SF Bay Area microclimates
Understanding your climate zone and microclimate conditions are central to successful gardening. Microclimates in the San Francisco Bay Area range from cool coastal fog belts to hot inland sun belts. Fortunately, we can pinpoint conditions like climate zones (Sunset Western Garden Book), plant hardiness zones (U.S Department of Agriculture), heat zones (American Horticultural Society), rainfall and drought conditions (National Weather Service and California Department of Water Resources) and more.
- Golden Gate Gardening: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Food Gardening in the Bay Area, 3rd Edition, by Pam Peirce
Lawn and ground covers
A healthy green lawn has long been a staple of the home landscape. The latest scientific information can help the home gardener grow beautiful grass and turf. And great lawn alternatives are now available to reduce water usage and lessen maintenance.
Landscape trees and shrubs
Form and beauty in the garden are achieved with careful selection of the right shrubs and trees for the space. They must be placed correctly, planted properly, and trained to grow into a graceful structure.
California natives, succulents, and drought tolerant plants
California native plants and succulents are beautiful and easy-to-grow options for SF Bay Area gardens. Two of the best informational resources to check out are UCANR (University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources) and CNPS (California Native Plant Society).
Vegetables and herbs
The first tender carrots and radishes in spring, a perfectly ripe tomato in summer - nothing quite matches the bounty from our own gardens. Our temperate Bay Area climate allows for successful year-round crops. This section explains what you’ll need to know to get started and to become growing experts.
UC Master Gardener Carol O’Donnell charts the best crops for specific conditions in San Francisco and San Mateo Counties.
Resources for growing a variety of vegetables in your home garden from UC Vegetable Center.
Houseplants and container gardening
Indoor plants are beautiful additions in any room, and contribute to clean healthy air. The trick is to understand light and water needs, ventilation and optimum growing temperature. Container gardening -- indoors and outdoors, with vegetables and herbs, flowers, or greenery -- can be an endless source of pleasure.
A comprehensive information site for growing indoor plants is The California Garden Web, a free online resource from UCANR (University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources).