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Planting Vegetables in Sacramento

Basket of Garden Vegetables image by Karin Lau from

Sacramento has a growing season of more than 240 days a year, making it a vegetable gardener's dream come true. The sunny, warm days make it possible to grow an abundance of vegetables, but the trick is determining when they should be planted. Cool weather lovers, such as lettuce and spinach, must be planted in early spring or fall because they will not tolerate the high temperatures of summer. Other vegetables, like tomatoes and peppers, can be planted in late spring and harvested during the summer and early fall. The garden spot should have well-drained soil and receive full sun.

Take a sample of garden soil to your local extension office for testing to determine what type of soil amendments should be added.

Use a garden tiller to loosen the soil in the chosen planting location. Remove any large rocks or clumps of grass that remain after tilling.

Add any necessary amendments when the soil is dry enough to crumble when squeezed in your hand. Work them in well using a garden hoe.

Create rows for corn and vegetables that climb. For all other varieties, use a hoe to form beds that are 1 to 3 feet in diameter. Leave 2 to 3 feet of space between each row and bed.

Plant the seeds according to the labels on the seed packets. Keep in mind that planting depth is very important, as some vegetable seeds will not sprout without adequate sunlight. Use a watering can to add moisture until the soil feels very moist.

Label each row with a wooden craft stick to avoid confusion when the seedlings begin to sprout.

Continue to water anytime the top of the soil feels dry. Fertilize with a general purpose fertilizer, as directed on the package.

Hoe between the rows regularly to eliminate weeds. Certain vegetables, such a corn, also benefit from having soil heaped around their base to prevent them from falling over during windstorms. Pull weeds from around the other plants by hand.


Some vegetables, such as tomatoes, may need staking when the heavy fruits begin to develop. Provide a climbing structure for vining vegetables, such as beans and cucumbers, to make them easier to harvest.

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