The seeds will germinate quickly in cool soil and seedlings are capable of tolerating a light frost, but consider protecting plants with cloches or row covers nonetheless! .

Garden Timeline: When to Plant in Zone 9b

We have a moderately sized raised bed garden in our backyard, and we do our best to capitalize on the space, and grow as much as possible for as long as possible.Learning how to time my planting has made a big difference in the productivity of our garden.I’ve also gotten a lot of help, tips and tricks from several other gardeners local to the Phoenix area.Because of the hot summers here in the Phoenix area, we end up with a short spring growing season.In addition, winters and early spring are cold, and not ideal for germinating seeds directly in the ground.Early spring is the BEST time of year for lettuce, kale, chard, collards, radishes, broccoli, peas… The list goes on!Instead, if I start these seeds indoors, by the time the temps drop to good growing weather (70s and 80s), I have well established seedlings to transplant.In pretty much every case there is some flexibility to start things a few weeks earlier or later, as you will notice when looking at planting ranges in other calendars.The more delicate greens like lettuce, spinach, and arugula will all bolt as soon as the temps hit the 80s.Transplant 6-8 weeks later, once day time temps are consistently in the 80s, typically towards the end of October.I have also had good success direct sowing Spinach in the garden along with the Arugula, when the temps are consistently in the 70s to 80s in the late fall or early spring.I have yet to try starting arugula seeds indoors (you need a lot of plants to get much harvest so direct sowing is easiest).Transplant 6-8 weeks later, once day time temps are consistently in the 80s, typically towards the end of October.It is susceptible to aphids as the weather warms, so if you don’t want to deal with those pests your best bet is to just pull it out when they become too much of a problem.I’ve tried spraying with neem oil consistently to keep the aphid problem low, but if it is a bad season for them it’s not usually worth it for me to try and keep the kale growing.The flavor gets more bitter as the temperatures warm, so you may prefer it as a cooler season green, but test it out and see what you like!When it comes to the fruiting varieties like tomatoes, peppers, chiles, eggplants, cucumbers, squash, etc – they enjoy warmer weather and will last into the early summer.The tomatoes especially grow pretty quickly, but the bigger the transplants you have the more productive the spring harvest!You can wait until you have planted out your tomatoes, if you are tight on space and need those to be off your grow station to make room for more seedling starts.In my experience the squash starts will grow faster than the cucumbers and tomatoes, so I typically plant them into the garden a few weeks sooner – end of March as a ballpark.Directly sow seeds in the garden in late fall, once day time temps are consistently in the 80s.Transplant 6-8 weeks later, once day time temps are consistently in the 80s, typically at some point in October.This is by no means an exhaustive list, but is a starting point for the vegetable varieties we have grown, and what has worked well as a timeline for us to plant in zone 9b. .

Zone 9 Planting Calendar

Zone 9 has a long growing season with hot summers.These dates will vary a week or two so it’s important to watch the weather before planting. .

9 of the Best Arugula Varieties

If you’ve not yet fallen in love with the peppery deliciousness of this member of the Brassicaceae family , it’s probably because you just haven’t tasted the right variety.I first met arugula, Eruca sativa, when I made a spring panzanella salad several years ago.I’ve rounded up a list of nine deliciously zippy varieties for you to consider growing in your veggie patch.Without further ado, I present the nine best varieties for you to grow outdoors or indoors, all year round.For those of you who like arugula but not so much the spicy kick of some varieties, the ‘Astro’ cultivar’s mild, yet peppery flavor might be a perfect match.Harvest baby greens in just three weeks, or wait the full 38 days for even milder mature leaves.With a spicy flavor and frilly leaf edges reminiscent of kale, ‘Garden Tangy’ adds a kick to pasta dishes, salads, and more.It’s also convenient for those who struggle with patience, because each leaf provides lots of edible greenery compared to other, skinnier varieties.And this is also helpful for those who grow greens indoors over the winter and gardeners who have limited space.Back in my yard in Oklahoma, I had a big, beautiful oak tree that dropped gorgeous leaves and tiny acorns all over the front lawn every fall.Except for the fact that my oak tree’s leaves didn’t feature a red vein branching through the center.I used ‘Rocket’ in that fateful spring panzanella salad that led me to be enamored with arugula forevermore.If you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 and up, you might benefit from the heat-tolerant qualities of ‘Selvatica.’ This cultivar resembles the wild, plucky weed from whence all modern cultivated types of arugula came.Hot weather can cause arugula to grow more quickly and bolt, which means it can begin to flower and go to seed almost faster than you can harvest it.That’s why heirloom ‘Slow Bolt’ is another winner for gardeners living in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 and up.The larger mature leaves can be used not only raw in salads and sandwiches, but can be added to soups and stews for a mildly peppery kick as well.As its name suggests, the extra-spicy ‘Wasabi’ cultivar goes perfectly with sushi or in Asian-inspired spicy ground beef lettuce wraps, a recipe I simply love, which you can find on our sister site, Foodal.For a slim, almost weedy-looking plant that packs a bold flavor, try ‘Wild Rocket.’ This perennial cultivar even grows like a weed, reaching skyscraper-esque heights of 20 inches at maturity. .

Tips for Growing Arugula Plants

sativa Common Name Arugula, rocket, roquette Plant Type Annual vegetable Mature Size 12 in.spread Sun Exposure Full sun Soil Type Humus-rich, well-draining Soil pH Sightly acidic to neutral (6.0 to 7.0) Hardiness Zone Annual plant; grown in zones 3 to 11 Native Area Mediterranean region.Arugula is a fast-growing green that is perfect for the early spring garden, but it can also be planted in the late summer for a fall harvest.Succession plant a new batch every couple of weeks, to prolong your harvest and take advantage of its short season.Arugula likes cool weather—45 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal—but it can be damaged or stressed by frost or snow.Keep the row covers handy and protect your plants if extreme cold weather is predicted.Arugula grows so fast that a single application of a high-nitrogen fertilizer or rich compost mixed into the soil at planting time is usually all that is needed.Additional feeding is required only if the leaves are light green and clearly undernourished, as sometimes happens in very poor soil.Once the plants bolt by sending up flower stalks, the leaves tend to turn bitter.But don't be too quick to yank out the plants; the flowers pack a lot of flavor without the heat of the leaves.Older leaves are also great when eaten fresh, and they make nice additions to stir-fries, egg dishes, or soups.The fragile flowers can be tossed on top of salads or soups, sprinkled on sandwiches— and even added to drinks.Luckily it has a short growing season, and it is out of the garden by the time most insects start arriving. .

Growing Arugula Plants

Arugula plants were originally prevalent in French and Italian cuisines and loved for the spicy zing they added to a salad.Knowing when to plant arugula will help you have a better harvest and give you greens that taste a lot better than what comes in store-bought mesclun mixes.These plants have a flavor profile similar to radishes, but their tender leaves are much more delicate, and they are harvested for weeks on end.Wild arugula leaves are native to Mediterranean regions and have been a staple food in Morocco, Turkey, Italy, and Portugal for decades.With such a rich history, humans have taken full advantage of the outer leaves and created many different cultivars.Some of the most popular types of arugula are Rucola, Roquette, Astro, Red Dragon, and Garden Tangy.You can wait until the entire plant has matured, or you can grow any of these cultivars as a microgreen and throw them on hundreds of dishes for extra nutrition.It is ideal to find the perfect timing to encourage the entire plant to germinate and start growing.Arugula leaves are cool weather crops that are okay to plant once the soil thaws in the early spring.Either way, you’ll have a continuous supply of individual leaves if you learn when to plant arugula seeds.To sow arugula seeds, place them a quarter-inch deep in rows that are spaced ten inches apart.Arugula isn’t picky as long as it has rich soil that is loose for the root system to grow through.Cover the base of the plants in a layer of organic mulch to help retain soil moisture.If you go this route, use a seed starting mix and amend it with regular potting soil as you transfer them to larger containers.Use a pair of sharp but sterile scissors to make a clean cut and continue to harvest as the plant grows.Some go the simple route and stir the greens into a hot soup or casserole, but we prefer to embrace the peppery flavor and combine it with other ingredients that complement it.This is a crop that gardeners of all experience levels enjoy because they can harvest it for weeks without fussing with maintenance. .

Planting & Growing Calendar for Hardiness Zone 9

Be sure to check with your local nursery before planting, but many plant varieties can be sown directly in this zone because of the warmer soil temperatures and longer growing season.Print out your Zone 9 planting calendar and enjoy some homemade guacamole from your own backyard. .

Fall Gardening in Zone 9 {with links to other zones}

The cold hardiness zones tell us the average minimum temperature an area is likely to experience.If you want to learn more about gardening zones – both cold and heat zones, chill hours, day length, rainfall, and other elements that affect your climate we have a short ecourse that will help you truly understand your climate.But actually planting the zone 9 fall garden will depend on how long and hot your summer is.However, if you have time and inclination to water every day or two until the heat breaks and even give the young plants some shade, then you might want to go ahead and get an early start on your fall garden.This year I’m going to try something new (at least to me) and instead of using the average first frost date (which is December 11 for my area) I’m going to use day length to calculate my beginning planting time.Although, October is when I technically “should” put in my fall garden based on frost dates.I’ll also direct seed some plants in September and be sure to water them every day or two.There are four main types of plants you can plant in your zone 9 fall garden; root crops, leafy greens, brassicas (or cole crops), alliums (onion family), and some herbs.All of these will overwinter well in a zone 9 garden and you won’t have to worry about covering them with frost protection very often, if at all.Brussels sprouts need to be planted in early October or earlier if you want to get a harvest before the heat sets in.Also, all of these leaves are edible so don’t think you have to wait until the broccoli or cauliflower heads are ready in order to harvest.Many people try to grow cilantro in the spring in order to use it with those amazing summer tomatoes, but it will bolt super fast.Perennial herbs such as thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, and mint all make excellent fall plantings in zone 9.I reached out to some bloggers who garden in other climates for those of you who don’t live in a hardiness zone 9.Dana from Piwakawaka Valley in New Zealand has a weekly garden series for her area.If you live in Florida, Bonnie from The Not-So-Modern Housewife has a list of vegetables you can plant in September and grow in you fall and winter garden.Isis from Family Food Garden has a great list of vegetables to overwinter in zone 5 and tips for growing them.Tanya from Lovely Greens lives on the Isle of Man and has a list of 15 vegetables you can grow in autumn in her climate.Isle of Man for those of you who don’t know, is located between Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom.Megan from The Creative Gardener has some great ideas for harvesting spinach all winter long – even under snow. .

G Z 9 T G P F

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