Lettuce, head lettuce, and other greens love the colder spring like climate that we have here in Sacramento. If you want an organic way to grow food quickly, than lettuce and other salad type greens are the place to start. You can h ave a harvestable organic crop in as little as 40 days.
2. Snow Peas:
Sweet, crunchy and great in dinners or as a snack, snow peas also love this time of year. Snow peas are also the an excellent addition to stir-fry dishes. Peas in general are wonderful for your garden as they help to fix nitrogen in the soil for your summer crop to utilize. There is still time to sow a crop of snow peas.
3. Cilantro: Is a kitchen staple. You either love it or hate it. I always have a cluster growing in my organic garden. It is aromatic and prevalent in many cultural dishes. Sacramento organic gardeners may be used to seeing cilantro used in Latin dishes, Asian dishes, and even African dishes. Cilantro is best grown by sowing the seeds directly. Keep clusters trimmed to prevent bolting. Works well as a dried herb or as a cut herb.
4. Mustard: Mustard is a spicy plant that grows well here during the Winter and Spring. It can used as a green to give heat to dishes, or you can allow it to go to seed and then collect the seeds for culinary use. There are a variety of mustard plants that grow locally, and each is different in leaf shape, texture, and taste.
5. Broccoli: Broccoli is related to mustard but not quiet as hot. Most of the time we grow broccoli by buying seedlings at the local nursery. Organic gardeners can also sow seeds directly. Broccoli is easy to grow, but it also attracts stink bugs. Harlequin Bugs love mustard and other brasisca plants.
6. Garlic: Garlic... who does not love garlic. Garlic loves to grow slowly over the winter months and here in Sacramento organic gardens it comes to harvest between June and July. It is easy to grow and because of its small bulb size fits nicely around the border of organic gardens. garlic has many uses, one of which is a pest deterrent. Even if you don't like garlic, grow it for that reason. You can use any organic head of garlic as a seed source. Just break it down into cloves with the outer skin still on and plant it about 1 inch deep. It will pop through in a week or so and continue on its growing spree.
7. Onions: Onions are another easy to grow winter crop. The can be used at anytime as greens, or as full onions. Like garlic, onions also help to dissuade pests from taking up residence. Onions are also small and can be grown with other crops that are harvested early, like lettuce. Mixing crops is the perfect way to maximize space.
8. Leeks: Leeks are easy to grow. They are milder than onions, but go really well in many types of dishes. Leeks make an amazing contribution to organic gardens. They are quite a bit wider then onions and do well in a row or sporadically planted among other vegetables. Leeks are also a mild pest deterrent.
9. Radish: Radish grow like weeds, but they are tasty. Radish can be planted and harvested in as little as a month, making them a great crop for sharing with other longer growing vegetables. There are a lot of varieties of radish available and they come in many colors. Radish can be eaten as a root or as a green.
10: Bok Choy: Bok Choy, otherwise known as Chinese cabbage grows really well in Sacramento organic gardens. Bok Choy is a cutting green so you can either harvest the entire plant, or snip leaves off to use as needed. It is best brown in rows so that you have enough of the plant to use as needed. It can be sown directly or found in many of the local nurseries as seedlings.
Plan your organic garden
Take the time to plan your organic garden. Plan out plant spacing, height, and growing times. Balancing all of those items will help your plants grow best. Happy plants produce the best crops.
Bok Choy is easy to grow and it is a great source of iron. It can be eaten raw, or cooked in stir fry, added to soups, etc. There are few varieties including Pok Choy. Both love this time of year for growing.
Flavor is an important consideration for all organic gardeners. Try to grow a balanced organic garden that offers unique flavors that can be used alone or mixed with other garden produce.
Container or in Ground Gardening
Most Winter and early Spring gardens can be grown either in a container or directly in the ground. If you don't have a garden space, consider adding in a container for growing your own produce. There are also many local community gardens that you can join.
Lettuce and other greens love this climate for growing. Odd that in the tomato capital of California you cannot get lettuce and tomatoes to grow at the same time of year. Get your greens in now and enjoy them on your dinner table in a month or so.
Like leaf lettuce, head lettuce, such as butter crunch grows wonderfully here. Mix up your greens and include others like spinach, collard greens and mustard.
Flowers make excellent spacers between rows. They also help to attract pollinators such as bees. Many bees are emerging this time of year and they need the extra pollen. Plant a few flowers for the bees.
Mustard comes in a variety of leaf patterns. This variety is hot but not overpowering. It goes perfectly on a sandwich. It is also prolific and grows crazy. Easy to grow and is beautiful.
Herbs and medicinal plants
Not all herbs like to grow this time of year. Though it is a good time to plant things like Chamomile, Mint, and even Cilantro. All prefer it a bit cool.
Leaf mustard is beautiful and super hot. It is an awesome addition to any garden. It is easy to grow and you only need a little bit to heat up things. Great on a sandwich or in a salad.
Raised beds help to optimize soil and help to prevent weeds. If you do not know about the heavy metal content in your soil, a raised bed can be the way to avoid toxins.
Nasturtiums are beautiful and hot. They make a wonderful garden flower, and the seeds can be pickled and used like capers. This is a good time of the year to get these plants growing.
Onions, Garlic, and Leeks
Onions, garlic, and leeks are kitchen staples. They grow well and produce a bountiful harvest. They also help to deal with pests. Grow them around the edge of your garden or with shorter growing crops like radish, lettuce, and greens.