California Hardiness Zones

Growing Food in California

USDA Hardiness Zone Map

Gardening in California is best when understanding the terrain and plant hardiness zones. This map shows what to expect in which areas, on heat and freezing temperatures.

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Scroll down the page for larger maps for
Southern California and Northern California 

List of Rural Counties of California

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Bread Basket Bonanza

California is often called the “bread basket of the world”, since we grow so many foods for export here. California produces almost all of the country’s almonds, apricots, dates, figs, kiwi fruit, nectarines, olives, pistachios, prunes, and walnuts. It leads in production of avocados, grapes, lemons, melons, peaches, plums, and strawberries.

In the list below, we try to break down where certain foods grow well and in which regions.

  • Fruit Orchards – Central Valley, Sierra Nevada Foothills
  • Citrus Orchards – SoCal, Central Valley, Sierra Nevada Foothills
  • Nut Orchards – San Joaquin Valley & North Sacramento Valley
  • Avocado – North San Diego Co, Central Coast Valleys
  • Garlic – Central Coast, Gilroy
  • Artichoke – Central Coast, Castroville
  • Olives – North Sierra Nevada Foothills
  • Corn – Central Valley
  • Melons – Central Valley
  • Dates – Coachella Valley Desert
  • Grapes – San Joaquin Valley, North Sacramento Valley
  • Lettuce – Salinas Valley
  • Celery – Salinas Valley
  • Tomatoes – San Joaquin &  Sacramento Valleys, Sierra Nevada
  • Peppers – Imperial Valley, Inland Empire
  • Rice – North Sacramento Valley
  • Carrots – Cuyama Valley, San Joaquin Valley
  • Strawberries – SoCal, Central Coast, Sierra Nevada Mountains

Cattle Ranches – Central Coast, North Central Valley, Sierra Nevada Foothills, Sierra Nevada Mountains

California Wine Country – spans nearly the whole state – from Temecula to Mendocino, vineyards are located all over

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