Although we are still in mid-summer, this is the time to start your winter vegetable garden here in Northern California, as well as other mild-winter areas around the state and the nation. Most of this planting can be done during the milder months of September and October (along with mid-August for some winter crops). For specific crop planting times for the various areas of California, refer to the UC Davis Vegetable Research and Information Center.
Starting vegetables in the heat of the summer, especially from seed, requires a consistently moist seedbed until the plants are up and growing. An automatic garden watering system, such as a battery operated timer that attaches to a faucet, can ease that process.