Over that the Garden Fence: What Vegetables Should I Grow?


Beginning vegetable anglers are usually stymied about what vegetables to grow in their houses. The general guideline is to select easy-to-grow varieties which you like eating.

California has a unique Mediterranean climate that’s acceptable for growing various kinds of vegetables during the year. In cooler northern climates, many plants are grown in the spring and summertime. California anglers usually split crops by cool season veggies and hot season veggies.

Cool season vegetables prefer average temperatures involving 55ºF and 75ºF and may often tolerate a small frost. In California, these veggies are increased as soon as possible in spring or began in late summer for a fall crop. Cool season plants are usually believed “true” veggies in the leaves, stalks, roots, and flowers are chosen. Many root vegetables such as beets, carrots, parsnips, radish, and turnips are cool season plants. Leafy vegetables like celery, cabbage, lettuce, kale, and spinach are also generally cool season plants because they quickly bolt from the sexy California summer. Aliums, like onions and garlic, can also be considered cool season plants, as are asparagus, lettuce, cauliflower, artichokes, peas, and potatoes.

Warm season veggies prefer moderate temperatures involving 65ºF and 95ºF and normally die off in the first indication of frost. Warm season veggies can choose the California warmth, but frequently prefer daytime colour or colour fabric when temperatures rise over 95ºF. These are California classics, like tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, eggplant, okra, melons, squash, corn, and beans. With warm season plants, it’s generally the immature or mature fruit that’s harvested. These annuals are simpler to frequently easier to develop than cool season vegetables but don’t hold too much food value (they’re less nutritionally dense.)

There are some brief caveats to successfully growing vegetables. You don’t need a huge space. Consider growing vertically on a trellis, in cages, on a fence, or some other support as much as possible. Amend the soil with compost and fertilizer suitable for your chosen varieties. Water regularly, paying attention to the weather. Mulch to conserve water and reduce weeds. Check seed packets, catalogs, and seed company websites for growing tips. Pick produce regularly when ripe. Can or freeze excess produce or give to Plant-a-Row.

Seed catalogs are excellent sources of information on picking vegetables you may want to grow. Now is the time to start planning for spring and getting those seeds ordered!

UC Master Gardeners of Mariposa County is located at 5009 Fairgrounds Rd., Mariposa. For more gardening and event information, visit our website  at http://cemariposa.ucanr.edu/Master_Gardener and Facebook page (UC Master Gardeners of Mariposa County.) UC Master Gardeners staff a Helpline serving Mariposa County, including Greeley Hill, Coulterville, and Lake Don Pedro at 209-966-7078 or [email protected]. Listen to us on the radio at KRYZ 98.5 FM on Wednesdays at 2 pm. and Saturdays in 5 p.m.

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