Photo courtesy of Alyss “AlyssssylA” Some leaf lettuce in a square foot gardeing scheme.

Southern California’s mediterranean climate enables year-round gardening. Late summer is typically the best time to start planting vegetables and herbs that grow well in cooler weather. There are several fall/winter vegetables that will thrive in the garden from October to late April/early May. Consider planting the following:

Brassica family: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi and brussel sprouts
Amaranth family: Swiss chard, spinach, and beets
Various root vegetables: potatoes, turnips, carrots, and radishes
Other lettuces and leafy greens: Mesclun, butter lettuce, and Red leaf lettuce.
Also, if you’re starting a new garden with store bought potting soil, or if you’ve recently refertilized, remember that your soil will contain a high amount of nitrogen. Nitrogen is the element most needed to grow large root structures and the “green” parts of the plant, as opposed to the “fruit” part of the plant. To take advantage of the high nitrogen content in new soils, consider planting big leafy greens and lettuces.