I too am in Sacramento CA, and mainly grow tomatoes and herbs. Last years tomatoes were great, this years, not so much. I have some really bad clay soil in my area, so I have to make sure that I amend the clay with topsoil and compost.
I grow herbs in two half wine barrels. I drilled drainage holes in the bottom, stapled an old t-shirt over the holes to prevent the soil from draining out, then filled with potting soil. I've grown basil, sage, thyme and oregano. The sage and oregano really do well without much tending. The sage usually shoots up like a weed, and I'm constantly lopping off large amounts to give away at work. Basil does well, but needs to be monitored when it gets really hot.
22" WSM, Brinkman Smoke N' Pit "He Hate Me" & Various UDS Parts