Tell us About Your Garden Plans for 2020

Jalapeno Seedlings 2020

We post about lawn and garden tools, with most tools aimed at landscaping and maintenance-type applications. But, judging from some of your recent comments, quite a few readers have gardening projects.

So, what will your 2020 gardening plans entail?

Do you plan to start a vegetable garden? Plant some flowers? A fruit tree? Something else?

I’m going to try my hand at growing some vegetables this year. I planted sunflowers in containers two years ago, and aside from animals decimating my plants early on, it was a good experience.

Growing up, my father had a small garden every year, as did my grandfather, and my aunt and uncle had a small fig tree. There’s not much that you can grow in an urban environment, but every summer there were tomatoes, and cucumbers. There might have been some other small things I forgot about it.

I remember my father planting daffodils and tulips, and small other flowers at the front of the house. Starting with a marigold plant I bought in elementary school, we eventually had marigolds everywhere in the front.

I remember the long trips to the nursery, where my father would select plants for transplanting into the garden. If not for the COVID-19 pandemic and “stay at home” orders, I’d probably put my kids through the same experience now.

Every year, my grandfather pickled some of the tomatoes (you have to pick them while still green) and cucumbers, and added carrots and celery.

I finally worked up my nerve and gave fermentation a shot, creating my first pickles nearly two years ago. I’ve had some great batches since then, and a couple of failures. I’m a little regretful that I waited so long to give it a try, but am glad I started when I did.

I was never really interested in growing vegetables, but that has changed this year. I’ve had some interest in a small veggie garden since we moved from an apartment to a house with a yard, but there are several reasons why I can’t create an in-ground garden just yet.

When I started with fermented pickles, it was after years of interest and discouragement. I always thought I needed food-safe buckets and the perfect environmental conditions. I don’t remember the details of my grandfather’s pickle-making projects, only the many years or results. The last batch of pickles I remember, he made them at our house and kept the bucket in the backyard.

I worked up my nerve by realizing there were other tools and methods – such as fermentation crocks much smaller than 5 gallon buckets – and that there’s nothing to lose by trying, except a couple of bucks in produce.

Excuses aside, this year I am going to grow vegetables.

My plan started off with the intent to growing pickling cucumbers in a container garden. When my fermentations failed, it was because I sourced bad cucumbers – either too plump or too old. I thought, so why not grow my own…? Now’s a good time for it. If not now, then when?

My plan has expanded somewhat, and will now also include hot pepper plants – hopefully. There will also be at least one tomato plant, thanks to a slight mistake with my online ordering.

(After a week had passed and I realized I wouldn’t be getting hot pepper seeds anytime soon, I placed an order for some transplants. Shipping is the same for intervals of 6, and I accidentally added seeds to my order for the last plant instead of a transplant. I called up to fix this, and decided why not try a small tomato plant.)

I’m also trying for basil, dill, and carrots, and will see how that turns out.

I’ll save a couple of containers for unanticipated plans. I was talking to someone at the local garden center, and they plan to have a lot of varieties next month once it warms up. If it’s okay to travel, I’ll see what’s there, and maybe something else will join my vegetable container garden plans.

Things are going to be a little limited, and perhaps challenging, given that I’m planing in containers, but we’ll see how it goes. There’s more to lose – time, money, effort, but I won’t know what happens if I don’t give it a try. Plus, it’ll be good for the kids to watch the plant life cycle, if the deer and rabbits don’t interfere too much.

So, that’s my plan – I’m starting a vegetable garden this year, and with some flowers mixed in for both deer prevention and because I still have my planters from two years ago and it would be nice to fill them with something colorful.

The reason for this post is to help me determine if there should be any editorial content stemming from my experiments.

Knowing what gardening plans you guys might have – or might not have – will help me determine what kinds of tools and supplies to post about and even review. Otherwise, how do I know what you might be interested in? There’s also my personal curiosity and eagerness to hear about what you guys might be working on this summer.

Jalapeno Seedlings 2020

As for what you’re seeing here, my first jalapeno seedlings have sprouted! They’re going to be late in the ground – hot peppers need to be grown indoors for 6-8 weeks and transplanted outside after the last frost, but seed suppliers have been overwhelmed with orders. I’m still waiting on orders from 2 companies, and this point I might just have to save those seeds and supplies for next year.

There’s a lot I don’t know, and a lot I’ll have to learn “in the field” (get it?!). There will be kinks along the way, but that’ll all be part of the learning process.

So, now that you know my rough spring and summer 2020 gardening plans, what are yours?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I promised my daughter that we’ll plant some carrots seeds today. After that, I have to mock-up my design for a 30″ x 30″ cedar planter.

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