It's Veggie-Planting Season, Almost

Use this week to plant winter crops you might have missed, like artichokes.

It's time to plant vegetable gardens on the Central Coast.

Except it's raining, again.

Obviously, putting out precious baby lettuces and spindly tomato starts while rains pour down, winds whip through the area and temperatures remain chilly is overly optimistic. They will be pummelled.

But there are some things that can be done in the garden, despite the late blast of winter weather.

Patch again picked the brain of Gustavo Beyer, owner of , for what to do with a veggie garden.

"With vegetables, it's a little bit early," Beyer said, though he gave a few options for the antsy gardener. 

The window for winter planting is closing fast. Get asparagus, rhubarb, artichokes and bare-root berries in the ground.

Plant cucumbers, squash and alfalfa soon. Also, start seeds for lettuces, broccoli, sweet chard, onions, peas and spinach once the rain lets up.

"To me, it would be another week and then you can ... put your tomatoes out," Beyer said.

Later, put corn, pumpkins, watermelon, cantaloupe and eggplants in the ground.

In our garden, we have a hop plant start thriving in the rain. I've failed at cultivating hops two years in a row, but am hopeful that the third time's the charm. Home-grown hops would make our homebrew beer even tastier.

I've also planted artichokes, rhubarb (for strawberry-rhubarb pies this summer) and asparagus, though I'm a little concerned the asparagus start went in the soil upside down. I should ask Gustavo about that one ...

Get your seeds and starts at these local shops, or check out the farmers markets for special offerings.

  • 2907 Freedom Blvd.; hours daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • , 1060 S Green Valley Rd.; hours 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays
  • , 355 S. Green Valley Rd., hours 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 8 am. to 8 p.m. on Sundays



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