Here is a list for you of crops that grow in Camarillo. The page shows common vegetable crops, along with the Master Gardener’s Handbook’s recommended vegetable varieties for Southern California planting. The column that is labeled ‘MGHB’ contains the Master Gardener’s Handbook recommendation. Varieties I have tested are marked ‘Our Tested Varieties’, and the ‘Notes’ column shows my results. Seed sources for all these veggies that I use and recommend are Renees Garden, Seeds of Change, and Seeds From Italy
|Artichoke||Emerald, Green Globe, Imperil Star||Green Globe||They do great in Camarillo; gophers love ‘em. Cut them back to just below ground , withhold water for a few weeks. Summer dormancy results in a fall crop.|
|Asparagus||500W, Mary Washington, UC72, UC157||Mary Washington||Takes time to establish; grows for years|
|Beans, Lima||Fordhook, Baby Fordhook Bush, King of the Garden||Pleasnat Valley was the ‘Lima Bean Capitol of the World’ in the 50’s|
|Beans, Snap (bush)||Contender, Harvester, Tendecrop||Improved Roma||Real confidence builder; lots of beans, fast, easy to produce.
Bush beans take more room, less work than poles beans. Yeids are the same
|Beans, Snap (pole)||Kentucky Wonder, Romano||Kentucky Wonder, Improved Romano,’French Duet’||Ken. Wonder – the absolute classic|
|Beets||Ruby Queen,Detroit Red, Baby Ball||Baby Ball, Jewel Tone Blend, Detroit Red, Pronto||Mary said the Baby Red Balls are the best. now it may be the Detroit Red’s. Roast them, too!|
|Broccoli||Green Green Comet, Premium Crop, Green Goliath||Renee’s 3-season mix has worked quite well||It’s all good, but climate limits production. Three varieities spread out the harvest.|
|Brussels Sprouts||Cross, Long Island Improved, Prince Marvel||Renee’s 3-Season, others||Use Bt to conUse Bt to control cabbage worms. Aphids can be a problem, control with jets of water to displace aphids. Control ants.|
|Cabbage||Stonehead, Early Jersey Wakefield, Danish Roundhead, Ruby Ball hybrid||Bt for cabbage worms|
|Cabbage, Chinese||Chinese-Michili, Jade Pagoda, Napa, Pak-Choy||Pak (or Bok Pak (or Bok)Choi||Fast germination and growth. Use in every salad, soup. Bolts very easily and quickly. Plant some every couple of weeks.|
|Cantelopes||Samson, Ambrosia, Saticoy Hybrid||Galia, Earlidew, Solid Gold Cantelope, Charentais||‘Three Flavor Mix’ contains first 3.
Charentais has outstanding flavor.,
|Carrots||Short ‘n’ Sweet, Little Finger, Amstel, Mincor|
|Cauliflower||Snow King, Snowball ‘Y’||???, Broccoli Raab, ‘Long Season Mix’||Use Bt to control cabbage worms|
|Chard||Arsentata, Forkhook Giant, Rainbow, Bright Lights||Bright Lights, Silver Rib, Scarlett Sharlet, Pot o’Gold, Neon Glow||Colorful and tasty, easy to grow, adds snap to salads. Red varieties are more willing to bolt. Allow plenty of room between plants.|
|Chayote||(no named varieties)|
|Chives||(No named varieties)||Chives, garlic chives||Very easy to grow, and very handy in the kitchen. garlic chive flowers are edible and a good topping on salads, guacamole|
|Corn, sweet||(std sugary) Golden Cross bantam, Jubilee, Silver Queen
(sugary enhanced) How Sweet It Is, Breeder’s Choice, Kandy Korn, Concord
(super sweet) Early Xtra Sweet, Illini Gold, Super Sweet Jubilee
|Silver queen, Kandy Korn, Illini Gold||Standard Sweets are older, lose sweetness quickly
Sugary Enhanced are sweeter
Super sweets do not lose sweetness after harvest, but are less creamy than others.
|Cucumbers||Liberty Hybrid, Saladin, County Fair, Sweet Success, Sweet Slice, Burpee Hybrid, Slice Nice Hybrid||Garden Oasis, Chelsey Pride||Chelsey Pride – got way too hot too soon.
Garden Oasis has done well in Camarillo
|Eggplant||Black Beauty, Epic, Early Bird, Dusky, Rosa Bianca
(Oriental) Ichiban, Tycoon
|Ichiban (Mary’s favorite), Little Finger|
|Endive||Full Heart Batavian, Large Green Curled||Red/Green Batavian Mix|
|Fennel||Florence||Unk. 40 year old strain, now naturalized|
|Garlic||California Late, California Early||Inchelium Red, Chilean Silver, Kettle, Transilvanian||Grows easily. Many varieties need cold soak to develop cloves. 3 to 4 weeks in the vegtable crisper before planting worked wonders.|
|Kale||Vates Dwarf Blue Curled, Salad Savory, Winterbor||Lacinato||Can’t keep the rabbits away! We love it, too.|
|Kohlrabi||Grand Duke, Early White Vienna, Purple Vienna|
|Leeks||Large American Flag, Electra, Titan|
|Lettuce||(butterhead) Butter Crunch
(Romaine) Parris Island, Valmaine
(loose leaf) salad Bowl, Oak Leaf, Ruby Red
|Romaine, various mixes, Butter Crunch.||Iceberg lettuce is difficult to grow at home.
Romaines have proved easy. Succession Plant for longer seaon.
Butter Crunch is wonderful.
|Melons||Charentais, ‘EarliDew’ Honey Dew, Gallery Galia, Ananas*, Zatta*, Swan Lake*,# Halogen#||Ambrosia, Samsom, Saticoy Hybrid||Swan Lake produces early fruit, likes reflected heat. Charentais produce well even on the coastal plain. All would do well inland.|
|Mustard||Tendergreen, Southern Giant Curled, Florida Broadleaf||Harvest outer leaves; allow inner leaves to mature. Small leaves are eaten raw in salads, larger leaves need cooking. Very old leaves get stringy.|
|Okra||Clemson Spineless, Blondy||Wait til soil is warm before starting seeds. Soak in water for 24 hours before planting. Stops bearing if you stop picking pods.|
|Onions (bulb)||(early bulb) Grano, Granes, Calif. Early Red
(late bulb) Feista, Sweet Spanish, Southport, Stockton Yellow
|Calif. Early Red, Sweet Spanish, Stockton Yellow||Onions are one of the few crops that pests ignore. Harvest when the tops fall over.|
|Onions (green)||Evergreen White, Southport White, White Lisbon||“Long Day” varieties require 15-16 hours sun per day
“Short Day” types need ~12 hrs.
|Parsely||Extra Curled Dwarf, Hamburg, Moss Curled|
|Parsnips||All American, Hollow Crown, Harris Model|
|Peas||(snow) Dwarf Gray, Mammoth Melting Sugar
(green garden) Freezonian, Green Arrow, Maestro
(snap) Sugar Ann, Sugar Snap, Super Snap
|Super Sugar Snap, Chinese Pod||Peas are very ease and quick to grow.
Besides giving us the peas, the plants fix nitrogen in the soil Peas need support
|Peppers||(hot) Tam Mild Jalapeno, Jalapeno Delicias, Anaheim, Cayenne, Hungaian Yellow Wax, Serrano
(bell) Bell Boy, Calif. Wonder, Yolo Wonder, Golden Bell
(sweet/Cubanelle) Sweet Banana, Gypsy, Cubanene, Nardello
|Cayenne, Serrano, Habanero (hot and mild), Cubanene, Bell||If it is a pepper, I’ll grow it. Hot weather and our sandy soils make some fire-breathing treats!
Cubanelles are sweet and very mild
|Potatoes,sweet||Jersey, Garnet, Jewel|
|otatoes. white||White Rose, Kennebee, Yukon Gold||Yukon Gold, various colored potatoes (red, white & blue!)||Had great luck growing potatoes – until I bought a batch of seed potatoes that were blighted. Very interesting to grow.|
|Pumpkins||Spirit, Autumn Gold, Jack O’Lantern, Big Max, Cinderella||Wyatt’s Wonder||You would be surprised how much pumpkin squirrels can eat…|
|Radish||Cherry Bell, Easter Egg Hybrid, Icicle, snowbelle||Cherry Bell, Easter Egg Hybrid, Icicle, snowbelle||Extremely quick from seed to table. Great for kids’ garden (short attention span) and the table.|
|Rubarb||Cherry (red salks), Victoria||Unk variety from Granny’s garden 50 years ago.||Do not eat immature as oxalates present then are harmful to soft tissues.|
|Spinach||Melody Hybrid, Americana||New Zealand / Malabar||New Zealand spinach has been growing wild here for close to 60 years. Tougher than ‘true’ spinach, but spicy and very tasty.|
|Squash, summer||Peter Pan Hybrid, Scallopini, early Prolific Straightneck, Early Golden Straightneck, Sund Yellow crook / straight neck||Scallopini, early Prolific Straightneck, Early Golden Straightneck|
|Squash,winter||Acorn) Table King, Table Ace, Jersey Golden, Sweett Mama
(butternut) Waltham, Early Butternut, Burpee Butterbush
|Tomatoes||Ace Hybrid, Better Boy, Big Beef, Carmello, Celebrity, Early Girl, Marvel Stripe, Super Steak||Camello, Burbank Slicing, Marvel Stripe, Green Zebra, Roma, Black Krim, Yellow Perfection, Better Boy, Persimon||Heirloom varieties taste great, are unusual and eye-catching, but generally lack disease resistance. Rotate your crops to lessen chance of disease!|
|Watermellon||Garden Baby, Calsweet, Crimson Sweet, Sugar Baby||Rainbow Sherbet*, Sugar Baby*, Moon And Stars#, Malali#||Assumed to need lots of heat, but we grow fine melons, even in Camarillo, given some reflected heat. Rainbow Sherbet, Sugar Baby do surprisingly well near the coast.|
Now that you have selected your varieties to plant, let’s get out the seeds…
Here is a link to Renee’s Kitchen Garden Designs. These downloadable plans are designed for the average family garden and to maximize space for a succession of tasty vegetables and herbs throughout the spring, summer and fall. Each shows you what to plant, when to plant, and what crop follows another as the seasons change. Be sure to check out the other resources provided in the sidebar.
Red the next article: When to plant vegetables