The Q&A Archives: Planting Schedule

Question: I can never seem to get the right plants in the ground at the right time to get the results I desire. I live in an area of southern California that leaves me confused as when to plant. None of the local garden shops can even agree on what zone we are in. We are at 2300 ft at the base of the San Gorgonio Mts. Some winters it snows, and almost every summer it is 110 in the shade by mid July. The only thing that I have ever planted and had turn out on time is pumpkins. I have figured out that they go in the ground in the middle of June to get a good crop in Oct. Right now I have peppers in my garden that are not producing because it is too hot. The blooms are dropping off but I did as the direction said and planted in full sun. I water daily and it is just too hot for them so I either planted too late or too early. Can I expect a fall crop maybe? For next year the kiddies have their garden orders in and I have no clue as when to plant their request. They would like cucumbers, cantalope, and watermelon. I would like a timming suggestion so as to hopefully avoid problems like I am currently having with my peppers. Thank you

Answer: You're area is a tricky one, but there is hope! It sounds to me like you need to tap into local gardening expertise offered by the Master Gardeners in your county via the Agricultural Extension Service (ph# 909/387-2166). Ask to talk to a Master Gardener from your immediate region, who has gardened in the same conditions you do, and can advise you best. You might do well to find a copy of Pat Welsh's Southern California Gardening (Chronicle Books, ISBN# 0-87701-629-1), and find out more about your "true" garden zone from the Sunset Western Garden Book (Sunset Publishing Corp., ISBN# 0-376-03851-9). Best of luck to you!

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