Month By Month Planting Guide for Southern California
A ‘Cheat Sheet’
These generalizations are for The Learning Garden, located in Sunset Zone 24, less than 3 miles from the Pacific Ocean in an alluvial plain that is just above sea level. Cold air from the surrounding hills drains into our area and we are reliably cooler than much of the surrounding areas. If you are growing inland from us, your temperatures fluctuate more than ours. As one gardens further from the ocean, the temperatures are less moderate and the effects of heat and cold are more pronounced. While we can grow some cool season crops year round (kale and chard come to mind first), this becomes more difficult further inland without the ocean’s pronounced influence.
Plant in the ground: lettuce, carrots, beets, parsnips, potatoes, celeriac, radishes, spinach
Plant in containers: lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, chard, (these last two can be started now, but they would have been better started earlier – their production will be reduced by the coming warmer weather), peas, fava beans, lentils, garbanzo beans
Plant in the ground: lettuce (and other salad greens), carrots, beets parsnips, radishes, spinach, purple beans
Plant in containers: early tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, summer squash
Plant in the ground: purple beans, lettuce, radishes, purple beans, beets, radishes, spinach, set out plants of basil, early tomatoes, later in the month, sow early sweet corn
Plant in containers: tomatoes, basil, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, melons, all squash
Plant in the ground: beans of all colors, lettuce, radishes, beets, spinach, set out plants of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, basil, you can start planting all corn now
Plant in containers: tomatoes, basil, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, melons and squash, okra
Plant in the ground: all basil, eggplant, all melons and all squash (including cucumbers, set out plants of same and all tomatoes, eggplants and peppers) green and yellow beans and all the dried beans; corn too, if you have room
Plant in containers: As in April, but it’s getting late – peppers, eggplants and basil are still OK to start, but it’s getting late
Plant in the ground: all the above, but it’s getting late… you can still get a crop, but it will be cut shorter by any early cool weather; the last of the corn can go in early in the month
Plant in containers: after starting pumpkin seeds, take a nap
Plant in the ground only out of necessity
Plant in containers: continue napping
Plant in the ground: nothing
Plant in containers: towards the end of the month, in a shaded location, the first of the winter veggies can be started, cabbage, broccoli, kale, chard, fava beans
Plant in the ground: nothing, until late in the month, start sowing turnips, parsnips, radishes, beets and carrots – keep seeds moist! Peas, lentils and garbanzo beans can be sown… If you grow onions from seed, start them now so you can transplant them out from October on.
Plant in containers: Cabbage, broccoli, kale, chard, favas, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts.
Plant in the ground: by now you can begin to set out some of your cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, chard and so on. Continue with seeds as above… you can also direct sow favas if you want. Potatoes can usually be found about now as well as onions, garlic and shallots and they all should be planted from now until late November.
Plant in containers: More Cruciferae and favas, celery and celeriac.
Plant in the ground: More of September’s plants can be sown – you still have time for all of them except onions, this will be the last month to plant peas, lentils, garbanzos and fava beans. Their growing season is too long to get the harvest you would want.
Plant in containers: I’m still sowing cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower, but Brussels sprouts are a longer season item so they’re not a part of my efforts until next season’s planting begins.
Plant in the ground: Too little light and too many parties make it difficult to find garden time – but if you have some things left over from November, try to get that done.
Plant in containers: Pretty much the same story, if you have time, do more from November.