If you’ve spent any time at all in the Midwest, one thing you might miss about summer is the opportunity to enjoy fresh vegetables that have been grown in a backyard garden. Arizona summers are so hot, you probably think any gardens you try to start will end up offering already cooked veggies! The good news is, however, that you CAN grow vegetables in the Phoenix area, even during the hottest months of summer. Many plants you may prefer to grow during the cooler months, and that’s perfectly fine. The only issue is that your typical summer crop may not be available until fall and that delay is ok; you probably won’t want to be tilling and weeding and watering during the heat anyway.
The Best Phoenix Vegetable
Surprisingly, green beans are the best vegetable to grow in the Phoenix area, and they don’t take up a lot of room. It’s best to plant them in November, but because we do occasionally get frost in January or even February, pay close attention to the weather and cover them if a frost warning is issued. Sugar snap peas are a close relative to the green bean, and the tips for planting them are the same.
Warm Season Vegetables
Because of our mild winters, the Phoenix area has two full growing seasons, warm and cold. Vegetables such as corn, tomatoes, eggplant, pumpkin, and peppers are warm season vegetables and do best when planted in February. They will continue to provide their “fruits” through June and July, but it’s imperative that you remember to keep them watered. Where you plant these veggies is important as well: Too much sun and they will fry, too little sun and they won’t produce.
Cool Season Vegetables
The earliest you can begin to plant your cool season vegetables is the middle of August, but most do better if you wait another month; you don’t want to be fussing in a garden in the middle of August anyway, it’s too hot! Cool season vegetables include plants whose leaves are edible: cabbage, salad greens, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, and onions. Your cool season garden will produce through April—any later and it is just too hot.
Arizona Gardening Isn’t Always Easy
There’s a lot of trial and error involved, even for seasoned professionals like ourselves, but we think that when you take that first bite of your home-grown carrot, you will think it’s worth it! Schedule an appointment with us today and let us share our expertise with you.