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Southern California Regional Reports

Starting Fall and Winter Vegetables From Seed

Start these veggies from seed in summer to plant in the cooler months

Cool season veggies at a local nursery. Photo: Rachel Young

By midsummer you should be knee-deep in tomatoes, beans, zucchini, and peppers, so it can be hard to remind yourself to shop for seeds for your next season of vegetable gardening. However, July and August are the best time to get a start on fall and winter food gardening. In Southern California, some of the best months to grow veggies are in the fall and winter, when we have natural rainfall. It’s also a great time to grow greens, which often bolt now instead of producing in the spring and summer.

Starting vegetable seeds indoors or in covered containers outdoors in the shade is the best way to get new plants to germinate in the dry, hot weather. Once they have established a healthy root system and two to three sets of leaves, they can be moved outdoors. Plan to water every day or two for the first two…

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