Plant cool season gardens now!

My garden is suffering right now. One of my dogs had major surgery a week ago, so I have been on full-time dog duty. She is my garden companion, always supervising my work, and testing some of the food for ripeness.

I crept quietly outside yesterday morning to pull weeds while she was sleeping, but that was the extent of my garden preparation for cool season crops. However, the indoor time with Ellie has given me more time than usual to plan my garden and think about changes.

raised bed, vegetables, garden
Raised beds are the most full-proof way to grow annual vegetables and fruits in the Southwest, where we struggle with poor soil. You are in control of the soil, have fewer weeds, and can cover crops more easily both to hold back the harsh summer sun and the cold winter nights.


It is over 100 degrees in the low desert, so it is difficult to think about cool season gardens, but believe it or not, planting begins NOW for some crops.

In the last blog, I told you how to extend your tomato harvest into the fall. You need to also plan what cool season vegetables you want to grow. Always remember: grow what you will eat. Otherwise, you will be giving it all away and that isn’t very productive.


The cool season offers a wealth of food to grow. It is the best growing season in the low desert, requires less maintenance, and has fewer pests. You can grow snap beans, beets, bok choy, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chard, collard greens, endive, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, leeks, mustard, onions (bulb and green), parsnips, peas, radishes, rutabaga, and turnips. It’s too late to plant the sweet potatoes and pumpkin for Thanksgiving unfortunately. I have attached a Vegetable Calendar  to help you out. It is specific to Zones 9a and 9b.


I have written three blogs in the past that I think will help you. Raised beds are usually the way to go for vegetables when you are dealing with poor soil conditions, like the clay and sandy soils that perpetuate the desert environment, so I have included ones on planning and planting times, how to use a raised bed, and how to build one.

Enjoy and get planting! The time is upon us, as you will see on the planting calendar. I may have to move Ellie’s kennel outside!


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I am a certified agriscape designer and Maricopa County Master Gardener. I have been gardening since I was six years old and worked in my grandfather's garden. I believe that the only way to be a responsible gardener is to garden organically. It improves our soil, is safer for us to eat, sustainable and it protects our pollinators and soil from chemical poisoning.

4 thoughts on “Plant cool season gardens now!

    1. Done. Thanks so much for your interest! I will also respond to any questions you may have pertaining to gardening.

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