#2: How to Transition from a Winter to Spring Garden in Zone 9


If you’re a zone 9 gardener it’s very common to still have cool-season crops growing when it’s time to plant our warm-season crops such as tomatoes, peppers, and squash. In this episode, I give tips for transitioning from your winter to spring garden and clear up some common confusion about spring and summer gardens in warmer climates like Zone 9!

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Transitioning from a Winter to Spring Garden

If you’re a gardener in a mild winter climate such as Zone 9, it’s pretty common to still have cool-season crops growing when it’s time to plant your spring garden.

Have you ever wondered what to do with them?

Do you rip them out of let them keep growing?

Well today that’s what we’re covering!

What to Do with Cool-Season Crops Growing in Spring

Let them be. If they’re still growing you can let them keep growing. The benefit of gardening in a growing zone like Zone 9 is that we have a long growing season. That means you have plenty of time to get your warm-season crops planted and you don’t need to worry about removing your cool-season vegetables too soon.

However, if your cool-season crops have bolted you can remove them from the garden, keep them in the garden to attract beneficial insects, or save the seeds if they’re from heirloom varieties.

The Difference Between a Spring and Summer Garden in Hot Climates

If you live in a hot climate with a long growing season, spring and summer gardens are essentially the same thing. 

In colder climates, spring planting is most common for cool-season crops because in those climates they have a long cool spring for cool-season crops to thrive.

But in most hot climates, spring warms up way too fast which causes cool-season crops to bolt and head to seed. 

You may be able to plant some quick maturing crops such as lettuce, spinach, and radishes in early spring, but for the most part spring planting in a hot climate should be for warm-season crops. 

Succession Plant with Your Warm-Season Crops

You can plant all of your warm-season crops after all danger of frost has passed, ideally once nighttime temperatures are consistently above 50° F and daytime temperatures are 70° F and above. 

But the great thing is that you don’t have to be concerned about planting too late in the spring if you have a long growing season. The first spring planting date is not your only planting date, it’s just your first. 

You can continue to succession plant which is the practice of planting multiple times throughout the season to extend your havests. 

Most warm-season crops can be planted anytime from spring to mid summer, and you can even plant certain crops that are quicker to mature until late summer and get a harvest before your first fall frost. 

So I hope this helped to clear up some common confusion as you transition from your winter to spring garden!

Join the Zone 9 Garden Club

Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is reach out to other gardeners for help. I would love for you to join the Zone 9 Garden Club!

As a member you get,

  • Monthly video garden tours and trainings
  • Monthly growing calendars for zone 9
  • Timely harvesting & planting tips
  • Access to an active community off of social media
  • A resource library full of gardening courses and guides
  • And more!

Podcast Feedback

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Podcast Episode Resources and Links Mentioned

How to Transition from a Winter to Spring Garden in Zone 9
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