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Garden Advice for San Diego
If you’re gardening in San Diego, our amazing climates give us the ability to grow many things year-round. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy, even if you’re a “seasoned” gardener. So, we’ve created this article to address where you might find yourself in your gardening journey.
You might be looking for advice as a new gardener: how do I get started? Or, you might already have some success and are now looking for more information on a topic. Or, maybe you’re an advanced gardener dealing with a specific challenge. Of course, many of the topics below are relevant regardless of your level of skill, but we’ve done our best to organize the information and link you to other posts based on where you find yourself in your San Diego gardening journey.
Gardening Successfully in San Diego
Every California gardener can be successful with the right information. Please visit our Garden Wisdom Blog for support in your gardening journey. Here you can find planting dates, microclimate information, and general gardening tips.
Cool Season Crops (spring, fall, winter)
Asparagus, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Carrots, Chard, Chives, Cilantro, Garlic, Kohlrabi, Kale, Lettuce, Onions, Parsley, Peas, Radish, Shallots, Spinach and Turnips
Warm Season Crops (summer)
Basil, Bush/Pole Beans, Beets, Corn, Cucumber, Melons, Pumpkin, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Eggplant, Okra, Peppers, Tomatoes, and Chives
* Disclaimer: Planting dates are approximate. Inland areas of Southern California need semi-shaded or cooler areas to grow some cool-season crops.
What is the difference between Cool Season Crops and Warm Season Crops?
California cool-season plants prefer a temperature range of 35-75°F. These cool-season plants consist of more leafy plants with large portions of their composition being water. Exposure to temperatures that are too warm can cause premature seed production in these plants, a process known as bolting, bitter flavor, inhibited growth, and sun scold.
Warm-season plants tend to be much larger and enjoy temperatures of 65-90°F. These plants must have six or more hours of sunlight to be healthy. This is why they grow in the long day summer months.
Lucky for Southern California gardeners, many cool-season plants can be planted year-round. We term this group of plants “San Diego Shade Crops”. These include Beets, Carrots, Leafy Greens, Kale, Mustards, and Radish. We call them shade crops since this means that by growing these plants under shade cloth or in a cooler area during the warmer months they can be grown year-round.