Planting a Vegetable Garden
Like the proverbial chicken and egg question, in vegetable gardening it's which comes first, the "What to Plant" question or the "When to Plant" question? I'll start with when to plant.
Ask your local nurseryman or Master Gardener when to plant your fall, spring, or summer garden, or a particular vegetable and you will most often get a question in return, "Where do you live?" In our three county area (Shasta, Trinity, and Tehama) average last frost dates in the spring and average first frost dates in the fall depend so much on the location of your garden.
Luckily, we have some help. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) has been collecting climate data across the United States under a Congressional mandate since 1890. They are required to compute normals every 30 years. NOAA currently updates 30 year normals every decade. The latest report is 1971 to 2000. Look for the station nearest your location. The table will give you probability levels for frost at different stations in California. Redding is not listed; Red Bluff is a good substitute. Another good source for average frost dates is Utah State University. It lists stations no longer in use or not having enough data for the 30 year normals including several in Redding. Select your state. Remember, your particular microclimate (influenced by hills, hollows, structures or proximity to bodies of water) may affect the averages for your garden.
As a general rule of thumb, you can plant your summer vegetable garden (tomato transplants, corn, squash, etc.) mid-April for the Valley (Redding and Red Bluff), late May for Hayfork and Weaverville, and late May through the end of July for the Intermountain areas of Shasta County. Check with your local Master Gardeners, County Extension office, or nursery professionals.
Now, that "What to Plant" question. These resources will help you plan that garden.