Why not start with an AAS (All America Selections) 2011 Winner?!
Pepper ‘Orange Blaze’ F1 Early ripening orange variety, very sweet flavor, multiple disease resistances!
Get out last year’s garden notes if you made any, and review for varieties you liked, where you got ‘em, how much to plant!
Plant in blocks, not rows, for pollination. When tassels bloom, break off pieces and whap them on the silks! Each silk is one kernel, each needs one grain of pollen!
Corn hybridizes – plant only one variety, or varieties that don’t have pollen at the same time. This is pretty much not doable at a community garden since everyone is planting all kinds at any time, so if you harvest seeds, don’t expect true results!
Heat tolerant, tipburn resistant lettuces – Nevada, Sierra, Black Seeded Simpson, Jericho Romaine
Slo bolt cilantro, arugula in semi shade (among your corn?!)
Eggplant love humidity and heat. Tuck ‘em in between, right up against, other plants. Near the cooler coast plant the longer length varieties that mature earlier.
Jicama, limas, melons, okra, peppers, seed potatoes, pumpkins
From Seed: basil (Nufar is wilt resistant), chard, green beans (while peas finishing), beets, carrots, corn, endive, New Zealand spinach, parsley, radish, squash – summer & WINTER, sunflowers, turnips. Coastal gardeners, get your winter squash in NOW so it will have ample time to mature.
The radish variety French Breakfast holds up and grows better than most early types in summer heat if water is supplied regularly.
PreSoak and/or PreSprout for 100% success! Click here for details! Per eHow: How to Soak Watermelon Seeds in Milk Before Growing. Sometimes the seed coat carries a virus, and the proteins in milk will also help deactivate the virus. Read more
Transplants: cucumbers (hand pollinate?), tomatoes, watermelon
WAIT FOR MAY to plant cantaloupe
Herbs from transplants – oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme
Plant successively! If you put in transplants now, also put in seeds for an automatic 6 week succession! Plant different varieties (except of corn if you want true seed – see above)!
If you overplant, thin for greens, or transplant when they are about 2 to 3 inches high. Lettuce, carrots, onions. Too many stunt each other. OR, this from Santa Barbara Westsiders Lili & Gabor: Overplant mesclun on purpose, then mow the little guys! If you are at home, plant densely in a planter bowl, cut off, leaving 1 ½” of stem still in your soil. They will regrow, you will have several months’ supply of tasty baby greens. Plant two or three bowls for more people or more frequent harvest! Give a bowl as a gift!
Plant for excellence – Throw a handful of bone meal in your planting hole along with a handful of nonfat powdered milk, worm castings, compost/manures, mix it all up with your soil. Sprinkle the roots of your transplant with mycorrhizal fungi! That’ll do it! Stand back for bounty!
REMOVE LOWER LEAVES OF TOMATOES Wilt prevention. Water sparingly or not at all after about a foot tall. Wilt comes from the ground up the leaves and is airborne. Remove any leaves that touch the ground or could get water splashed. Don’t remove suckers – airborne fungi can enter open wounds.
Sorry, NO HEIRLOOMS if you know the soil has the wilts. Heirlooms don’t have resistance. Get varieties with VF on the tag or that you know have resistance/tolerance.
Mid day, rap tomato cages or the main stem, to help pollination. 55 degrees or lower, higher than 75 at night, or 105 in daytime = bud drop. Not your fault. Grow early varieties first that tolerate cooler temps.
Pilgrim Terrace Community Garden Kevin and Mary Smith have had successes with 2 blight resistant/tolerant determinate varieties, New Hampshire Surecrop, a 78 day, great tasting slicer/canner, and Legend, a very early 68 day! Ask for them, and more Jetsetters, with unbelievable VFFNTA resistance/tolerance, at your nursery. See Tomatoes and Wilts here at the Green Bean Connection Blog for a list of additional resistant/tolerant varieties and tips!
Maintenance! Sidedress when blooms start. Fish/kelp, foliar feed Epsom salt for Solanaceaes, seabird guano (not bat) for more blooms, manures for lettuces and leaf crops like chard, collards.