What to Plant in Your Spring Vegetable Garden

monthLos Angeles gets to have two planting seasons for vegetable gardens. These are plants that love the cooler temperatures, just like our winters offer. Here is a list of some of our second season crops that are best planted in the Los Angeles late summer and early autumn:

  • Asparagus pea
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chinese cabbages
  • Fava beans
  • Lettuce
  • Malabar spinach
  • Mustard
  • Peas
  • Swiss chard
  • Kale

Also most root crops do well in our cooler winters, too:

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Parsnip
  • Radish
  • Salsify

These can all be planted from seed or as started plants. Root crops are best planted from seed since they don’t like root disturbance. Look for some unusual varieties in seed packets or get a quick jump on the season by buying larger started vegetables in bigger-sized pots.

Some crops like garlic, seed potatoes and onion sets do well planted in the autumn or the early spring. Rhubarb, horseradish. asparagus and artichokes seem to fare a little better when planted in the autumn but are not all that fussy so long as you get them in the ground before it gets hot.

Avoid planting heat-lovers like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, squashes, melons, pumpkins, beans (other than the fava bean which is in a different family), tomatillos, corn, or most annual herbs. Unless you buy a plant that is large enough to start cropping right away, these plants will not have time to provide a good harvest. Not only are the temperatures dropping at night in early autumn, but the daylight is shorter and the Earth’s magnetism changes so plant life tends to start slowing making seed germination and growth slow down. With longer season vegetables like most of these cool-weather growers, you will have plenty of time for them to come to harvest by the end of winter or early spring. Warm season vegetables will be nipped by cold before they get going if planted during second season vegetable planting in Los Angeles.

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