90320thumbEvery year at about this time, there is the same concern that it is too early to put summer or warm season vegetables into the garden. When the time comes, replacing warm season vegetables with winter or cool season vegetables will also seem to be too early. Nonetheless, it is best to start the transition early so the garden will be ready for production as the weather warms into spring.

Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage that are in the garden now should have time to finish before warmer weather makes them bitter. If the warm season vegetable plants that will be planted in their place are adaptable to it, and if the spacing is correct, they can be planted in amongst the cool season vegetables so that they will be ready to go when the the outgoing vegetables get harvested.

Unlike most of the cool season vegetables, which are truly ‘vegetative’ vegetables, most of the warm season vegetables are actually fruits, which is why they start to develop in spring, and mature through summer. Tomato, pepper, cucumber, eggplant, corn, bean and both summer and winter squash are the most popular here. Most produce from spring to autumn. Some produce only once.

Corn and other vegetable plants that produce only once can be planted in phases every two weeks or so to prolong production. By the time one phase finishes, the next should be starting. Corn is more efficiently pollinated, and therefore more productive, if grown in square blocks rather than in narrow rows. Corn and many warm season vegetables should be grown from seed sown directly.

However, tomato, pepper, eggplant and maybe zucchini and other squash can be planted as small plants from cell packs, because only a few of each type are needed. A cell pack of six or eight cost about the same as a packet of seed, but all the seed in the packet are not really necessary. Besides, the small plants are less likely to be eaten by snails than newly germinating seedlings.

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6 thoughts on “Summer Vegetables Replace Winter Vegetables

    1. Yes, and because they are a bit more substantial. By the time snails start to eat them, they are already growing well. They may take a few bites, but do not do as much damage as they would to tiny seedlings that might be devoured in a few bites.

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  1. Cutworms are a problem for us here and they can nip off fairly substantial seedlings. For us there are few winter vegetables and off hand I can think only of kale which often only holds through a part of the winter, may be into February. Just now getting ready to seed into trays.

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    1. Goodness! It is good to be in California (although we lack the chill that many plants need, and the warmth that others need, and the water that other need, and the humidity that others need, and the . . . . Well, those are topics for another time). Yeah, it is good to be in California.

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