Fall is California’s Second Planting Season

Gary Jones

Thu October 27, 2016 5:04pm

Fall provides some wonderful opportunities for gardening in California. This time of year is considered a second season for planting thanks to the Golden State’s ideal weather.
Cool autumn nights and warm daytime temperatures help roots quickly develop in warm soil. This combination is advantageous to ensuring plants become well-established and contributes to faster spring growth. Don’t forget to amend your soil as it helps to lessen the likelihood your plants could freeze overnight. Remember, as with all edible crops, regular watering is important.
Fall vegetables are easy to grow and quick to harvest. Here are five top fall veggies that gardeners of any skill level should plant right away.
Kale – Kale is very popular in many restaurants these days. Perhaps that could be attributed to its flavor and texture. Most likely it is because kale happens to be loaded with nutrients and is considered a superfood. Why not grow your own? Kale tastes best when it is freshly grown in the backyard.
Lettuce – There are so many flavors, so many colors and so many choices when it comes to lettuce. Leaf lettuces can be harvested within a matter of weeks after planting. This reliable plant is actually one of the easiest to grow.
Cauliflower – Try to guess how many dishes can be made from one simple vegetable? Adventurous cooks or foodies add it to macaroni and cheese, put it on pizza or include it in salads. Cauliflower can be used as a rice substitute or even mashed up like potatoes. It can be added to breads, burgers and soups. Cauliflower is the number one mutable vegetable and should be tops for your garden too.
Broccoli – This dark green vegetable is cauliflower’s cousin. It tastes terrific when roasted and is healthy for you. Broccoli is easy to grow and can be planted in succession to harvest all season long.
Cabbage – Gardeners have a surprising number of choices when it comes to cabbage. Traditional green, gorgeous red, curly-leaved Savoys, Asian types and Chinese kinds are among them. Experiment with several kinds and stagger your plantings to produce fresh crops every few weeks.
Make sure to take advantage of California’s second season for planting. Now is the best time to get started.
Gary Jones is the chief horticulturist at Armstrong Garden Centers. Email your gardening questions to growingdialogue@armstronggarden.com or contact your local Armstrong Garden Center expert for more information.