The Fall and Winter Garden
The Fall and Winter Garden
There are a myriad of publications and articles to answer your questions:
Q: What cool-weather vegetables can I plant in Sonoma County and when?
A: “Year-Round Food Gardening in Sonoma County” is organized by planting windows. Look at crops on page 2 that are designated “C” (cool weather).
Q: What is the first average frost date for my area?
A: The first average frost date for seven county weather stations is summarized in “First and Last Frost Date in Sonoma County.” This is based on 30 years of past weather data and should be weighed along with this year’s weather prediction for your area.
Q: What cool-weather vegetables can I grow in a small space such as a raised bed or container?
A: See “Focus on Fall/Winter Vegetables” for a sample 4’x8’ planting bed plan as well as gardening information (including container sizes) for the highlighted crops.
Q: How do I select a crop variety and how can I find more detailed garden information for each crop?
Q: The variety I want to grow is not available from my local nurseries. Now what?
A: Buy seeds online this month. “Vegetable Seed Sources” gives you many seed-buying options. If it seems as if there are too many options, narrow it to Northern California sources. You can start seed indoors 6 to 8 weeks in advance of your planting date and many crops can be direct seeded in the garden. “Year-Round Food Gardening in Sonoma County” identifies which crops can be direct-seeded.
Q: I’m new to food gardening. How do I begin?
A: “Growing Vegetables” is a great starting point.
Take advantage of a free fall food gardening workshop; no registration is required (if the workshop is given at a garden location, bring water and your garden hat and gloves):
- August 3, 2019, Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Carrots, Broccoli - Planting for the Fall and Winter Begins in August, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Harvest for the Hungry Garden, 1717 Yulupa Avenue, Santa Rosa (behind the Methodist church; cross street: Hoen). Starting a fall and winter garden in the middle of the summer harvesting season is challenging--but now is the time to start. We will discuss the best and easiest ways to grow garlic, onions, carrots and leeks plus some unusual and delicious greens. Timing, seeding vs. starts, and fall/winter harvesting vs. overwintering for early spring treats will be on the agenda. There will be hands-on participation: bring your garden hat and gloves.
- August 10, 2019, The Fall and Winter Food Garden, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Windsor Community Garden, on the northwest side of the Windsor Town Green, at Windsor Road and Joe Rodota Way, just off the Windsor Civic Center Parking Lot. Fall/winter food gardening topics include selecting the right plant for the right place at the right time; Integrated Pest Management (bugs and weeds); cover crops; and how to put your garden to rest and grow your soil if you are not planting a fall/winter garden.
- August 17, 2019, Keep Planting or Go to Bed, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m., Bayer Farm Community Garden, 1550 West Ave, Santa Rosa (street parking). Spanish translation available. Food gardeners have a choice this time of year. After our spring/summer bounty of vegetables, we can continue to plant and harvest many nutritious vegetables through the fall, winter and early spring. Or we can choose to prepare our garden beds for the winter, nurturing the soil for spring planting. We will discuss both options and how you can be successful no matter what your choice.
- September 14, 2019, Fall and Winter Food Gardening Workshop, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Sonoma Valley Library, 755 West Napa St, Sonoma. This workshop is a basic A to Z approach to fall/winter food gardening: soil including compost and mulch, crop selection and planning, irrigation, garden maintenance, pest control, harvesting and cover crops. Helpful seasonal handouts include planting dates for fall and overwintering crops, a sample garden layout and suggested vegetable varieties for Sonoma County.
- September 21, 2019, Fall and Winter Food Gardening Workshop, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, Rincon Valley Library, 6959 Montecito Blvd, Santa Rosa. See the description for September 14.
The Master Gardener Food Gardening Specialists maintain a demonstration food and pollinator garden at Bayer Farm Community Garden, 1550 West Avenue, Santa Rosa. The garden is open for viewing by the public during daylight hours, seven days per week. If you drop by on Friday morning, you’re likely to find Food Gardening Specialists working in the garden. We hope to see you in the garden or at one of our workshops.