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How to Plant Vegetables in Humboldt County, California

cauliflower image by Zbigniew Nowak from <a href=''></a>

Humboldt County, California is along the state's northern coast in the middle of redwood country. It is in USDA hardiness zone 9, which means that the county has an extended planting season. Gardeners here who wish to grow their own vegetables will find this area somewhat ideal for various crops.

Choose vegetables that will grow well in Humboldt County. For the best yields, choose cauliflower, artichokes, beets, broccoli, carrots, green beans, onions, potatoes, cucumber, tomatoes, spinach or summer squash.

Select a site that receives eight to 10 hours of sunlight each day with good drainage and no rocks or other debris. Have a soil test performed by the Humboldt Del Norte County Extension office located in Eureka in early January.

Add nitrogen or sulfur to the soil in early February as recommended by the results of your soil test. Use a garden sprayer to add the material evenly to the soil. Wear a mask, protective goggles and rubber gloves when adding the amendments to your garden area.

Add organic compost or manure to the soil in mid to late February. Till the soil to a depth of 12 inches using a garden tiller so the matter will be evenly mixed with the soil. Allow the area to cure for a week or so before planting your crops.

Mark off rows that are 8 to 10 feet long and 2 feet wide with a piece of string. Allow 3 to 4 feet between each row. Use a garden hoe to make rows that are 4 to 6 inches deep by placing the end of the blade into the soil and dragging the hoe from one end to the next along the line formed by the string.

Plant crops in early to mid March. Place seeds into the marked-off rows, leaving 4 to 6 inches of space between each plant, or 10 to 12 inches between vining plants such as cucumbers. Cover the seeds to a depth of 1 inch.

Plant vegetable seedlings in the marked-off rows by digging a hole 2 to 3 inches deep with a garden trowel. Place the seedling into the hole with the soil still attached to the roots. Cover to just slightly over the top of the root system and tamp the soil down firmly with your hands.

Water vegetables with a garden hose beginning at one end of the row and working towards the other end. Water plants at the roots rather than from the top down. Do not allow the soil to be washed away from the roots of your new seedlings.

Add a layer of cypress mulch, tree bark or grass clippings that have been finely shredded to the garden. Place the mulch around plants in a 3- to 4-inch-thick layer. Place a 1-inch-thick layer directly over top of newly planted seeds.

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