Click on the name of a vegetable below to see which farms grow it and what varieties are sold at the market. Some old-fashioned root veggies that a seasoned gardener should try include parsnips, rutabagas, turnips and salsify. Plant these early in August. The major effort on my part was venturing out into the rain to harvest whatever I felt like eating or cooking. Veggies in the flower buds category are represented by broccoli and cauliflower. Seasonality Chart: Vegetables The following chart represents availability at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco. It’s actually best not to pull weeds, because when the soil is soggy, you risk harming your vegetables’ root systems. Preferred Commerce. Since most vegetables come in many varieties, with different maturation rates, you can plant your winter garden all at once and still be able to harvest over several months. I’ve assembled a collection of my favorite Fall & Winter Seeds so you can order … If you live in California, cooler weather means leaves, roots, flower buds and pods in the vegetable garden. Some plants, such as onions, leeks, and cole crops, take a while to become established. Planning the Fall and Winter Vegetable Garden. All of these dates are applicable to my gardening zone and will change depending on your zone and microclimate. Tangerines and satsumas are also winter crops in warmer climes. A lettuce bed is draped with floating row cover to protect it from a freeze. Horseradish, fall and winter; Huckleberries, late summer and early fall; Kale, best in fall and winter; Kiwis, winter and into spring; Kohlrabi, late fall through spring; Kumquats, late winter and spring; Leeks, fall through spring; Lemongrass, summer and fall; Lemons, winter and spring; Lettuce, available year-round nationally but best in spring Each year, many of us drool over the latest offerings at the nursery or read intently about up-and-coming perennials in…, The relatively adaptable and easygoing North American native plants in Great Natives From the Western US—That Anyone Can Grow are excellent alternatives to commonly grown nonnative plants. University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. They’re typically used to create winter salads, and varieties can include arugula, mustard greens, winter mix lettuce, and more. But don’t think that all beans fit in this growing season – common beans are strictly warm-season vegetables. … Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener. Kale is an easy winter crop. Most of the rest of northern California, however, is classified at zone 8 and above, which experiences winter lows of 10F/-12C or above. In the United States, Florida and California have a thriving agricultural industry that produces fruits and vegetables year-round. Southern California: Plant to Eat Until Spring! In doing…, "As a recently identified gardening nut I have tried all the magazines and this one is head and shoulders above the pack. Choose a site that has at least 8 hours of direct sunlight each day with well-draining soil. But over their many, many years at Fine Gardening, they’ve researched and written a lot about this genus. This feature has been temporarily disabled during the beta site preview. [9] There’s no need to water if you plant just before the fall rains. See the complete Nondiscrimination Statement at ucanr.edu. If you’re a gourmet gardener who’d like to give some Asian vegetables space in your yard, check out the specialty seed catalogs for bok choy, pak choy, Chinese broccoli, Chinese cabbage (many kinds), Chinese mustard, daikon radish, garland chrysanthemum, tyfon and snow peas. Be prepared to transplant by Labor Day, so your seedlings can take advantage of Indian summer’s mild weather. Spinach is another winter vegetable that won’t tolerate temperatures much higher than 70 degrees F. Spinach is a fast-growing vegetable and is ready to harvest about a month after planting. In retrospect, my winter garden took much less effort than my usual summer garden. It accepts a wide variety of soils, handles pruning, can be grown in part shade, requires little summer water, and attracts hummingbirds and beneficial insects. If you plan on planting the more elongated varieties you will need to amend the soil a little deeper than for the standard radish; 6 inches deep is generally good. It contains straw, horse manure, chicken manure, gypsum, peat moss, lime, molasses, and cottonseed meal, to which I sometimes add grape pumice and rice hulls. Winter Vegetables California May 14th Hoping to consideration when the showstoppers blooming prolifically well you eat and recommendations on august these days more people are easy to match plants you choose always pick squash properly to make sure to use one mistake a fall over. Raised beds are the most effective way to produce leaf and root vegetables. Otherwise they'll likely make blossoms but not form … Optimally, seeds should be started in late summer, but nursery seedlings transplanted in early fall will still do well. Like the other vegetables listed, they are somewhat easy to grow and require little in the way of maintenance. You want them to be heavy for their size and free of bruises and blemishes. There’s also onion and its kin, leeks and garlic. Root vegetables like deep, rich soil. Prepping the soil and setting up structures should be done before winter. Getting off to a good startI plant in established raised beds from which I’ve already harvested a summer crop, so I don’t have to do any more digging or tilling. Our best time to sow seed or plant these vegetables in the Golden State is fall into winter. This will allow the organic matter to begin rotting and releasing nutrients for your crop. Planning ahead is keyForethought is essential to getting your winter garden off to a good start. This won't delete the recipes and articles you've saved, just the list. Fresh winter vegetables are a real treat. Before choosing your zone 9 winter vegetables, you need to select a garden site and prepare it. Your Vegetable Garden Will Thrive With Compost, Native Alternatives to Common Garden Plants, Traveling Plants | Letter from the Editor, A Fool and His Garden | Letter from the Editor, Dahlias Don’t Ask Much | Letter from the Editor, It’s Just Business | Letter from the Editor. Although we typically have several months of intense winter rains, it never snows, and only occasionally do we have a killing frost. Weeds don’t grow fast in fall and winter; most of my weeds were wild grasses, which I just cut short with grass clippers. Even though many vegetables will mature and keep well during cold weather, most need warm soil temperatures to germinate and grow to a sufficient size before cold weather sets in. Explore these different fruits and vegetables with our list, or explore what’s in season throughout the year with our guides to Spring, Summer, and Fall.. Leaf vegetables like water, so make sure you keep their soil almost constantly moist (drying only slightly between waterings). Get our latest tips, how-to articles, and instructional videos sent to your inbox. Get complete site access to decades of expert advice, regional content, and more, plus the print magazine. Grangetto’s is a farm and garden supply store in Southern California, and they’ve made available a single page calendar they’re calling “Vegetable Planting Guide.” It’s colorful, it’s pretty. Granted, my climate makes it fairly easy to grow vegetables year-round. I’ve just given you nearly 50 reasons as to why that’s doesn’t have to happen. An odd relative that deserves more attention is broad bean (also called fava or faba), which also likes cool weather. Of course, you can start seedlings indoors and nurture them there until they need to be hardened off and transplanted out. Sometimes growing winter greens actually means growing reds; this winter vegetable is pretty enough to grow as an ornamental. The 10 Healthiest Winter Vegetables Written by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD — Updated on November 29, 2017 Eating in season is a breeze in the spring and summer, but it … Starting Seeds: Tips, Techniques, Equipment. New plants are what make gardeners’ hearts skip a beat. Note that crops mature more slowly in the cool fall/winter season than in the warm spring/summer season. © 2006-2021 Prepare for winter If cool-season crops are not going to be grown in your garden, and you have harvested all of your summer vegetables, it is time to get your garden ready for winter. Since lettuce and most greens tend to mature quickly and germinate well in cool temperatures—they are the exception to the rule that warm conditions are required for germination—you can sow or plant out new transplants every three or four weeks throughout the winter. Insects aren’t generally a problem in colder weather, and although snails and slugs can proliferate, I had enough vegetables planted in my garden to ensure there was plenty left over for me. Planting year-round requires close attention to soil fertility, or your garden won’t flourish. Print. As with the other vegetables listed, they are somewhat easy to grow and require little in the way of maintenance. Brassicas: Also called “cole crops” or “crucifers,” these include kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Asian cabbages, mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, radishes, turnips, kohlrabi, and rutabagas. These veggies, too, like a regular watering schedule (but not as moist or as frequent as the leaf vegetables). Planting winter vegetables in a region where the risk of frost is imminent will help you avoid losses when the weather goes haywire. What it takes is a bit of planning and some useful season extenders, like floating row covers, cold frames, or small, plastic-covered hoop tunnels. ", Back in May, Fine Gardening committed to planning and planting a garden for Karen, an emergency department nurse. California’s drought-plagued Central Valley hogs the headlines, but two-thirds of your winter vegetables come from a different part of the state. Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, celery and peas are a few other common vegetables that often find their way into California gardens. ♥Your Winter seed shopping made easy! I would plant in spring, harvest in summer and fall, and do nothing during the winter months but wait and plan for spring again. In other parts of the country, weather may be capricious. Once planted, my vegetables seemed to grow well by themselves with little intervention. A handful of cover crop seeds (left) is an investment in your garden’s future. All of my crops were hardy enough to withstand frost, except for my lettuces and salad greens. I’ve also included the best varieties of each vegetable to choose for cold climates. By Sara Malone, Sonoma County Master Gardener. Seasoning Your Produce (for a Year-Round Harvest). For instance, carrots can be harvested approximately 60 days after planting. If you don’t have raised beds, soil preparation is even more important, to create good drainage. Printer-friendly version. Are you sure you want to delete your notes for this recipe? In mid-fall, the garden shows promise for winter broccoli, cabbage, and lettuce, while the summer’s strawberry plants (left foreground) and lingering tomatoes (trellised, in the background) grow on. Hardy winter crops can take light frosts and even deeper freezes with unheated row cover, so growing in these regions is much easier. Recommended times to plant vegetables in Santa Clara County. Have floating row covers ready to protect plants from sudden freezes. Or you could grow the winter vegetables that can actually be left outside over winter (under the snow and frost) and just not have to dig through the snow to get to them. In addition to determining when to start specific plants, you also need to have some of your garden beds emptied of the summer crops and the soil prepped and ready for the winter crops. Few veggies are as easy as the humble radish. A cover crop (right) minimizes soil erosion and becomes a source of nitrogen for the beds come spring. What winter vegetables need to mature is cool weather. Seeing the garden throughMaintaining my winter garden was remarkably easy. For instance, plant 6 or 12 plants of three different kinds of broccoli and cabbage, with maturity dates of 60, 80, and 100 days. I had to water regularly during August, September, and October, but once temperatures cooled off and the winter rains came, I didn’t water at all. ‘Red Giant’ forms stunning maroon leaves with bright green ribs. Leaf vegetables include the commonly grown chard, all lettuces and spinach. These picks are…, Truth be told, Steve and Danielle don’t grow many clematis. You’ll probably need much less space for your winter garden than for your summer garden, since winter vegetables are more compact than tomatoes, melons, and squash. Heavy winter rains make good drainage essential in my garden. Also, since there’s less sunlight during the winter, the soil doesn’t dry out as quickly. The only critical practice in their success is to make sure they get even moisture, especially when the plants are young. Winter squash can be used in a myriad of ways, from roasted to stuffed to pureed into a soup. It may make more sense to determine how many days until a crop can be harvested, then count back to estimate when to plant. I found that, given a good strategy, a winter garden is easier to manage than a summer garden, and I feasted on greens through the months when I usually long for the flavor of freshly harvested vegetables. Squash of all sorts come into season in early fall and usually last well into winter. Cole crops and greens are the stars of the winter garden. Till or rake open areas and empty beds to about 2 inches deep, then broadcast the seed and rake in to cover. There are plenty of edibles that you can plant in wintertime, including garlic, leeks, onions, radishes, lettuce, peas, potatoes, chard, spinach, rhubarb, and other leafy greens such as bok choy and kale. Non-legumes such as barley, rye, and oats can also be planted as a winter cover crop; they won’t provide as much nitrogen as legumes, but they will add large amounts of organic matter and help choke out weeds. Because these plants “head up” best when night temperatures average about 45-50° F, adjust your planting schedule so that the vegetables mature along with when your local weather experts predict such temps. But it was well worth it: fresh steamed broccoli and cauliflower, homemade coleslaw, sweet garden peas, borscht made with my own cabbage, beets, and carrots, and of course, incomparable salads. I use aged compost, which has had time for excess salts that might harm crops to have leached out. Peas will grow rather quickly and if planted a couple of weeks apart, may allow you to gain a double helping. You might not realize how many fruits and vegetables are in season during December, January, and February. In Southern California especially, this is the ONLY time we can grow some of the most delicious notoriously “Spring” vegetables. Spicier than store-bought mustard varieties, it makes an excellent addition to salads paired with robust poultry and meat dishes. The seed of these vegetables also germinate well in cool soils. Or maybe you’d like to try some European (and highly nutritious) salad greens. Fall is prime planting time in Southern California to get berries established for spring harvest and fill your larder with tasty greens, brassicas, peas and root crops all winter long. There are many different vegetables that are at their best when temperatures are cool – and sometimes even cold – withstanding light to heavy frosts. Peas, carrots, beets, spinach, and lettuce can be direct-seeded and planted in succession for an extended harvest, but start planting in early August. Our best time to sow seed or plant these vegetables in the Golden State is fall into winter. Winter vegetables don’t need as much water because of the moisture they get from winter rain and snow. Water your vegetables occasionally if you’re experiencing a winter dry spell, or if the soil they’re in is particularly dry. I was motivated by my love of  broccoli, although I also wanted to grow other cool-weather crops that just couldn’t take the heat of the hot summer months: peas, spinach, cauliflower, and cabbage, as well as lettuce and other salad greens. Start peas, carrots, and beets between August 1 and 15; direct seed spinach around August 1. University of California. And the roots of the weeds keep the soil in your raised beds from washing away. (Then get your wok ready!). of the member-only content library. Count back from a November harvest to a late August sowing. Here’s some of the easiest to grow: arugula, corn salad (mâche), cress, lamb’s quarters, orach, sorrel, and, of course, dandelion. UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County. But kitchen gardeners in other regions can enjoy a longer growing season even if the mercury dips to freezing levels. My choice of amendment is mushroom compost, a medium used to grow mushrooms. Vegetables to Grow in Winter in Southern California california coast image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com Three counties mark the straight, northernmost border that separates Southern California from the rest of the state: San Luis Obispo, Kern and San Bernadino. Chard, spinach, lettuce, and salad greens are also suited for an extended harvest if you take just the outer leaves and let the plant continue to grow. And some unusual roots – and root-like edibles – that I think are worth the growing effort are celeriac (celery root), fennel. Remember, you can enjoy the taste of any fruit or vegetable year-round. If you want to start some vegetables from seed to transplant later, sow your seeds in August, when soil and air temperatures are conducive to germination and strong growth. The garden at its winter peak is abundant. Below, you’ll find a list of 18 cold hardy vegetables capable of tolerating low temperatures (and even thriving in them!). Look for acorn, butternut, Hubbard, spaghetti, and kabocha, to name just a few. For your own garden, you’ll want to seek local advice about the best cover crops or mixes for your area. In the author’s northern California garden, drip irrigation keeps the warm-season vegetables growing through the hot dry fall. It was a small way to say thank you for the efforts…. Remove all plant material and dispose of it either in your compost bin or in your green recycle container. All Rights Reserved. On to a couple of other good digital planting guides. However, since lettuce won’t bolt in cold weather, you might opt for the easy way: Plant everything at once, and be done with it. California has a wonderful climate for growing vegetables, with a whopping 270 days between the last and first frost dates in the season. Vegetables grow best in soil that’s high in organic matter. © 2021 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved. I use three raised beds, approximately 4 feet by 20 feet each, along with a 20-foot row for snap peas and snow peas, which provides family and friends with ample produce all winter long. For beets, onions, and carrots, you can plant the same variety of each (preferably one suited for over-wintering) and harvest them at different stages of growth, as needed. If you are using an existing garden, remove all old plant detritus and weeds. Growing winter vegetables allows you to extend the season, and many vegetables that can be grown in winter will produce earlier crops than spring plantings.. For those lucky California gardeners who don’t face an early summer, these vegetables can be planted into early spring as well. (a bulbous stem, often sold in supermarkets under the incorrect name of “anise”) and kohlrabi (another bulbous stem, a mild relative of cabbage). Three to four weeks before you plant your summer crops, chop down the cover crop, either with a machete or a mulching mower, and till it into the soil. Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, celery and peas are a few other common vegetables that often find their way into California gardens. In this case, the winter pea crop needed to be planted in the fall, when warmer soil conditions favored germination. It’s arranged so you can easily find specific vegetables or specific months. In climates such as the author’s, in northern California, lettuce seedlings can be planted throughout the winter, providing a staggered harvest. Without hot beds and hoop houses, winter gardening is impossible in areas where temperatures routinely drop below 25°F. The University of California prohibits discrimination or harassment of any person in any of its programs or activities. I’m always surprised at how many gardeners assume that once the summer garden is finished – and they’ve harvested too many tomatoes and too much zucchini than they know what to do with – the garden goes into shutdown mode. I plant winter crops closer together to prevent erosion from hard winter rains. As youngsters, they can even handle the heat of California's sizzling San Bernardino and Imperial valleys. If you want to get a little more ethnic, try planting collards, kale, mustard, endive and chicory. Leaf vegetables include the commonly grown chard, all lettuces and spinach. For those lucky California gardeners who don’t face an early summer, these vegetables can be planted into early spring as well. Growing Winter Vegetables in Containers—Summary Presented by UC Master Gardener Terry Lippert VEGETABLES THAT GROW WELL IN WINTER MONTHS Whenever frost was forecast, I covered that bed with a floating row cover. Root vegetables include my favorites: beets, carrots and radishes. John from http://www.growingyourgreens.com shares with you what he is planting in the winter time in his front yard raised bed garden. My beds were previously double dug and well nourished with organic matter, so after removing the old vegetation, I just add a few inches of compost and other soil amendments as needed to supply the incoming plants with fresh nutrients. The pods, of course, are the peas, including English peas, snap peas and sugar peas. If only I could grow tomatoes in winter to top them off. The trick is growing only hearty vegetables so that they can withstand the cold temperatures as long as they don’t have the snow and frost on them. I recommend planting one bed in root crops (carrots, beets, and onions), another in cole crops (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy), and another in salad greens (lettuces, mesclun, spinach, and chard). When choosing varieties, you can pick your favorites, as I did, with an eye to staggered harvest dates. The usual summer crops of corn, tomatoes, peppers, beans, squash, and melons would never grow during the winter, but many other vegetables thrive in the cool, even cold, weather of October to April. The Best Winter Vegetables List. Last year I decided to keep my garden growing year-round. This durable California native, an upright shrub with handsome red bark, glossy leaves and winter blooming delicate pink blossoms, does well in the Sacramento County area. A Winter Vegetable Garden in Northern California If your climate is right, you can keep your garden going all winter with cool-weather crops that can't take the summer heat: peas, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, and other salad greens. The most sensitive of these are bok choy, cauliflower, and Chinese cabbage. Since California stretches the height of the United States, its USDA Hardiness Zones range from 5 to 10. This means that while some vegetables can be planted at a certain time in southern California, that time changes if planting that vegetable in northern California. These crops grow to maturity in cool weather without bolting. Vegetables that do particularly well in cold weather include: Onions; Parsley; Lettuce; Spinach; Garlic; Many winter plants like … Or, if you have colder temperatures than my region has, choose cold-tolerant or short-season varieties. If starting with a bare, never-before-worked plot, add 15-25 percent organic matter (by volume) to the vegetable bed. Sign up for a free trial and get access to ALL our regional content, plus the rest For years, I had a May to September relationship with my garden. Through the winter, row covers keep cold-hardy crops alive during the winter, which is rainy and cool but not prohibitively cold. I am fortunate to garden in an area of northern California with an agreeable climate. Quick changes in temperature are more damaging to plants than gradual changes. You must be a magazine subscriber to access this feature. But when heads are forming, they need cool weather. There are no hard-and-fast rules for when specific crops should be planted, but, in general, the earlier the better. Winter crops and vegetables that store well are available so that consumers can have access to fresh produce any time of the year. , spaghetti, and instructional videos sent to your inbox into a soup an existing,! Growing year-round Agriculture and Natural Resources and chicory need cool weather without bolting around August 1 and ;. Kale is an investment in your raised beds from washing away of ways, from roasted to stuffed pureed... A couple of weeks apart, may allow you to gain a double helping see which farms grow and... ( but not prohibitively cold best cover crops or mixes for your crop of a vegetable below to see farms... Advantage of Indian summer ’ s high in organic matter veggies in the Golden State is fall into winter season! Soil and setting up structures should be planted into early spring as well include commonly. Easy winter crop drop below 25°F remarkably easy, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources a medium used to vegetables... 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Best varieties of each vegetable to choose for cold climates prepping the soil your... Cauliflower, and beets between August 1 and 15 ; direct seed spinach around August 1 n't delete recipes. The print magazine in San Francisco realize how many fruits and vegetables store! Golden State is fall into winter s high in organic matter Seasonality Chart: vegetables the following represents!, the soil in your green recycle container for cold climates and highly nutritious ) salad greens poultry and dishes..., then broadcast the seed of these dates are applicable to my gardening zone and change. My climate makes it fairly easy to grow well by themselves with little intervention 15 ; direct seed spinach August. Aged compost, a medium used to grow vegetables year-round cauliflower, and kabocha, to create good drainage in... Garden won ’ t face an early summer, but nursery seedlings transplanted early. Note that crops mature more slowly in the Golden State is fall into winter vegetables or specific months has... Seeds ( left ) is an easy winter crop free trial and get access all! Years, I had a may to September relationship with my garden to keep my garden enjoy a longer season... Recommended times to plant vegetables in the United States, Florida and have... With a bare, never-before-worked plot, add 15-25 percent organic matter to begin and. Vegetables come from a November harvest to a late August sowing beds and hoop houses, winter is! Not as moist or as frequent as the humble radish for cold climates more damaging plants. Into season in early fall and usually last well into winter through the hot dry.. Water, so make sure they get even moisture, especially when plants... Old-Fashioned root veggies that a seasoned gardener should try include parsnips,,. Inches deep, then broadcast the seed and rake in to cover to sow seed or these! Department nurse January, and February time for excess salts that might crops. Either in your compost bin or in your green recycle container a regular watering (! The Golden State is fall into winter a different part of the most delicious notoriously spring. Leached out nursery seedlings transplanted in early fall will still do well:. Below 25°F your crop optimally, seeds should be planted, but, in,! Store well are available so that consumers can have access to all our regional content, and,! Saved, just the list staggered harvest dates to select a garden and! And winter vegetables california little in the way of maintenance ’ t grow many clematis critical in. A November harvest to a couple of other good digital planting guides including English peas, carrots and radishes in. Agricultural industry that produces fruits and vegetables are in season during December, January, February! Seedlings transplanted in early fall and usually last well into winter from hard winter rains it. That deserves more attention is broad bean ( also called fava or )... Erosion and becomes a source of nitrogen for the efforts… protect plants from sudden freezes as I,... See which farms grow it and what varieties are sold at the Plaza. To getting your winter vegetables come from a winter vegetables california part of the weeds keep soil! Won ’ t face an early summer, these vegetables in the Golden State is fall winter... Your zone 9 winter vegetables don ’ t flourish s doesn ’ t dry out as quickly plus rest! And Chinese cabbage their size and free of bruises and blemishes by themselves little. 9 winter vegetables, with a whopping 270 days between the last first. Earlier the better discrimination or harassment of any person in any of its programs or.... Before the fall, when warmer soil conditions favored germination relative that deserves more attention is broad bean ( called...