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Edible Gardens

Winter Veggies
Growing vegetables in your home or garden is good for you, your neighborhood, and for helping to reduce your global footprint on this earth.

Growing vegetables at home can be done in a single pot on your patio or on a larger scale depending upon the space and time you have available.

Good planning and preparation will reduce the workload in your garden. For example, if you install a drip system that can accommodate all of your beds, you will never have to drag an irrigation hose around. If you apply a heavy layer of course mulch between the beds, your weeding will be minimal. If you build raised beds, your garden will be more organized and less likely to degrade to weeds. 

Virtual Classes and Presentations

Vegetable Gardening Basics

Planting Zones

Knowing your planting zone is critical.  In the counties of Humboldt and Del Norte according to Western Sunset Garden Book there are 6. Both counties' Maritime zones are 17.  Humboldt's Coastal zones are 14 and 15 depending on your location. Other zones in various areas of Humboldt are 4, 7 and 1a. Del Norte's various areas include 7 and 1a.  Look at Sunset Zone Map to determine your Zone.

Image from The New Sunset Western Garden Book
Image from The New Sunset Western Garden Book

Planting Calendar by Zone

Cool season vegetables grow best and produce the best quality crops when average temperatures are 55-75o F. They usually tolerate slight frost when mature. Some crops can be grown year round in parts of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. Cool Season Planting Calendar

Warm season vegetables require long, hot days and warm soil to mature. They grow best and produce the best quality crops when average temperatures are 65-95o F.  They are intolerant of prolong freezing temperatures. Depending on your  zone and your own microclimate Tomatoes and peppers are difficult to grow except in a greenhouse environment. Warm Season Planting Calendar  

Crescent City Open Doors Planting Guide

The following planting calendars courtesy of Eddie Tanner, author The Humboldt Kitchen Gardener.


California Weather Data App
Current daily and hourly data from stations throughout California, plus long-term data for climate stations. PestCast research networks provide hourly and daily values from selected locations.      California Weather App

CIMIS Weather Stations
Knowing weather information and frost date history is important when planting vegetable gardens. Linked data is from the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) weather stations. Visit CIMIS web site.


Veggie basket
The California Garden Web  
The vegetable section is a great resource to find most of your answers on how to grow your own vegetable garden.

Vegetable Gardening 101 (ENH 96)

Garden Basics (ANR Publication 8059) Planning, planting, tending to a home vegetable garden.

Understanding a Seed Packet (GN 128) 

How to Start Seeds (California Garden Web)

Vegetable Seed Saving (ANR Stanislaus County)

Soil Temperature Conditions for Vegetable Seed Germination (GN 154)

Vegetable Planting Guide from the Master Gardener Handbook provides estimated dates for planting, harvesting, and storage.

Vegetable Container Planting Tips (GN 140) 

Growing Edible Flowers in Your Garden (GN 155) Edible flowers can bring lively flavors, colors, and textures to salads, soups, casseroles, and other dishes.  

Straw Bale Gardening (GN 160)

Using Cereal Straw Bales for Home Gardening Washington State Publication


Know your Soil (EHN 55)Soils vary greatly from one place to another. Some are ideal–they are deep, easily worked, and fertile. Many have physical or chemical limitations–they are too shallow, too sandy, too clayey, too steep, or too low in fertility. Some are too salty or contain other chemicals that are toxic to plants.   On the other hand, there are very few places where good gardens and landscape plantings cannot be grown. The secret is to know the nature of the soil, the kinds of problems to expect, and what can be done about them.

Improving Layered Soils for Gardens (EHN 56) Speaks about the importance of avoiding soil compaction

Managing Clay Soils in the Garden (EHN 54) Find out ways to manage clay soil

Gardening on Hardpan Soils (EHN 53) Hardpan soils are noted for the problems they present.  However, if the nature of the soil is understood the problems can usually be overcome.

Sheet Mulching (EHN 94) Sheet Mulching is a layered mulch system. It is a simple and underutilized technique for optimizing the benefits of mulch.  

Composting for the Home Gardener (EHN 98) Compost promotes soil fertility and stimulates healthy root development.  

Composting Tips and Tricks (GN 142) 

Worm Composting (GN 144) Vermiculture - Basic steps for creating a worm bin


IPM Vegetable and melon section.  Information on best cultural practices as well as identifying and managing pest problems.

Attracting Beneficial Insects (GN 129)

Attracting Native Pollinators (GN 156) Birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles, and other small mammals that pollinate plants are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food. They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce. Unfortunately they are in trouble. Some species have seen a 90% decline in their populations over the last decade. But you can help. There are a number of ways you can enhance your garden to be more pollinator-friendly.

Beneficial Predators (UC IPM Quick Tip) Pictures of common natural garden beneficial insects

Soil Solarization (ANR Publication 21377) A nonpesticidal method for controlling diseases, nematodes and weeds.

Publications with detailed information on growing these edibles:

Artichokes (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 7221)

Asparagus (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 7234)

Beans (UCD Veg Research

Broccoli (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 7211)

Brussels Sprouts (MG Sonoma)

Cabbage (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 7208)

Cantaloupe (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 7218)

Carrots (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 7226)

Cauliflower (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 7219)

Corn (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 7223)

Cucumbers (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 8050)

Garlic (UCD Veg Research) (MG Sonoma

Eggplant (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 7235)

Lettuce (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 7216)

Okra (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 7210)

Onions (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 7242)

Peas (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 7233)

Peppers (UCD Veg Research) (Chili ANR 54052)

Potatoes (UCD Veg Research

Pumpkins (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 7222)

Rhubarb (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 8020)

Spinach (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 7212)

Squash Summer (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 7245)

Sweet Potato (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 7237)

Tomatoes (ANR 8159

Watermelon (UCD Veg Research) (ANR 7213)