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I know there already is a question answered about which crops to grow in the late summer (August): Late summer vegetable garden in SoCal?.

But I'm wondering if there are recommendations for crops to grow during the early summer (now, June-ish).

I am a first-time gardener, and here's what I'm thinking:

  • sunflowers
  • zucchini
  • basil
  • green beans

For context, I am in coastal California and I have a raised bed for a year. I am also unsure whether I should start with seeds or using seedlings (transplants) for some of these crops.

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Intense summer heat quite often puts an end to many shallow rooting or thin-leaved crops unless you can provide them with some shading and very attentive watering. Assuming you can, then pretty much anything goes apart from positively cool weather items such as fava/broad beans, peas, rhubarb, asparagus and the like.

In your list, the sunflowers, beans and zucchini can be direct seeded since they are large and can be placed at least twice their diameter deep in the soil and therefore will be less subject to varying moisture levels as they germinate. The basil however is a small seed and as such will need much closer attention as it germinates and will probably appreciate a warm shady window sill until it has gained some root volume, at which point it can be placed outside since some at least of the roots will be deep enough.

  • Thank you for this in depth information! – JAG2024 Jun 13 at 15:12

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