Food Gardening Guides

2020 is the year of the new Victory Garden. It’s a time to learn how to grow your own vegetables, fruit, and herbs.

Learn about Victory Gardens.

Visit the Sloat Recipe Box for a collection of recipes you can make with your garden harvest.

  • Aloe Vera (for kitchen burns)

    Aloe is a soothing medicinal plant for kitchen, grill and sun burns. It's beach and barbecue season. A time of the… Read More
  • Artichokes

    The artichoke plant (Cynara scolymus) is native to the southern Mediterranean areas of Europe.  In itself, it is a handsome… Read More
  • Arugula

    Arugula (also known as rocket) is a Mediterranean native that's grown for its delicious leaves; it lends a spicy, peppery… Read More
  • Asparagus

    Native to the seacoast of Europe, North Africa and Asia, asparagus is a long-lived and dependable home garden vegetable. What… Read More
  • Beets

    The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish… Read More
  • Blueberries

    Blueberries grow well in the Bay Area, but they need acidic soil and regular feeding. Amend soil with E.B. Stone… Read More
  • Cabbage and Broccoli: the Brassica Family

    Please note: gardeners in the East Bay (Danville, Concord and Pleasant Hill) should wait until September to plant broccoli. Late summer is… Read More
  • Carrots

    Carrots require deep sandy loam to produce long roots. If your soil is clay-like, you will need to amend it… Read More
  • Cilantro

    How to grow Cilantro Well-drained soil is essential when growing cilantro. If drainage is poor, work in plenty of organic matter… Read More
  • Cucumbers

    Cucumbers, by nature, are a cooling emollient. They are the perfect accompaniment for a summer meal; delicious when prepared as… Read More
  • Edamame

    A buttery legume often served boiled and then sprinkled with salt, Edamame are a favorite in many Japanese restaurants and… Read More
  • Edible Hanging Basket

    Hanging baskets don't take up much room or require a lot of care. Stuffed full of herbs and veggies, they… Read More
  • Eggplant

    These members of the nightshade family need warm temperatures in order to blossom and fruit. Now that the soil has… Read More
  • Figs

    Fig trees are easy to grow in warm climates. They are not particular about soil and are just as happy in… Read More
  • Garlic

    "It is not really an exaggeration to say that peace and happiness begin, geographically, where garlic is used in cooking… Read More
  • General Citrus Care

    EXPOSURE: Citrus require sun and warmth to thrive. Provide a site that has at least 6 hours of sun and… Read More
  • Grapes

    If you live in California, you should grow grapes! This quintessential California vine is grown for its fresh fruit, wine, shade… Read More
  • Green Beans

    There are over 5,000 varieties of beans. For every pole bean there is a bush bean with numerous colors and… Read More
  • Herbs: Basil

    Basil needs well-drained soil, plenty of sun, and regular water (but beware of over watering). Basil can be planted in the… Read More
  • Herbs: Bay Laurel

    Bay Laurel is one of our favorite Mediterranean natives. Its oval, dark-green, leathery, aromatic leaves provide a peppery addition to a Bouquet… Read More
  • Herbs: general growing & care

    GROWING Most herbs like six to eight hours of full sun. Don’t worry, in our coastal regions the sun is still… Read More
  • Herbs: Parsley

    An honest laborious countryman, with good bread, salt and a little parsley, will make a contented meal with a roasted… Read More
  • Herbs: Rosemary

    Aromatic….dazzling…ubiquitous.  Rosemary is a truly versatile plant with year-round interest. This herb is an evergreen perennial with edible purple flowers and… Read More
  • Herbs: sage

    Culinary sage (also known as garden sage or common sage) is a type of salvia, which is the largest genus… Read More
  • Herbs: Tarragon

    How to grow Tarragon Tarragon is not a fussy herb...give it a little care and you'll soon have a prolific amount… Read More
  • Herbs: Thyme

    Thymes are so versatile and varied; more than fifty varieties are grown for both culinary or ornamental purposes! Thyme's flavor… Read More
  • Kale

    This hardy, cool season cabbage relative is grown for its leaves which can be steamed, stir fried, sauteed or added… Read More
  • Kohlrabi

    This under-appreciated, yet beautiful, cool season vegetable could use a little love...and there really is a lot to love! Kohlrabi is… Read More
  • Lavender

    Unbranched flower spikes bloom from June to September. Butterflies and bees love them! Mass for a dramatic display; grow singly… Read More
  • Leeks

    How to grow Leeks Botanically speaking, leeks are an onion relative, but they don't form a distinct bulb. Leeks grow 2… Read More
  • Melon

    This succulent tropical fruit can be grown without much planning in warm parts of the Bay Area. In cool areas… Read More
  • Mustard Greens & Mizuna: Piquant Greens

    It doesn’t seem so long ago when Alice Waters and others developing California cuisine started introducing us all to arugula… Read More
  • Olives

    Olea europaea is perhaps the quintessential Mediterranean tree. A staple of our landscape, we appreciate their beauty and ability to… Read More
  • Peas

    There’s something special about peas. From snow peas and snap peas with edible pods to shelling peas and pea sprouts… Read More
  • Peppers

    These members of the nightshade family need warm temperatures in order to blossom and fruit. When the soil has warmed and… Read More
  • Persimmon

    Persimmon trees are tolerant of a variety of soils, as long as drainage is good. This tree reaches 30ft tall… Read More
  • Planting Seeds with Kids

    Children love to plant seeds in the soil and watch them grow into flowers and vegetables. Planting in containers is… Read More
  • Potatoes

    Growing potatoes is simple and offers a rewarding gardening experience for two reasons: 1. Planting a small amount can yield… Read More
  • Pumpkins

    Growing Pumpkins Pumpkins are related to squash, gourd and watermelon in the Cucurbitaceae family. They vary greatly in size (depending on… Read More
  • Radishes

    "I was holding this really exemplary radish in my hand. I was admiring its shape and size and color. I… Read More
  • Root vegetables

    Late summer into fall is an ideal time to start root vegetables from seed. Favorites are carrots, beets and onions. Onions… Read More
  • Salad Greens

    The simple beauty of salad greens is that they are so easy to grow.  Whether you plant by seed or… Read More
  • Spinach

    Since our Bay Area winters are so mild, spinach seeds can be grown anytime, especially as a fall, winter, and… Read More
  • Strawberries

    The strawberry (Fragaria hybrida) is derived from several species originating in the Americas and Europe. They are not called strawberries… Read More
  • Summer & Winter Squash

    For the squash lovers among us, it's time to get planting. Summer squash is planted for warm weather harvest and picked… Read More
  • Swiss chard

    Swiss chard is a most interesting leafy vegetable. If you look closely at its leaves, you'll notice that it looks a… Read More
  • Tomatoes

    The taste of homegrown tomatoes right off the vine is truly a small slice of heaven. Read our planting and care… Read More
  • Vegetables in Containers

    Container gardening is the ideal solution for gardeners with limited space -- you can grow vegetables and herbs in window… Read More
  • Winter Care of Citrus

    By Mary Helen Seeger, Four Winds Growers * People often ask us about frost protection and other citrus winter care questions… Read More