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WHAT TO PLANT IN
March

Southwest Region

 

Southwest Gardening Region Map 


lettuceBP 

Most plants are very sensitive to day length. When day length increases, they immediately begin to add new growth. Tomatoes and other seedlings can catch this wave of momentum; large containers will keep them from becoming root-bound before outdoor temperatures warm.

Gardener's Almanac, February-March 2004

If you're not sure how to start seeds or when to set out transplants, see the Resources section below. Please share timely tips for coping with regional gardening issues in the comments section.

To read more about what to plant in other months and regions, visit our What to Plant Now home page.

For planting times specific to your zip code, check out the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Vegetable Garden Planner. 

 
 

Top Crops for the Southwest Region:
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Here are the Top Ten crops for the Southwest region, followed by other recommended crops, as rated in our National Survey of Most Productive Garden Crops. (The criteria for selection include ease of culture, efficient use of garden space and time, ease of storage and desirability at the table.) The recommended crops are sorted by plant family to help you plan rotations so that the same plant families are not grown consecutively in the same area, as much as possible.

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 

VEGETABLES 

Sow Indoors   

Sow Outdoors  

Transplant 

Artichoke, globe 

 

    XXX 
Beans, snap    XXX   

Beet 

  

XXX 

  

Carrot 

  

XXX 

  

Chard 

XXX 

     

Corn, sweet 

  XXX   
Eggplant 

 

    XXX 
Jicama    

 

 XXX 
Fennel, bulb 

 

    XXX 

Melons 

 

XXX 

XXX 

Peanuts 

 

XXX 

  

Peppers 

 

    XXX 

Radishes 

  

XXX 

  

Scallion (green onion)  

 

  

XXX 

Spinach 

  

XXX 

XXX 

Tomato 

 

    XXX 

Watermelon 

  

XXX 

  

CULINARY HERBS  

Sow Indoors   

Sow Outdoors  

Transplant 

Basil 

    XXX  

Chives 

    XXX 

Cilantro 

  XXX    

Dill 

  XXX   

Fennel, leaf  

 

  

XXX 

Horseradish      XXX 

Marjoram  

 

  

 XXX 

Parsley  

 

 

 XXX 

Rosemary 

     XXX  

Sage 

     XXX  

Savory, summer  

 

  

 XXX 

Thyme 

     XXX 

RESOURCES

* To learn more about when to sow seeds (indoors and outdoors) or when to transplant your seedlings to the garden, see: Know When to Plant What: Find Your Average Last Spring Frost Date.

* To learn more about how to start seeds, check out Seed-starting Basics. For a primer on how to transplant seedlings, see Garden Transplanting: Expert Advice.

* Find garden seeds from great mail-order companies with our Plant and Seed Finder.

* Learn more about high-quality seeds and great seed companies in Best Seeds for a Bigger, Better Garden and Best Garden Seed Companies, or through our seed company directory

* You might also try swapping seeds locally.

* For tips on growing everything from apples to zucchini, see our Organic Gardening homepage.

 





Post a comment below.

 

Robert Bowers
7/5/2010 4:18:17 PM
"Average last frost date" (February 15) is not dependable for Tucson. Winter can be free of killing frosts some years here, and frosts (and snow sometimes!) frequently occur as late as April. Because day/night temperature differential is usually 30 degrees F in late winter and early spring, many things listed here cannot be planted as early as indicated. The soil also remains cool until April. Beans do best if planted in early May and anytime later, and often won't germinate earlier. Tender plants like tomatoes, peppers and some herbs may need protection if set out in February or March. Melons and squashes cannot be planted until late April at earliest. Sweet corn is best bought in the store considering the amount of garden space and water it requires. We also have a very short spring, and a very long summer. Tomatoes and peppers do best in containers or raised beds, set out in February and provided protection. They will cease production when the temperatures start reaching 100 for most varieties, while eggplants and squash will over-fill your larder. This has been a "bad tomato year" as it stayed cool well into April, with many nights 40 or below, and then got too hot too fast and has stayed hot .... 21 days in June 100 or above.





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