Growing Your Own Food
"When can I plant tomatoes in Lassen County? Can I use raised beds to plant vegetables? What should I plant that grows well in this climate zone?" We can assist you in answering gardening questions you may have. Gardening publications are available through the University of California ANR Catalog. These publications cover a variety of topics from Drip Irrigation Systems to Soil and Water Management for Home Gardens. Some are free downloads.
Always consider the climate zone of Lassen County when planting. Your garden needs adequate sunshine – few crops will do well if shaded. The plot should be away from trees, buildings, etc., that will shade the garden plants the greater part of the day. However, windbreaks of trees or buildings that will protect the garden are advantageous.
Important factors in determining the size and type of the garden include:
• The amount of time available to care for and harvest the crops throughout the season
• The ability and experience of the gardener
• The equipment available for working the soil, controlling the weeds and irrigating the garden
• The available water supply
Gardens ranging from 100 square feet to 900 square feet will furnish part of the average family’s needs. For small gardens, the number of different crops should be limited, rather than trying lots of crops. Where ample land is available, the size and shape of the garden should fit the tools and equipment to be used.
Most vegetables may be planted either on raised beds or on flat ground. Raised beds serve better for winter crops. No hard and fast rule can be set for shape and size of beds.
A good resource is the Lassen-Plumas-Sierra Home Vegetable Garden.
Another excellent resource is found on the University of Idaho website and adapted for shorter season and high altitude regions such as Lassen County: Choosing and Growing Adapted Vegetable Varieties.
Many gardening questions can be answered at California Gardening.
A fun, different way to garden is straw bale gardening. Washington State University has put together an informational fact sheet about Straw Bale Gardening.