Fruits and VegetablesIf you are looking for vegetables that grow well in Arizona, full sun constraints may be a concern. Don’t worry, there are plenty of vegetables that grow best in full sun.

If you want to start growing vegetables in Arizona, read on to understand which vegetables to plant and when to plant them. 

What Vegetables Grow Well in Arizona’s Full Sun? 

Both warm-season and cold-season plants, which include tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, corn, peppers, onions, cucumbers, chiles, eggplant, okra, peas, turnips and beets, grow well in Arizona’s full sun.

Take a look at the above table and you will find some suggestions based on your season and location.  

Locations  Season Crop Type Plants to Try 
Low Desert Winter Cool Weather Onions, radishes, beets, carrots, cabbages, turnips, lettuce, peas
Low Desert Summer / Spring / Fall Warm Weather Beans, sweet potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, corn, chiles, eggplant
High Mountains Winter (plant in late fall)  Cool Weather Beets, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, peas, spinach, turnips
High Mountains Summer Warm Weather Beans, sweet potatoes, potatoes, okra, pumpkin, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, corn, chiles, eggplant 

– Onions

Healthy Onions Background

Onions are vegetables that grow well in Arizona climates. These root veggies are a low-maintenance crop to add to your garden.

Unlike other cold-weather vegetables listed here, onions are bulbs, so the majority of the growth occurs underground. Plant along with other root vegetables like beets, radishes, carrots, or turnips. 

– Radishes

Radishes RadishesRadishes are some of the fastest growing root vegetables. Depending on the variety, you can have a dwarf radish harvest in as little as 22 days. 

Plant radishes directly into well-tilled soil. Seeds can be very small, so it may be a good idea to get coated seeds so you don’t accidentally overplant an area, which can lead to too-small radishes.

– Carrots 

Orange Carrots on Brown Wooden TableCarrots are another great underground option. These trusty orange roots come in many color varieties and prefer full sun

Also, you should look for a variety that is drought tolerant. Prior to planting, turn over the soil in your garden so that it’s loose and the roots can grow through the dirt easily. 

– Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes

harvesting sweet potatoesPotatoes are a great summer crop since they grow underground. This is because underground temperatures don’t soar to the extremes as they do on the surface.

Plant potatoes in an expanse of loose and well-irrigated soil. You must wait until the end of the growing season to harvest. 

When you’re ready to harvest your potatoes, grab a pitchfork and a trowel and gently rake away the leaves and stems to uncover the base of the plant. Follow the roots to locate and dig up your potatoes. 

– Peppers and Chiles 

chile pepper plantPeppers and chiles are a fantastic sun-loving option for your Arizona garden. There are many varieties you can choose from, from sweet to spicy!

They come in tall and bush varieties to make the best use of your space. Just keep in mind that peppers can be harvested throughout the season.

– Cabbage and Lettuce  

Lettuce, Tomato and CabbageCabbages and lettuce will thrive in a cooler environment, so think planting in the early spring or fall.

You can sow their seeds in raised rows two inches apart. When they are five inches tall, thin them out to be a foot apart. You’ll have baby greens soon after! 

If you live in an area with animal herbivores – such as rabbits, deer, or other garden-invading pests – it’s a good idea to fence your garden so that these types of plants aren’t eaten

– Beans

Green String BeansBeans are a staple in the multicultural cuisine of the Southwestern United States. Beans love full sun and it is very enjoyable to watch them climb up a trellis and spread out their leaves to catch every ray of the summer sun. So, plant beans and enjoy harvesting them throughout the summer

– Corn 

Corn Field in DaylightCorn can be very productive in Arizona’s semi-arid climate. Look for traditional varieties of maize grown for centuries by Native Americans, and later, settlers.

These will be more drought-tolerant and adaptable to temperature extremes and full sun than other varieties.

They will also add some pizazz to your garden since they come in many colors like blue, orange and red. 

– Cucumbers

Cucumbers 

 If you love to make pickles, cucumbers are a great option to plant in your Arizona garden! When planning your garden, ensure that the cucumbers have enough space for the vines to grow outward and soak up the sun. This is a water-loving plant, so double-check that you can provide the necessary irrigation. 

– Okra

Raw Green Organic Okra VegetablesPlanting vegetables in Arizona like okra might be better adapted to higher mountain areas instead of the drier low desert.

This is because okra requires a little more water than other plants. However, it’s included because it loves full sun and will provide a continuous harvest like beans, peppers and tomatoes. 

– Tomatoes 

fresh Tomato LotPlant tomatoes of any variety at the beginning of the summer. Tomato pollen dies at temperatures above 95 F.

So, if you live in the lower desert where temperatures easily skyrocket above 95 F in the summer, consider planting your tomatoes before or after the height of the summer heat. 

It’s recommended to train them to grow up on a trellis or inside a tomato-growing stand. Harvest your tomatoes throughout the summer to increase harvests and production. Supplement the tomatoes’ hardiness against pests by planting sun-loving marigolds nearby.

– Pumpkin 

nice yellow pumpkinPumpkins may be a surprise to see outside of the autumn season, but they are a great candidate for growing in Arizona’s full sun.

This vegetable has huge leaves and really capitalizes on the rays coming down to create large, nutritious pumpkins. 

 

FAQs

– How Should I Water My Full Sun Arizona Vegetables? 

You should water your plants in a way that wastes the least amount of water, yet delivers the necessary water requirements to them. This is because, in Arizona, water is a precious resource. Use a watering can or a mist attachment on your hose to reduce waste.

Also, water early in the morning when plants absorb the most water and evaporation is the lowest. 

If you have a large garden or don’t want to water manually each morning, consider a drip irrigation hose. This is a short hose that has small holes poked into it along its length.

When it is attached to a conventional hose, it can be slightly buried in a garden bed, where it leaks water into the bed without evaporation. This reduces water waste and increases water availability to your plants! 

– Do Cold-Season Vegetables Grow in Arizona? 

Yes, there are several cold-season vegetables to grow in Arizona. A few cold-season vegetables are onions, radishes, cabbage and beets. Moreover, depending on where you are in Arizona, winter lows range from 20 F to 60 F. These temperatures can work for many cold-season vegetables.

Depending on where you are growing vegetables in Arizona, you can also include broccoli, brussels sprouts, and some lettuce varieties. These will thrive best in wetter environments that reach colder temperatures at night. Also, some plants like brussels sprouts and broccoli are tolerant of mild snows, which improve their flavor.  

– When Should I Plant Cold-Season Vegetables? 

You should plant cold-season vegetables in Arizona in the early spring, late fall, and into the first few weeks of winter

It doesn’t matter if you are located in the wetter, higher-elevation northwest part of Arizona, or in the southwest, which is lower, hotter and drier. Simply adjust the time of year that you plant them. 

– What Type of Warm-Season Vegetables Grow in Arizona? 

Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, beans, okra and corn are just a few of the many warm-season vegetables that thrive in Arizona’s arid climates and high heat. 

Remember that some warm-season vegetables require less water than others. Since Arizona is a drier state, consider purchasing drought-tolerant varieties. These can include heirloom varieties of peppers, beans and corn. 

– When Should I Plant Warm-Season Vegetables? 

You should plant warm-season vegetables either at the beginning of the summer or the end of spring, or early in the spring or fall. It all depends on your climate zone within Arizona. So, double-check your seed packet and the temperatures in your area, and you should be successful. 

However, in the low desert areas, you may need to plant your warm-weather vegetables earlier in the spring or later in the fall. Even though these plants are adapted for warm weather, summer highs above 100 F can still kill them.

The most extreme desert areas of Arizona – the ones that can get up to 107 F – may need to grow their warm-weather vegetables in the spring and fall instead of the middle of summer. 

Variety of Vegetables

Conclusion

Gardening in Arizona’s full sun environment doesn’t have to be intimidating. Through our gardening experts’ advice, you can now take advantage of the plants best adapted to your area and have the best possible harvest. 

Furthermore, these are the main points that we discussed in our article:

  • Customize what vegetables you grow according to your location in Arizona, your water requirements, and the time of year.  
  • Warm-season vegetables include okra, cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes, beans and peppers. 
  • Cold-season vegetables include carrots, beets, onions, cabbage and radishes. 

The variety of vegetables you can grow in Arizona’s full sun environment may be a surprise! From cabbage to tomatoes, there is a plant out there to please anyone and you have discovered them all in our article. 

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