  2. Put the seedlings into individual pots.
  3. Arrange the pots (each of which is labeled) on top of the hot tub cover in rows according to type (cucumber, summer squash, tomato, winter squash, etc.).
  4. “Shop” my own selection of seedlings.
  5. Place the seedlings where I want to plant them in the garden. If I have more seedlings than space to grow, I have to make some choices.
  6. Plant the seedlings.
  7. Bring the extra seedlings to the crop swap so others can plant some too!

What are you excited about growing this year? I want to hear!