14 Best Vegetables for Southern California

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These Vegetables for Southern California offer a great taste and grow easily in the climate the state has on offer!

The Southern Californian region has zones 5a to 11a and experiences a Mediterranean climate with warm and sunny summers along with winters full of rainfall. It’s a bit on the hotter side, which means it’s great for growing many different kinds of veggies!

Best Vegetables for Southern California

1. Broccoli

Ideal Vegetables for California's South

Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea var. italica

One of the easiest vegetables you can grow here is Broccoli. Plus, it’s great if you’re a fitness nut and love nutrient-rich veggies. Plant the seeds early in the spring just after the threat of frost is gone.

2. Spinach

Southern California's Finest Vegetables

Botanical Name: Spinacia oleracea

You can also grow these leafy greens in Southern California. Plant them in fall or spring when the temperature is perfect, and you will have a good harvest.

3. Carrot

California's Finest Vegetables

Botanical Name: Daucus carota

Carrots are pretty common here. You can grow many varieties like Nantes or Danvers; just make sure you prepare the soil so there are no forked roots. Plant them in between December and March and they’ll be ready for harvest in May-June.

4. Cucumber

Southern California's Best Vegetables 1

Botanical Name: Cucumis sativus

Cucumbers grow best when the summer starts. The only thing you need to keep an eye on is watering, and you’ll have an abundant and healthy harvest. You can plant them in March-August and harvest them in May-November.

5. Tomato

Ideal Vegetables for California's South 2

Botanical Name: Solanum lycopersicum

If you live in Southern California, why not try growing tomatoes? They’re versatile and don’t need a large space either; a container would do. You can grow these year-round, but May to July is the best time.

6. Lettuce

Southern California's Finest Vegetables 2

Botanical Name: Lactuca sativa

Lettuce is arguably one of the best vegetables for Southern California’s moderate climate. You can easily grow and harvest it many times between mid-September and April.

7. Green Beans

California's Finest Vegetables 2

Botanical Name: Phaseolus vulgaris

The peak season for these is between May and July. See if you can find Blue Lake, Kentucky Wonder, or Romano beans–they’re the best varieties.

8. Radish

Southern California's Best Vegetables

Botanical Name: Raphanus sativus

You shouldn’t miss growing radishes if you’re in California. They’re for the cooler months, so plant them in September and keep the soil moist (but not overlogged).

9. Eggplant

Southern California's Finest Vegetables 3

Botanical Name: Solanum melongena

The best time to plant eggplants in Southern California is from late spring to early summer. They’re sun-loving veggies, so give them 6-7 hours of sun daily.

10. Potatoes

best vegetables for southern california 10

Botanical Name: Solanum tuberosum

Potatoes don’t like the hot, dry summers here and need cooler temperatures to thrive. However, you can grow them in this state with a little bit of care. Sow them in late January for summer harvest.

11. Cabbage

Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea

If you live in a coastal area of Southern California, you can grow cabbage throughout the year. For inland, early spring or late fall are ideal.

12. Kale

Southern California's Finest Vegetables 3

Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea

Why don’t you grow Kale? It is incredibly nutritious and can be grown all year round. Go for the Lacinato or Red Russian varieties.

13. Garlic

In southern California, plant garlic in the fall, ideally in October or November. This will help the plant to establish well before the winter months. Go for ‘Early Italian Purple,’ and ‘California Early.’

14. Pepper

It would be a good idea to start the seeds indoors in late winter, around 8-10 weeks before the last frost date. Transplant the plant outdoors after the threat of frost has passed, which is usually in late spring or early summer.

For southern California, pick:

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