UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Cool Season Vegetables

Rows of winter greens, Karen Schaffer
In Santa Clara County, we can grow delicious vegetables year round. Our cool season lets us grow vegetables that are typically grown as early spring vegetables elsewhere in the U.S.

Below are some varieties that Master Gardeners have found grow well here.

OP: Open-pollinated. Seed saved will breed true to type.
Hybrid: Produced from crosses between two distinct parent lines. Seed saved will not be true to the variety planted. (More on Saving Vegetable Seeds from the University of Minnesota Extension)


Arugula: Italian, OP
Delicious salad greens with deep, spicy flavor. Will resow if allowed to go to seed. Flowers are edible too. 8–10" tall. Plant 3–6" apart.
  • 6-pack

Asian Greens: Bopak Choi Hybrid
Ready in 45 days. Tall, heavy, full-size heads with mild, succulent flavor. 8–10" tall. Plant 8–12" apart.
  • 6-pack

Asian Greens: Chinese Broccoli, Gai Lan, OP
Thick, juicy stalks, young leaves and flower buds are tender and delicious. Can harvest shoots repeatedly for weeks.
  • 6-pack

Asian Greens: Napa Cabbage, Minuet, Hybrid
Excellent mini variety. Upright, dense heads. Slow to bolt. 9" tall. Plant 12" apart.
  • 6-pack

Asian Greens: Nozawana Turnip Greens, OP
Traditional Japanese variety grown for leaves and stalks. For best flavor and texture, harvest at 2” wide. 24" tall. Plant 4–6" apart.
  • 6-pack

Asian Greens: Pak Choi Green Fortune, Hybrid
Ready in 30 days. Great for greens or stir-fry. Slow to bolt. 8–10" tall. Plant 8–12" apart.
  • 6-pack

Asian Greens: Shungiku (Edible chrysanthemum), OP
Clip young leaves frequently to keep plants small and tender. Fine, lacy leaves are mild and tasty. 4–8" tall. Plant close together.
  • 4-pack

Asian Greens: Tatsoi, OP
Smooth, spoon-shaped leaves in a compact rosette. Mild flavor is perfect for salads or stir fries. 6–10" tall. Plant 6" apart.
  • 6-pack

Beets: Chioggia Guardsmark, OP
Improved version of Chioggia (pronounced ‘kee–OH–jaw’), known for its red & white candy-striped rings. 8–12" tall. Plant 4–6" apart.
  • 6-pack

Beets: Detroit Dark Red, OP
Popular heirloom beet, uniform and smooth, with sweet red flesh and tasty 14" tops for greens. 10–14" tall. Plant 4–6" apart.
  • 6-pack

Beets: Touchstone Gold, OP
Sweet golden beets are mild and tasty. Beautiful in salads. Greens are delicious and mild. Stabilized OP version of Touchstone Gold hybrid. 8–12" tall. Plant 4–6" apart.
  • 6-pack

Broccoli: Batavia, Hybrid
Large 6–8" main head plus side shoots on this very early broccoli. 18–24" tall. Plant 12–18" apart.
  • 4-pack

Broccoli: Belstar, Hybrid
Large 6–8" main head followed by plentiful side shoots which will continue all winter long. Later than Packman. 18–24" tall. Plant 12–18" apart.
  • 4-pack

Broccoli: Calabrese, OP
Medium-sized 3–6" main head followed by numerous side shoots for months afterwards. 24–30" tall. Plant 12–18" apart.
  • 4-pack

Broccoli: Gypsy, Hybrid
Large 6–8" main head followed by plentiful side shoots. Heat tolerant. 18–24" tall. Plant 12–18" apart.
  • 4-pack

Broccoli: Mixed
Mixed four-pack of broccoli. A great way to try several varieties! Plant 12–18" apart.
  • 4-pack

Cauliflower: Cheddar, Hybrid
Like a regular cauliflower, but orange! Sweet and tasty, with about 25 times as much beta carotene as white cauliflower. No blanching needed. Delicious and striking. 18–24" tall. Plant 24–30" apart.
  • 4-pack

Cauliflower: Fioretto Sprouting, Hybrid
Loose heads have tender stems that elongate as they mature. Harvest sprouts up to 8" long. 18–24" tall. Plant 24–30" apart.
  • 4-pack

Cauliflower: Graffiti, Hybrid
Neon purple cauliflower keeps its color when cooked. Makes a great addition to any raw vegetable platter. The 10" heads do not require blanching. For a surprise, dress raw or cooked Graffiti with vinaigrette and watch it turn a bright magenta pink. 18–24" tall. Plant 24–30" apart.
  • 4-pack

Cauliflower: Green, OP
This Italian heirloom, Verde di Macerata, forms beautiful light green heads with no blanching needed. 18–24" tall. Plant 24–30" apart.
  • 4-pack

Cauliflower: Romanesco Veronica, Hybrid
Light green heads with incredible swirls that form amazing fractal shapes. Sweet nut-like taste. 18–24" tall. Plant 24–30" apart.
  • 4-pack

Cauliflower: Snow Crown, Hybrid
Early snowball type is pure white, round and flavorful, weighing up to 2 lbs. each. 18–24" tall. Plant 24–30" apart.
  • 4-pack

Cauliflower: Song, Hybrid
Early, loose-headed cauliflower. Sweet, tender, long stemmed florets are great for dipping. 18–24" tall. Plant 24–30" apart.
  • 4-pack

Cauliflower: Mixed
Mixed four-pack of cauliflowers. A fun way to try different varieties! Plant 24–30" apart.
  • 4-pack

Chard: Bionda di Lione, OP
Large, light green leaves on thick white stems. Excellent flavor. 18–24" tall. Plant 12–18" apart.
  • 6-pack

Chard: Bright Lights, OP
Gorgeous stems are red, yellow, gold, orange, white, pink, violet, and striped. Delicious and tender. Multicolored stems and leaves make a wonderful show. 18–24" tall. Plant 12–18" apart.
  • 6-pack

Chard: French White, OP
Thick green leaves are large and tender, on huge, white stalks that are very wide and delicious. Heavy yields because leaves are so large. 18–24" tall. Plant 12–18" apart.
  • 6-pack

Chard: Peppermint Stick, OP
Beautiful chard with hot pink and white striped stems, delicious as well as ornamental. 18–24" tall. Plant 12–18" apart.
  • 6-pack

Collards: Georgia Southern, OP
Harvest delicious outer leaves for a constant supply. Cabbage/kale flavor. 24–36" tall. Plant 12–18" apart.
  • 6-pack

Fennel: Di Parma, OP
Superior bulbing fennel, large and uniform, with great flavor. Flowers attract beneficials and swallowtail butterflies will lay eggs on the feathery greens. 24–36" tall. Plant 10–12" apart.
  • 6-pack

Italian Greens: Radicchio, La Rosa del Veneto, OP
Loose head of tender salmon pink /rose-gold leaves. Less bitter than most radicchios. Late maturing. 8–12" tall. Plant 12" apart.
  • 4-pack

Italian Greens: Rapini (Broccoli Raab), OP
Plentiful shoots have a delicate slightly bitter/spicy/peppery flavor. 12–18" tall. Plant 6–10" apart.
  • 6-pack

Italian Greens: Mixed
Mix of chicories (such as Sugarloaf chicory, Blonde Full Heart escarole, Orchidea Rossa radicchio, Cuor d’Oro frisée, or La Rosa del Veneto). 8–12" tall. Plant 12–18" apart.
  • 4-pack

Kale: Lacinato, OP
Heirloom Italian variety is a gorgeous, striking plant with delicious dark blue-green leaves. 24–36" tall. Plant 18–24" apart.
  • 6-pack

Kale: Premier Blend, OP
You'll get a beautiful variety of colors, textures, sizes and flavors with this special five kale blend (Dwarf Blue Curled, Improved Dwarf Siberian, Lacinato, Premier, and Red Russian). 24–30" tall. Plant 12–18" apart.
  • 6-pack

Kale: Tronchuda Beira, Hybrid
Portuguese variety. Paddle-shaped, deep green leaves with mild, rich flavor. 24–30" tall. Plant 12–18" apart.
  • 6-pack

Kohlrabi: Kohlibri, Hybrid
Beautiful purple bulbs look like alien vegetables. The white flesh inside is sweet and juicy. Can be eaten raw or cooked. 8–10" tall. Plant 4–6" apart.
  • 6-pack

Leek: Carentan, OP
Long, thick leek grows strong and vigorously, with a delicate and delicious flavor. Up to 2 inches across. An old European heirloom variety. 18–24" tall. Separate the individual seedlings and plant them 4–6" apart in trenches. Gradually fill in the trench as they grow to promote a long, blanched stalk. When leeks are planted early enough in the fall, they will start to size up in early winter, so can be harvested all winter long.
  • 3½"

Leek: Giant Musselburgh , OP
Thick stalks grow 2–3 inches across. Heirloom Scottish variety, mild flavor, very cold tolerant. 18–24" tall. Separate the individual seedlings and plant them 4–6" apart in trenches. Gradually fill in the trench as they grow to promote a long, blanched stalk. When leeks are planted early enough in the fall, they will start to size up in early winter, so can be harvested all winter long.
  • 3½"

Leek: Tadorna, OP
Vigorous leek, thick, medium-length shank, holds well in the field. Moderate leaf disease resistance. 18–24" tall. Separate the individual seedlings and plant them 4–6" apart in trenches. Gradually fill in the trench as they grow to promote a long, blanched stalk. When leeks are planted early enough in the fall, they will start to size up in early winter, so can be harvested all winter long.
  • 3½"

Leek: Zermatt, OP
Swiss Giant type, early maturing, long shanks. Also excellent planted closely for baby leeks. 18–24" tall. Separate the individual seedlings and plant them 4–6" apart in trenches. Gradually fill in the trench as they grow to promote a long, blanched stalk. When leeks are planted early enough in the fall, they will start to size up in early winter, so can be harvested all winter long.
  • 3½"

Lettuce: Buttercrunch, OP
Loose butterheads with sweet, crisp, thick, delicious leaves. 5–7" tall. Plant 8–10" apart.
  • 6-pack

Lettuce: Coastal Star Romaine, OP
Heavy, tall, dark green heads. Heat tolerant. Good, sweet flavor. Corky root resistant. 10–12" tall. Plant 6" apart.
  • 6-pack

Lettuce: Gourmet Baby Mixed, OP
Delicious blend of gourmet lettuces. Plant closely (2–4") for cut and come again harvesting or space apart 8–10" for heads.
  • 6-pack

Lettuce: Nevada OP
Large, handsome, heavy, heat tolerant heads with an outstanding juicy nutty flavor. 6–8" tall. Plant 10–12" apart.
  • 6-pack

Lettuce: Reine des Glaces, OP
Crisp emerald green leaves with lacy edges enclose a juicy light green heart of these crispheads. Beautiful and delicious. 6–8" tall. Plant 10–12" apart.
  • 6-pack

Lettuce: Salad Bowl Blend, OP
Sweet red and green oak leaf lettuces make a delicious heat tolerant blend. Plant closely (2–4") for cut and come again harvesting or space apart 8–10" for heads.
  • 6-pack

Lettuce: Skyphos Red, OP
Large, dark red butterhead with green centers. Resistant to downy mildew and mosaic virus. 6–8" tall. Plant 10–12" apart.
  • 6-pack

Mustard: Mixed
Tasty and ornamental mix of mustards (such as Spicy Green, Ruby Streaks, Red Giant, and Mizuna). 12–15" tall. Plant 6–12" apart.
  • 4-pack

Peas: Little Marvel (shelling), OP
Heavy yields of fine-flavored peas on vigorous plants. Heirloom variety. Best on a short trellis. 3–4' tall. Plant 4" apart.
  • 6-pack

Peas: Mammoth Melting Sugar (snow pea), OP
Heirloom variety with sweet 4–5" long flat pods are borne on vigorous vines. 4–5' tall. Plant 3–4" apart.
  • 6-pack

Peas: Super Sugar Snap, OP
Vigorous vines yield heavy crop of delicious, edible-podded sugar snap peas. Healthy and mildew resistant. Thick, juicy pods are great raw or cooked. 5–6' tall. Plant 3–4" apart.
  • 6-pack

Spinach: Flamingo Improved, Hybrid
Large arrowhead-shaped leaves, sweet & crisp, long stems. High resistance to downy mildew. 18–24" tall. Plant 8–10" apart.
  • 6-pack

Spinach: Viroflay, OP
Giant arrowhead-shaped leaves up to 10" long, sweet & crisp. Classic French heirloom. 18–24" tall. Plant 8–10" apart.
  • 6-pack

Turnip: Scarlet Ohno Revival, OP
Smooth scarlet turnips in rounded to flattened shape. Glossy green leaves have pink to red stems. 10–12" tall. Plant 2–4" apart.
  • 6-pack

Turnip: White Hakurei, Hybrid
Smooth, crisp white turnips, excellent for eating raw or lightly cooked. Greens are smooth and tender. Best harvested young, at 2" or smaller. Plant 2" apart.
  • 6-pack

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