Fall Growing in
Tips for Growing Celery:
- Transplanting: Celery can essentially be grown year-round in most areas of California. Start seeds indoors or in greenhouses and transplant into nutrient-rich soil.
- Seed Germination: Celery seeds are small and challenging to germinate, requiring 1 to 2 weeks for this process. Grow seedlings for 10 to 12 weeks before transplanting. If you haven't already started sowing seeds, November is a great time to start for early spring transplants.
- Care Overview: Celery is shallow-rooted and needs frequent irrigation and ample nitrogen. Insufficient water or fertilizer may result in tough, bitter stalks. Be cautious of bolting (seed stalk development) if prolonged cool temperatures occur during growth.
Cultivating Potatoes in California:
- Planting Method: Dig a shallow trench approximately 8 inches deep. Space your seed potatoes 12 inches apart in rows with a minimum distance of 20 inches between rows.
- Initial Soil Coverage: Cover the seed pieces with about 4 inches of soil using a rake, leaving the remaining soil for hilling up later when your plants reach about 8 inches tall.
- Hilling Process: Hilling cools the soil and creates space for tuber development. Perform the first hilling with 1 to 2 inches of soil two weeks after your initial hilling. Gradually build a larger hill of soil around each plant for optimal potato development.
- Irrigation Needs: While potatoes can be dry-farmed in areas with sufficient moisture retention or rainfall, most gardeners in Northern California require irrigation. Provide about 2 inches of water per week during growth, keeping the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Reduce watering towards the end of the growing season when foliage turns brown, ensuring the soil doesn't dry out completely.
- Other Planting Methods: Alternatively, potatoes can be grown in bags, mounds, or utilizing a blend of soil and straw inside of a cylindrically-formed hog fencing.
Growing Arugula Tips:
- Germination Acceleration: Soaking seeds in water for a few hours before planting can speed up germination.
- Planting Time: Arugula seeds germinate in soil temperatures as low as 40°F (4°C). Sow them outdoors as soon as the soil can be worked in spring or until it can no longer in the fall, considering your local frost dates.
- Fall Harvest: Alternatively, sow in late summer or early fall for a fall or winter harvest.
- Seed Sowing: Plant seeds ¼ inch deep and about 1 inch apart in rows with a 10-inch spacing. Alternatively, broadcast arugula seeds alone or mix them with other salad greens.
- Succession Planting: Sow new seeds every 2 to 3 weeks for a continuous harvest.
- Moisture Management: Keep the soil evenly moist, especially in warmer weather to prevent bolting. Thin seedlings to about 6 inches apart, using thinnings for salads.
- Bolting Prevention: To reduce heat stress and prevent bolting, provide some shade for warm-season plantings.
Growing Pumpkins in Fall in California
- Planting Time: Plant pumpkins in late Summer or early Fall to enjoy a late fall or early winter harvest.
- Temperature Range: Grow pumpkins when the temperature ranges between 65°F to 75°F.
- Warm Soil: Ensure the soil is warm for planting.
- Sunlight and Space: Choose a site with full sun and sufficient space for pumpkin vines.
- Soil Type: Plant in slightly acidic, well-draining soil.
- Hand Pollination: If you don't have effective pollinators, hand pollinate your flowers using a paint brush and brushing the pollen off of the male flower and painting it into the female flowers.