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WHAT TO PLANT NOW
December in the

Southwest Gardening Region

 

Southwest Gardening Region Map 

 

 Stay on Schedule 

Vegetable planting times can change fast in a Southwest garden, so make sure you're in the right month. Click on the current month below to learn more about what to plant now, anytime.  

INSERT MONTHLY HYPERLINK LIST

 


 

Top Crops for the Southwest Gardening Region
cabbageSeedlingsBP
 

Successful Southwest gardeners emphasize crops that naturally grow well, which was clearly shown in our  National Survey of Most Productive Garden Crops. Choose your favorites from the list below. These crops received the highest ratings from fellow organic vegetable gardeners in the Southwest. Additional options found on the Recommended Crops list are sorted by plant family to make it easier to plan effective rotations. 

Top 10 Crops: Southwest Region

1. Potato
2. Garlic
3. Cherry tomato
4. Bulb onion
5. Slicing tomato
6. Carrot
7. Summer squash
8. Snow/snap pea
9. Paste tomato
10. Sweet pepper

 

Other Highly Recommended Crops:

Cabbage family:  Kale, kohlrabi 

Cucumber family:  Cucumberpumpkin, winter squash 

Leafy greens:  Arugula, chard, Chinese cabbage, mache, lettuce, pac choi, spinach 

Legumes:  Dry soup beans, edamame, fava bean, snap beans, snow/snap and shell peas, Southern peas

Root crops:  Beetradish, rutabaga, shallot, sunchoke, sweet potato 

Tomato family:  Eggplant, peppers (all types), tomatillo

Miscellaneous: Bulb fennel, leek, okra, rhubarb, scallions 

 

 

December Vegetable Planting Chart, Southwest

 

 


VEGETABLES 

Sow Indoors   

Sow Outdoors  

Transplant 

Low Elevations Only  

Artichoke, globe 

 

    XXX  XXX 
 Asian greens    XXX    XXX 
Asparagus      XXX  XXX 

Beet 

  

XXX 

   XXX 
Broccoli      XXX  XXX 
Cabbage      XXX  XXX 

Carrot 

  

XXX 

   XXX 

Chard 

XXX 

 XXX   XXX  XXX 
Collards    XXX    XXX 
Endive 

 

 XXX     XXX 
Fennel, bulb 

XXX 

   XXX    XXX 
Kohlrabi      XXX  XXX 
 Leek  XXX  XXX  XXX  XXX 
Lettuce    XXX  XXX  XXX 
 Mustard    XXX    XXX 
Onion, bulb      XXX   
Peas (snow, shell, snap)     XXX     
Potatoes    XXX    XXX 

Radishes 

  

XXX 

    
Rutabaga    XXX    XXX 

Scallion (green onion)  

XXX 

  

XXX 

XXX 

Spinach 

  

XXX 

XXX 

XXX 
Turnip 

 XXX 

      XXX 

CULINARY HERBS  

Sow Indoors   

Sow Outdoors  

Transplant 

Low Elevations Only  

Chives 

XXX    XXX  XXX 

Cilantro 

  XXX     XXX 

Fennel, leaf  

 

XXX  

 

XXX 
Horseradish      XXX   

Marjoram  

 

  

 XXX 

XXX 

Parsley  

 

XXX 

 XXX 

XXX 

Rosemary 

     XXX   XXX 

Sage 

     XXX   XXX 

Savory, summer  

 

  

 XXX 

XXX 

Thyme 

     XXX  XXX 

 

 

Good Reading About the Southwest Gardening Region

The Mother Earth News online archives include three decades of homestead and gardening reports from the Southwest gardening region, including these neat stories:  

 Best Tomatoes for the Southwest, January 2010

 Phoenix Custom Chicken Coops, December 2009 (online)

 The Southwest, March 1990

 Chino Valley Changes, January 1987

 Mule Train Nomads, July 1979

 Water in the Desert,  June 2004

 Great Places You’ve Never Heard Of  

 Brisbee, Arizona, August 2008

 San Luis Obispo, California, August 2008

 Dixon, New Mexico, August 2007

 Silver City, New Mexico, October 2009

 Yavapai County, January 1987

 

 

Resources for the Southwest Gardening Region

Climate factors such as elevation or distance from the sea will influence when to plant what. These links will help you find your best planting dates, starting with extension service recommendations.

Home Vegetable Gardening in New Mexico, New Mexico State University 

  Vegetable Planting Guide, Arizona State University (click to your zone to find exact planting dates) 

  Vegetable Planting Guide, San Diego (California) County Extension Service 

 Sustainable Agriculture in Arizona. PDF from University of Arizona 

 Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, University of California 

 California Certified Organic Farmers, Santa Cruz, California 

  Farm to Table, Santa Fe, New Mexico 

 




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