Time and Temp


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• African daisies
• California Poppy
• Calendula
• Calla Lily
• Narcissus
• Lavander
• Ivy geranium
• Mexican Sage
• Pride of Madera
• Lantana
• Society garlic
• Wild geranium


• Baby arugula
• Onion and garlic greens
• Thyme
• Rhubarb
• Parsley
• Strawberries


Planting Vegetables Along the Coast

Tendergreen spinach mustard has gone to seed. I'm saving the seed because I cannot find a place to buy it.

Mid May is still a good time to plant vegetables along the coast. We’ve had real changes in weather this year, more rain and cooler than seasonal expectations. I use a vegetable planting guide from a book written by a gardener in San Francisco because I think our coastal climate in Cambria more closely matches San Francisco than southern California. Those of you who live inland, can grow things we can’t along the coast. I’ve listed some options for vegetable planting in May for both locations.

Lettuce, cilantro, and carrots can be grown year-around.

Right now my vegetable boxes are full, so I’ve planted seeds of pumpkin and zucchini among the roses. Since that is a particularly sunny site, I also planted tomato plants on that sunny slope. The tiny zucchini plants were victims of quail, so I had to put bird netting over them to protect the poor little things. If it warms up, I think they’ll be fine. Zucchini is hard to destroy. I didn’t bother planting crook necked squash this year. Two years in a row, the skin was tough. Not enough heat, I think. Inlanders can plant the wonderful varieties of summer squash available, I’ll stick to zucchini and buy my summer squash at the farmers’ market.

"Mom" checks out plantings in vegetable boxes.

Along the coast, plant seeds of carrots, cilantro, lettuce, green beans, pumpkin, winter squash, sunflower, and chard. Buy plants and transplant cauliflower, and tomatoes (I put in sweet 100’s (a no-fail cherry), striped German, green Tiger, and Early Girl, all of which have done well for me in the past).

In addition to what coastal people can plant this month, inland folks can plant corn, cucumber, all varieties of summer squash and beans (bush or pole). Buy and transplant tomatoes, pepper, and basil. It’s a little late to start these from seed.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with varieties of squash and tomatoes. You may find something that works better than you could ever imagine! Let me know if you do. I’ll try it next year!

4 comments to Planting Vegetables Along the Coast

  • Christopher

    Im in Arroyo Grande with ocean influence Ive also had good luck with early girl tomatoes
    As well as Roma. I tried 5 different heirloom tomato varieties this year, having 32 plants a good 3 feet tall each, but have only 2 toatoes to show for it! I think I’ll stick with Roma and early girl.

    Anyone tried kale this time of year, or spinach, along the coast?

    Many thanks.

  • Cynthia

    Mom and I are planning to move to Cambria from L.A. by end-of-year and are excited to see what vegetables, fruits and herbs grow well there. We are considering building a greenhouse but it looks as though your outdoor garden is doing well enough in the coastal weather. Very nice garden. Thanks for sharing your photos.

  • Casaundra

    I rent plots at the Morro Bay community garden and have done pretty well with Roma tomatoes, basil, all of the herbs, green curly leave kale and the purple leaf one both do wonderfully! Honestly sunflowers, carnations, poppies, snapdragons, lavender grow well too!

  • Lee

    I love that community garden, Casaundra. I’ve visited several times to see what’s growing. There’s lots of sun and water available. Love that it has chickens too. I’ve had to cut down on planting this year because of lack of water but so far I’ve gotten some things growing. I’m going to try the Kale. Love it and it’s quite pretty.

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