The Q&A Archives: Vegetables Suited to Northern CA

Question: I only have a very small plot and would like to start a vegetable garden. I live in sunny southern California. Can you give me suggestions on what to grow and when is the best time to start? J. Kutzler El Cajon, CA

Answer: Some great crops to start with include the following (since your plot is small, choose a few of your favorites): Cool season: peas, lettuce, spinach, kale Warm season: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, beans, squash (bush varieties) Grow coolseason vegetables in early spring and late fall, when the weather will be most appropriate. You can direct-seed lettuce, for example, in early September for a mid to late October harvest. For your first garden, it might be a good idea to purchase transplants -- small seedlings -- of tomatoes, peppers, or perhaps eggplants. Other plants you can direct-seed into the garden. In an area with a long growing season like yours, you can plant an early crop of spinach, for example, follow it with a fast-maturing variety of green beans, and when those are finished producing in mid to late summer, plant another crop such as lettuce to harvest in the fall.

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