California Local Logo

There is an important message:

Register to Vote for the November 8 Election: https://registertovote.ca.gov/

Sacramento Digs Gardening logo
Sacramento Digs Gardening Article
Your resource for Sacramento-area gardening news, tips and events

Articles Recipe Index Keyword Index Calendar Twitter Facebook Instagram About Us Contact Us

What's California's favorite winter veggie to grow?

Broccoli is top pick, according to internet searches

In the past five years, California gardeners searched “how to grow broccoli" more than any other cool-season crop. This broccoli grew at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center, which will be open Saturday so gardeners can ask "how to grow" questions in person.

In the past five years, California gardeners searched “how to grow broccoli" more than any other cool-season crop. This broccoli grew at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center, which will be open Saturday so gardeners can ask "how to grow" questions in person.

Kathy Morrison

What’s the most popular winter vegetable to grow in California? If you judge by internet searches, it’s broccoli in a green wave.

That’s the conclusion of researchers at AllAboutGardening.com, who scoured five years of Google Trends data to come up with a list of state-by-state winter favorites. (Their key phrase: “How to grow.”)

California gardeners searched “how to grow” broccoli more than any other cool-season crop. That was also the top search for seven other states including Michigan, Georgia and West Virginia.

No. 1 overall was garlic, say the researchers. That crop was the top search in 12 states from Hawaii to New York. (Considering garlic needs some chill to set solid heads, Hawaiian gardeners may have searched, “Can I grow garlic?” not just “how.”)

In third place were onions, the favorite search of seven states led by Texas and Oklahoma. With six states ranging from Florida to Colorado, lettuce edged out carrots, which was the top search in five states (including Nevada).

Four vegetables – radishes, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and collard greens – were picked by two states apiece. Interestingly, the states doing the searching may be because those winter crops were more challenging for those gardeners. Radishes, for example, were the top search in Idaho and Kansas, two states that tend to get too cold for frost-tender radishes to thrive. Collard greens were tops in Minnesota and Massachusetts, two states not necessarily linked to this staple of Southern cooking.

Four vegetables were tops in just one state: Spinach (Wisconsin), beets (Utah), peas (Arkansas) and cabbage (South Carolina).

As for would-be broccoli growers in California, AllAboutGardening.com had this advice: Start indoors and transplant as summer’s heat starts to fade (we hope soon). From seed, broccoli needs 85 to 100 days to mature to a full-size head. Prolong broccoli season by cutting off the main head when ready, then harvest side shoots as they mature.

According to UC master gardeners, the best broccoli varieties to grow depends on what you want.

“Opt for varieties such as 'Calabrese', 'Green Comet' and 'De Cicco' for up to three months of extended harvest of side shoots; or choose 'Green Comet' and 'Green Magic' for large heads,” say the master gardeners. “Plant 'Cruiser' and 'Packman' for fast growth to maturity.”

California farmers produce a lot of broccoli each winter with about 40% of the crop grown in Monterey County, where they enjoy the most days of perfect broccoli weather – 60 to 65 degrees.

Central Valley farmers grow varieties that are more heat and cold hardy. In the San Joaquin Valley (another major broccoli-growing area), top cultivars include Avenger, Expo, Green Magic, Legacy, Marathon, Monte Carlo and Tradition.

For more tips on growing broccoli: http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/GARDEN/VEGES/CULTURAL/broccoliplant.html

 

Comments

0 comments have been posted.

Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Welcome to our new sponsor

Irrigation dripper with learn to be a smarter gardener

Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Oct. 2

Plan to make the most of the mild weather in your garden.

* October is the best month to plant trees and shrubs.

* October also is the best time to plant perennials in our area. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to planting holes or beds, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioluses, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

Contact Us

Send us a gardening question, a post suggestion or information about an upcoming event.  sacdigsgardening@gmail.com