Oakland gardening - summer/warm-weather veggies
I'm new to this forum and for that matter, to California - oakland to be more specific - as well.
I would like to get feedback from East Bay gardeners on how viable it is to grow summer & warm-weather veggies, particularly melons, corn, and tomatoes. Would you please comment on your experiences with these and/or if you have any suggestions or tips on growing them or specific varieties that you recommend?
The USDA hardiness zone suggests my zip code in oakland is zone 9a. This seems to be of limited value since it doesn't do much more than suggest I won't have many freezes to deal with. Now I've lived in zone 9a before but that was in the south so there was no question of getting enough warmth/heat/sunshine to grow tomatoes, corn, etc, in that region. Growing degree days might be a more useful number but then I don't know of any GDD values for tomatoes, though I think some exist for corn...
From everything I'm told here by the few locals I've had a chance to talk to, the fog is a big factor in determining what you can and can't grow. However, I understand that Oakland is sunnier/warmer than SF with less fog, so I'm hoping at least some of these summer veggies can be grown here.