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I'm not sure where in California you are but I think almost anything can be started outside in California and have a long enough season to fruit well. Maybe not the Northern part.
I know here in Central Ontario basil and cucumbers can be started outside because it doesn't take long for them to mature. Some short season tomatoes and watermelon might make it up here but are usually started indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost date. Some cucumbers may need to be started earlier it depends on the cultivar.
But if you want to start them inside - go for it. It definitely doesn't hurt.
Cucumbers should be fine direct seeded, if you want. Just keep in mind that members of the cucurbitaceae family (cucumber, melon, squash) don't like their roots disturbed so it's a good idea to start them in larger containers that will only require one move (I like large yogurt tubs).
Mine haven't been started yet but I intend to get most planted this weekend.
sweet and purple basil
couple of varieties each of tomato and pepper
I was thinking about starting these this week but I was hesitating because sometimes I start things too soon and they don't do as well when I put them out But I think I try to harden them off too quickly.
In a couple of weeks I am gonna start some bolivian rainbow peppers. They didn't work for me last year but they are so pretty I WANT them to work so I am trying again.
lol I'm bad for starting things earlier than I really need to but it makes me happy so meh.
I find rosemary to just be slow in general, though whether that's due to me or it or our climate I have no idea.