Inspired by the wave of new and returning gardeners that we have seen in the San Diego area during the COVID pandemic, we have partnered with the awesome people at Pannikin La Jolla in hoping to bring a joy of gardening into your life through gardening support and in the form of seedlings available at the café.
Through the garden, we have become awakened to the intricacies of nature and we are continuously moving to being more aligned with her intelligence in our work. This awareness has allowed us to learn many lessons from Mother Earth that connect us back to ourselves and ultimately our relationships with our family, friends, and community. Gardening allows us to witness the beauty in all!
We are offering all transplants through a donation based model as we think that everyone should have access to plants and a way to feed their family healthy food. We are also offering donation based gardening and regenerative living support, at first virtually, then we hope to later provide this service in person as there is no substitute for being physically in a microclimate. Please contact us if you would like to access these services. We are excited to share our knowledge with you!
Choose your space in the garden for the transplant according to the plants needs (see below). Dig a hole a little wider and deeper than the size of the pot. Add compost into the bottom of the hole. To remove plant from pot, grasp the base of the plant and turn downward to work with gravity, then pull gently and catch the roots as they come out. If the roots are all twisted in the pot, gently break them up so the roots will be shooting downward. Place the plant in the hole and fill in with soil. Water generously for a few days to prevent shock. Most summer plants should get about 1-2" of water per week, but microclimates vary. I recommend getting a moisture meter to measure when to water plants, they usually need a lot less than I think so this is a really helpful tool. Root systems go about as deep as the plant is tall, so remember that even though the soil surface is dry, they can pull water from down deep. Mulches (straw, wood chips) can help conserve water and keep roots cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Bush beans require no trellising and take about 50 days to produce beans. Plant every 3" in full sun in well drained soil. Water at root base. Harvest continuously so the plant continues to produce new beans. Bush bean seeds can easily be saved. Just leave a few pods at the end of the plant life and allow to dry. Remove and open the pods and allow the seeds to dry out for a few days until completely dry. Store in a cool, dry space and plant again next year!
Tomatoes can be harvested around 75 days after planting. I always want to pick them before they are ready, use a sharp knife or scissors to harvest and taste test when they have changed color and are firm, but not hard. Plant in full sun every 18" and water at the root base. Most plants require a trellis. If you have time, prune all the suckers off the main stalk. This allows the fruit to mature and ripen instead of focusing on leaf growth.
Head lettuce can be harvested in 75-85 days as a full head below the start of growth, or be cut multiple times just above the base and be allowed to grow back. Head lettuce can tolerate partial shade during the summer, which I usually provide to prevent it from going directly to seed. Plant every 6".
Swiss Chard is planted every 12" and can be harvested within 50 days. Harvest the larger, outer leaves and allow the smaller inner leaves to continue growing. Swiss chard will tolerate partial shade and I usually grow ours in partial shade to prevent it from going to seed.
Peppers are harvested within 75 days. They can enjoy partial shade depending on your microclimate. Out here in the high desert, our peppers will burn in direct sunlight. Plant peppers 12" apart and harvest at the size you enjoy! Sometimes, they do require support from something as simple as a bamboo stake to prevent the stem breaking.
Sunflowers take 90-110 days to mature! Plant every 18" in full sun. Sunflowers are a great plant to use as a living trellis for vine type plants, but they may need a stake themselves in high wind areas. Keep in mind that they may also shade parts of the garden. Place plants needing full sun to the south of sunflowers and plants wanting partial shade to the north. Test seeds after development to see if they are ready for harvest. Dry and replant or enjoy eating!!