It's cooled off enough that I started a bunch of new veggies in pots this morning. I planted three different varieties of cabbage (two regular, and a red variety)—six pots of each. Also Swiss Chard, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and head lettuce. All total, about 35 pots of stuff. Now I wait for it to sprout and my winter garden is underway. Every two weeks, I'll plant some more.
We had an unusually hot fall, with temps in the 90's the past couple of weeks. But last week cooled off and this week I'm starting the nursery back up. They're even predicting some rain for next week (although we'll see if it actually happens). We haven't had a drop of rain since early March. Yup -- winter is upon us.
A "bad" winter is when we get less than 10 or 12 inches of rain. I just hope we get 250 or so chill hours. A good winter is 18 inches of rain, and 300+ chill hours, hopefully accumulated around Christmas or New Year. When we get a wet year, it'll be in January with these long 2 to 3 day storms that sit over the Los Angeles basin and scrub the skies of smog. Los Angeles is a giant concrete surface, with all the creeks and rivers turned into concrete channels many years ago. But there is a movement afoot to tear out a lot of that hardscaping, to restore the rivers, and to capture as much of that rainwater as we can. People freak out when it rains a half-inch ("How can we even drive in that stuff!") but I love it. I channel as much of the water that falls on my house to go out to the orchard and soak the soil. I'd like to find a way to catch the water that falls on the street in front of the house and pump it to the back yard where it will be stored in the soil. Some day I'll dig some sort of sump and install a pump to capture that water before it flows into the storm drain and out to the ocean.
So let winter come! Let it rain! Let my little cabbages sprout and grow! Let the oranges get ripe and the avocados keep getting fatter — it's winter!