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Fall planting in southern California gardens

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Fall planting in Southern California gardens includes starting some plants from seed and buying others already started at a nursery or garden center.

Some vegetables can be started from seed sown directly in the garden. First of all, get that part of the garden ready. I like to spade the soil to a depth of three to six inches, smooth it out, drop the seeds in, spacing them as well as I can, then cover them with some organic material, ground as fine as I can get it, and watering it in.

Alternatives are just smoothing the soil out and then seeding and watering; do whatever works for you. Of course, seeds can be started in containers, and many vegetables can be grown in containers if you prefer..

Those vegetables that can be grown from seed sown directly in the soil include beets, sugar peas, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, lettuce (both head and leaf types), kohlrabi, short-day onion, shallot, leek, radish, spinach, and Swiss chard.

Vegetables in containers

Most of these same vegetables can also be planted in containers. Use a good-size container, at least 15 inches deep and 10 inches in diameter, and use a good seed starting mixture.

Containers aren’t great for large onions (although scallions will do well), and cauliflower, celery, and broccoli are a little too large for small containers.

September is still a pretty warm month in most areas of SoCal, so keep the seedbed or container soil moist until seeds germinate.

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