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Growing It Local > Geographic Areas > Southern California Coast, Valleys & Mountains

Southern California Coast, Valleys & Mountains

Coastal Areas

Planting of most cool season crops can be started in September and continued through early Spring. The cabbage family (Brasicas) can be started from seed a bit earlier in August. Warm season plants can be started from seeds indoors beginning in January and can be planted out starting in March or April through June (depending on variety).

Inland Valleys and Hills

Planting of most cool season crops can be started in September and continued through early Spring. The cabbage family (Brasicas) can be started from seed a bit earlier in August. Warm season plants can be started from seeds indoors starting in January and can be planted out starting in March or April through June (depending on variety). Although summer plants continue to grow in July, August and early September, the high temperatures cause them stress. Some varieties such as peppers, eggplant, winter squash, and cucumbers may to better with some shade.

What to plant now in the Southwest by Mother Earth News

Ventura

 

Ventura Vegetable Gardening Information

Many fruit and nut varieties require more chilling hours than Ventura County receives. UC Extension Services provides a list of varieties that consistently produce in Ventura's mild winter areas.

Ventura County Fruit and Nut Variety List

Growing Avocados in Ventura County

Growing Citrus in Ventura County

Community Gardens, Gardening Groups, and Regular Classes

List of Ventura County Community Gardens, Gardening Groups & Regular Classes

Gardening Help Line

Ventura Master Gardeners are available to answer gardening questions for free - in person, by phone, or by email.

Ventura Master Gardeners Help Line Contact Information

Farmers Markets

Ventura County Farmers Market List

Agriculture

Agriculture is important in Ventura County. Crops include berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries), avocado, citrus, subtropicals (cherimoya, litchi, longan), and vegetables (Celery, tomatoes, bell peppers).

Los Angeles

 

Los Angeles Vegetable Gardening Information

The UC Extension of Los Angeles website has articles with local gardening information.

UC Extension Gardening Articles

Their Planting Date Guide includes planting dates for different areas of LA:

Planting Date Guide

LA Garden Blog

David King has more than 40 years of experience growing food organically. His LA Garden Blog has a lot of gardening information that is specifically for Southern California. Check out the archive list at the bottom left of the page including July 2013 "Southern California Cheat Sheet: A Month by Month List of What To Plant and When" and blogs for each month of the year that are packed with information. David teaches classes and has a new book coming soon "Growing Food in Southern California".

LA Garden Blog

Seed Library of Los Angeles (SLOLA)

The mission of the Seed Library of Los Angeles is to facilitate the growth of open-pollinated seeds among residents of the Los Angeles Basin. They are building a seed collection and repository, educating members about the practice of seed-saving, and creating a local community of seed-saving gardeners. Their website includes information about seed saving.

Seed Library of Los Angeles Website

Gardening Help Line

The Los Angeles Master Gardeners are available to answer your gardening questions for free by phone or email.

LA Master Gardeners Help Line Contact Information

Farmers Markets

Los Angeles Farmers Markets List

 

Orange County

 

Orange County Vegetable Gardening Information

The Orange County Master Gardeners publish planting dates for common vegetables:

Orange County Planting Dates

UC Extension provides this information about backyard orchards for Orange County:

Orange County Backyard Orchard Information

Community Gardens

List of Orange County Community Gardens

Gardening Help Line

Orange County Master Gardeners are available to answer gardening questions for free. You can contact them by phone (voice mail) at 949 809-9760 or email at hotline@uccemg.com. (You can attach pictures.)

You can submit a question online if you don't need to attach pictures:

Submit a Question Online

Farmers Markets

Orange County Farmers Market Listing and Harvest Availability Calendar

 

Inland Empire

 

Inland Empire Vegetable Gardening Information

Gardening Help Line

Master Gardeners are available to answer gardening questions for free. Contact them by phone, email, or office walk-in.

Riverside & Indio Help Line Contact Information (Scroll down page.)

San Bernardino County Help Line Contact Information

Farmers Markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs)

Inland Empire Farmers Market List

Riverside Area Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) List

Temecula

 

Temecula and Murrieta Vegetable Gardening Information

Local Groups

Temecula Valley Organic Veggie Gardening and Natural Living Meetup Group Info

Gardening Help Line

Master Gardeners are available to answer gardening questions for free. Contact them by phone, email, or office walk-in.

Riverside Help Line Contact Information (Scroll down page.)

Farmers Markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs)

Temecula Farmers Market List

Temecula Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) List

 

San Diego

 

San Diego Vegetable Gardening Information

San Diego Master Gardener Joyce Gemmell has a website with San Diego area planting information for each common vegetable type.

Joyce Gemmell's Planting Guide Website

Joyce also teaches classes on vegetable gardening in the San Diego area that have been recorded and are available on YouTube.

Fall-Winter Crops for San Diego County Video Part 1

Fall-Winter Crops for San Diego County Video Part 2

Farm Advisor Vincent Lazaneo has written this planting guide for San Diego with planting dates for different vegetables.

Vincent Lazaneo's Vegetable Planting Guide

San Diego Master Gardeners

The Master Gardener Association of San Diego's Website is a resource for information about growing fruits and vegetables in San Diego.

Master Gardener Association of San Diego Website

Gardening Help Line

The Master Gardener helpline phone number for San Diego is (858) 822-6910. You can call this number for free advice about growing fruits and vegetables in the San Diego area or you can email them with a question.

Email the Master Gardeners with a Question.

Community Gardens

San Diego Community Garden Network

 

California Rare Fruit Growers - San Diego Chapter

California Rare Fruit Growers San Diego Chapter Website

Farmers Markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs), and Farm Stands

Below is a link to the San Diego Farm Bureau page listing local farmers markets. Be aware that at Farm Bureau-sponsored markets, any produce grown in California is classified as local. Also, there may be a section for crops not grown in California and the section may not be marked. Check with each provider to verify that their produce was grown near San Diego.

Local Farmers Markets

A good way to buy local is through Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs). Consumers buy a subscription from a farmer to receive fresh produce weekly or bi-weekly, usually delivered to a pick-up location. Below is a link to the San Diego Farm Bureau page listing local CSAs.

Local CSAs

Below is a link to the San Diego Farm Bureau page listing local farm stands where farms sell their own produce.

Local Farm Stands

What crops are available fresh this month?

San Diego Harvest Calendar

The San Diego Grown Exchange

This tool was created by the San Diego County Farm Bureau to help local farmers find retail stores, restaurants, distributors, and institutional buyers interested in buying locally grown products.

San Diego Grown Exchange

Agriculture

There are 6,565 small family farms in San Diego with 65% harvesting nine acres or less.

The top agricultural crops in San Diego County are Ornamental Nursery Plants, Avocados, Tomatoes, and Lemons.

Where San Diego County Ranks Nationally:

  • 12th largest farm economy among more than 3000 counties
  • More small farms (less than 10 acres) than any other county
  • #1 producer of avocados
  • #1 producer of nursery crops
  • #1 in number of part-time farmers
  • #2 in acres of guavas, pomegranates, limes, and macadamias
  • #2 in farms with women as principal operator
  • #3 in honey production
  • #5 in lemons
  • #9 in strawberries

Mountains

 

Southern California Mountains Vegetable Gardening Information

Similar to other areas of central and Southern California, the Southern California mountains have a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and moist cool winters. Although Mediterranean types of vegetation such as chaparral and oak woodlands predominate in this region, the elevations are considerably higher, the summers are slightly cooler, and precipitation amounts are greater than in neighboring areas. The South-facing slopes typically have higher precipitation (30-40 inches) than the North-facing slopes (15-20 inches), but high evaporation rates make the South-facing slopes drier.

The Southern California mountains are sometimes divided into two sections. The Transverse Ranges are to the North and have an East-West orientation, while the Penninsular Ranges are to the South and have a North-South Orientation.

The Transverse Ranges

  • Santa Ynez and Topatopa Mountains
  • Oak Ridge and Santa Susanna Mountains
  • Santa Monica Mountains
  • San Gabriel Mountains
  • San Bernardino Mountains
  • Little San Bernardino Mountains
  • Pinto Mountains
  • Eagle and Cottonwood Mountains

 The Peninsular Ranges

  • Temescal Mountains
  • Santa Ana Mountains
  • San Jacinto Mountains
  • Palomar Mountains
  • Laguna Mountains
  • Cuyamaca Mountains

Fresh-picked apples and pears can be purchased at Julian orchards and fruit stands in the Cuyamaca Mountains from mid-August through September.

Information About Julian Area Orchards and Agriculture