Starting brassicas in summer

Starting brassicas in summer

Growing good broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts in Southern California is all about timing. August is a great time to sow these “brassicas.” You get the seeds started now and you’ll likely harvest some around Thanksgiving, certainly around Christmas....
Volunteers show when to plant vegetables

Volunteers show when to plant vegetables

I brought this ‘Clarimore’ zucchini plant back from a tour of Brijette Peña’s urban farm, where she grows vegetables for seed and trials varieties for her San Diego Seed Company. Peña sold it to me as a seedling in a four-inch pot. But when I got home that...
Growing corn in Southern California

Growing corn in Southern California

More than any other vegetable, growing corn makes me feel like I’m farming — not gardening, but farming. It’s partly because corn is a big plant. It’s one of the few vegetables that stands taller than you. And corn is usually grown in some arrangement of...
Growing peas in Southern California

Growing peas in Southern California

My children have taught me that it is more fun to graze a garden than to harvest its produce, bring it into the house, wash it, prepare it, or cook it, or refrigerate it for later. Apologies to my wife. I used to grow snap peas for her because she likes to make stir...
Growing greens in Southern California

Growing greens in Southern California

“You know you got to give me some of those greens,” he said. “Oh, you like greens?” “Mmmmmm.” How bold. This guy had just shown up at our door to fix a problem with our internet connection, and these were his first words. Our garden is in the front yard right by where...
Using wood chips as mulch for vegetables

Using wood chips as mulch for vegetables

It’s raining as I write this, which brings to life right out my window all of the things I like about using wood chips as mulch around my vegetables. The chips are soaking up the rain so there’s no run off; they’re protecting the soil surface from erosion or crusting...

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