What to Plant Now: Southwest Gardening Region

By Staff
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What to Plant Now:
Southwest Gardening Region

Vegetable planting times can change fast in a Southwest garden, so click to the upcoming month to learn more about what to plant now, anytime.  


If you’re a Southwest gardener, you’re in the right place. If you’re from somewhere else, click to find garden planning information for your area. 

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


Tip from Mother

Bookmark this page, so you can make it back to your Southwest gardening region home in one click. Our free-use website includes thousands of pages, and you don’t want to waste time looking for this very page. 


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

Wise Advice

If you live in the desert – sunken beds or protected beds and waffle/dry bed gardening are the best choice. It traps what little water does come naturally and reduces the manual water needed. It protects your plants from the dry, moisture-sucking wind as well. Plus you can plant early and easily cover the seedlings with trash bags until the last frost.

Criss Kraus, online comment, 6/22/09

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