According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture “California is one of only five agricultural regions in the world that has a Mediterranean growing climate, producing over 400 commodities, more than any other state in the nation”. I don’t know about you, but I find that to be impressive! It is because of this unique climate and our soil structure that we are able to produce not only such a diverse variety but also quantity and quality. “In 2012, the total U.S. export value of vegetables totaled $1.6 billion, with California accounting for 63.3% of exports” according to UC Davis.
Okay, Okay no more boring statistics I promise! The whole point of those was to bring to life just how lucky we are to be located here in the Central Valley. It’s a combination of things like our soil quality, climate, and extended growing season (303 days!!!) that allow us to get outside and do what we love most, gardening! Whether that be for aesthetics, floriculture for flower shows, vegetables for consumption, or just something as simple as a way to unwind and get back to and connect with nature.
Our Garden Club is located on the USDA hardiness map in zone 9b. This map that the USDA has produced can be used to figure our what would be an optimal choice for planting based on your location, in our case zone 9b. Most of us do our traditional summer gardens of strawberries and squashes. But remember those boring statistics above? We have 303 days out of the year for our growing season! Personally, I have found much more success in my fall gardens than I have with my summer ones. Most likely because I don’t thrive in heat like squash plants do, so my summer gardens tend to be neglected more than I would like to admit. But when it comes to fall gardens, the weather is perfect to be out there seeding, transplanting, pruning and harvesting. This is why I want to share with all you members about how easy it is do create your own fall garden this year. Check out the planting calendar here for when to plant.
I challenge you to take up a fall garden this year. Now is the perfect time to plant beans, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, radishes and spinach.