Top Crops: Southwest Region

Find out the top 10 crops to grow in the Southwest region of the U.S. and why gardeners' work can span three seasons.

  • Southwest region
    The Southwest gardening region.
  • top crops southwest region - potatoes
    Gardeners rated the old reliable potato at #1 among the 10 top crops in the Southwest region.

  • Southwest region
  • top crops southwest region - potatoes

The Southwest region’s list of 10 top crops looks pretty mainstream, but because hot, dry summers split the season in two, many gardeners grow three gardens each year: fast-growing cool-season crops for spring, heat-tolerant veggies for summer, and a feast of fine edibles for fall.

In your garden, this might play out as lettuce, potatoes, and onions in spring; tomatoes, beans, and peppers in summer; and everything from bulb fennel to mizuna (a popular Asian mustard) in the fall. Tart tomatillos become a versatile vegetable in the hands of good Southwestern cooks (authentic salsa verde is impossible without roasted tomatillos).

This fast-growing tomato relative earned strong ratings from gardeners in this region, and Modesto, CA, gardener Sandra Burnette says they’re not as invasive as tomatoes, “which will take over the entire garden if left to themselves,” she says.

Edamame (edible green soybean) is a rising star in Southwest gardens, too. Burnette has tried several varieties, and says she has enjoyed them all.

Top 10

  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 Rated Crops

Cabbage family: Kale, kohlrabi

Cucumber family: Cucumber, pumpkin, winter squash



Fall 2021!

Put your DIY skills to the test throughout November. We’re mixing full meal recipes in jars, crafting with flowers, backyard composting, cultivating mushrooms, and more!


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters