Answer: According to my map, it looks like you are in USDA zone 9b; this simply means that your average lowest winter temperature is between 25 and 30F. USDA zones can help you determine if a plant is hardy in your region, but doesn't necessarily tell you what wil thrive. A better guide might be the zones developed by Sunset Publishing, in their "Western Garden Book". These zones are based on not only winter temps, but also rainfall, elevation, etc. According to this book, you are in Sunset zone 11.
There are two vegetable growing seasons in your gardening region - February through April and August through October. Avoid planting in summer when the weather is so hot, but enjoy your spring and fall gardens. Here's a link to a website from the University of Nevada with lots and lots of vegetable gardening tips:
Best wishes with your garden!
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