Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:09 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

New to Gardening and Lots of Questions

Hello Everyone,
I had decided to start a vegetable garden a while ago, but reading through a lot of the information I found out it was a lot harder than I had imagined. That said I would like some advice on this issue.

My main problem right now is that all the stores around me are selling things like peppers and tomatoes, even saw some strawberries. Now I had thought these were out of season at this point (I live in a coastal city in Southern California, so it doesn't ever get too hot or too cold). So are these stores selling me stuff that wont really produce till next summer? And if so how are theirs on display still producing vegetables. Is California weather sufficient to grow most things year round? If anyone could help me with this it would be much appreciated.



Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:43 pm

I would start by looking at the labels or talk to the people who stock the produce. You will probably learn the stock came out of cold storage or came from halfway across the world.


Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3065
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:01 am
Location: New Orleans

Brit, the nurseries in my area don't sell vegetable plants that are considered out of season and I would assume that applies to the ones in your area too. Since you have moderate weather all year long, there is no reason you can't grow what they are offering in plants already started in cells.

If your winters are cool and not below freezing for weeks at a time, you can also grow lettuces, spinach, swiss chard, collard/turnip/mustard greens. The list is endless.

Personally, I prefer fall gardening since our summers here in Southeast Louisiana are brutal and many of the plants that grow from spring to summer also grow late summer to well into the winter.

Good luck with your garden.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Take a good look at Sunset's Western Garden Book. Huntington Beach is in Sunset climate zone 24, which has a 12-month growing season; pretty rare in the United States. Even the Bay Area slows to a complete slog in late December, January, and most of February where veggies are concerned.

I agree with previous advice: find an independent nursery with knowledgeable staff (not a Big Box garden dept. w/someone who probably sold paint yesterday and lighting supplies the day before that). They can tell you which varieties of tomatoes will do best for you, provided you can tell them about your sun exposure (from the east? south? number of hours/day?), soil type, wind, and so on.

Get to know Sunset. Not only will its "Practical Guide to Gardening" (aimed at new gardeners) help you find your bearings in the garden, but the climate maps and descriptions will help you select plants, and the alphabetical plant list (from Abelia through Zygocactus) will guide you to cultivars/varieties suitable for Sunset climate zone 24.

Happy gardening!

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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