Spring into Summer Food Gardening
This is it! Sonoma County food gardeners have been waiting for May!
The air and soil temperatures have been rising. The last average frost dates have passed. In most areas of the county, night temperatures are no longer dipping into the 40’s. We’re ready to plant our warm weather veggies! Nothing can beat the taste of home-grown tomatoes--unless it’s home-grown eggplant, cucumbers, tomatillos, squash and peppers.
Many county food gardeners are still harvesting fall or early spring-planted cool weather vegetables. We need to make room for warm weather veggies in order to transition to the summer food garden. Read more about succession gardening. Keep in mind that there are many microclimates in Sonoma County. Consider your location’s particular characteristics when choosing varieties and determining the optimal transplant timing within a planting window.
- First, and always, take care of the soil! The saying “feed the soil and the soil will feed you” is true! The solution is simple: compost, compost, compost; mulch, mulch, mulch! Retire the rototiller. Learn more about the benefits of nurturing and protecting soil.
- Hot, dry summer weather is coming. The most efficient way to deliver water to crops is drip irrigation. Find guidance on installing a simple system on our Food Gardening with Less Water page.
- If you are new to food gardening in Sonoma Gardening, check out crop planting windows in “Year Round Food Gardening in Sonoma County,” and see sample planting bed layouts for spring/summer and summer.
- Find out what varieties do well in Sonoma County and how to plant and manage crops by reading our crop articles. Buy organic vegetable starts if you didn’t seed your crops indoors. Buy a 4” pot--forget the expensive large pots with flowers. Make sure that the stem is sturdy, roots are healthy and not circling the pot and the overall plant looks disease- and weed-free.
- Attend a free food gardening workshop presented by the Master Gardener Food Gardening Specialists (no pre-registration required; wear clothing appropriate for the weather).
- Spring/Summer Food Gardening, May 11, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm, Windsor Community Garden They are continuing their Year-Round Food Gardening Series and the transition from the fall/winter to the spring/summer food garden. Topics will include selecting the right tomato plant; integrated pest management (managing weeds and attracting beneficials); and growing a culinary herb garden. The garden is on the northwest side of the Windsor Town Green, at Windsor Road and Joe Rodota Way, just off the Windsor Civic Center Parking Lot
- Don’t forget to plant flowers to attract pollinators and other beneficials to the food garden.
Enjoy the bounty of your summer food garden!