Growing Vegetables in Northern California

I consider myself lucky to live in a part of the world that makes gardening immensely rewarding without having to work very hard. Western Sonoma County northern California has a relatively short, mild winter, a warm summer moderated by proximity to the coast, and a long autumn which extends the harvest time of heat-loving crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, melons and peppers. My husband and I always plant vegetables in the part of the back yard that has a seasonal creek run through it in the winter. On wet winter years like this past one, this means we have to wait until the soil dries out enough to plant: the end of May this year. In drier years we have planted as early as late April.

Veggie Garden May 2017 Veggie Garden June 2017

I am always amazed at what a difference 3 weeks makes in the garden, especially when a heat wave is included. The photo on the top was taken on May 31, and the bottom photo on June 21.

Annual flowers always take up a good percentage of space in our veggie garden. This year includes cosmos, annual coreopsis, tithonia and sunflowers. Flowers give insects and birds good reason to visit and pollinate the vegetables, as well as providing fine entertainment. My favorite time in the garden is early in the morning, when the small songbirds hop around the plants for dew droplets and insects.

Stay tuned for more updates about Mary's garden as the season really gets swinging.