In our mild West Coast climate there is no reason not to have fresh homegrown veggies year round. And now is the time to think about those varieties that grow well into the fall or, better yet, overwinter and feed us into the spring.
Many vegetables can be started now from seed: endives, radicchios which are wonderful in winter salads and winter soups. As well, now in mid-July is the very last chance to seed Swiss chard and winter beets and even some hardy romaine can still be started.
My own favorite varieties of endive are Zidane (Frisee), Sugarloaf and Markant and for radicchio, Palla Rossa or Radicchio di Treviso. If you have a covered area (like an unheated greenhouse or tunnel) you may be harvesting until well into April next year.
For the cabbages, kales, broccolis, Brussels sprouts and cauliflowers it is a bit late to start from seed because you want to put out transplants that are at least 6” (15 cm) tall by the beginning of August.
Look for a nursery that has good-looking transplants and snap them up. If you come to the Beban Learning Gardens on a Wednesday mornings (10-noon), starting July 18 and continuing until later in August, you’ll find that we have grown and are now selling, the following types of transplants: Broccoli: Purple Sprouting; Brussels sprouts: Roodnerf and Red Ball; Cabbages- Danish Ballhead and January King; Cauliflower: Galleon and Purple Cape; Kales: Dwarf Green Curled, Lacinato, Redbor, Red Russian and Vates Curly Blue.
Later on there will be a selection of endives and radicchios.
Below, just to tempt you, is a photo of Purple Cape cauliflower- a most flavorful variety with large heads.