10.6.17 Fall Fruits  Veggies 2

Best Fall Fruits & Veggies to Plant in San Diego

Autumn is a much-beloved season of shorter days, Halloween decorations and pumpkin-flavored coffees. While you prepare your home and wardrobe for the cooler weather, keep in mind this is also dubbed San Diego’s “second spring planting season” – the ideal time to plant hardy and half-hardy vegetables.

Gardening is a peaceful and rewarding hobby that many people enjoy in southern California. Growing your own fruits and vegetables provides a wide range of benefits, which include no or reduced pesticides, no GMOs, lower grocery bills, enhanced mood, reduced stress, improved heart health, increased self-esteem, decreased dementia risk and increased production of vitamin D due to sun exposure.

Additionally, if you have a fruit and vegetable garden, you’re more likely to incorporate the fresh plants into your homemade meals, which will provide your family’s bodies with nourishing nutrients and vitamins.

To some people’s surprise, not all fruits and vegetables are planted in the spring. Certain fruits and vegetables are sown in the fall, because they germinate at low temperatures and do not spoil from frost. San Diego’s climate in the fall is excellent for growing these types of plants, because the days can range from warm to cool, while the nights are rather chilly, but not a low enough temperature to kill plants.

Whether you’re an avid gardener, an intrigued first-timer or somewhere in between, we’ve provided some helpful tips for growing fall vegetables and fruits.

Pre-planting tips:

  • Make sure there is enough space for all plants to be spaced appropriately
  • Rototill or spade the soil to a foot deep, to remove clumps and debris
  • Manures should be spread evenly on soil 4-6 weeks before planting
  • Be sure to have enough fertilizer and soil for sowing
  • Root depth: shallow to medium

Fruits & veggies to plant outside in October:

  • Carrot
  • Parnsnip
  • Beet
  • Green beans
  • Cucumbers
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Radish
  • Turnip
  • Leek
  • Endive
  • Kohlrabi
  • White potato
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Celery
  • Swiss chard
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Globe artichoke
  • Tomato
  • Spinach

Pest control tips:

  • Remove larger bugs when you see them
  • Buy or make organic pesticides
  • Construct paper collars (aka: cutworm collar) to wrap around stems of young plants
  • Invest in row covers (a lightweight, protective sheet that still allows light)
  • Destroy infested plants
  • Use mulch to prevent the growth of weeds

Now is the ideal time to harvest some fruits and vegetables that you may have planted in the spring. These include:

  • Bell pepper
  • Melon
  • Okra
  • Onion
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potato
  • Watermelon

If you have gardening questions, a master gardener from the Master Gardener Association of San Diego County can answer your questions for free. The hotline is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: 858-822-6910

San Diego’s climate gives residents the unique opportunity to garden year-round. If you’d like other gardening or food tips, check out Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups’ articles.

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