The winter season in Phoenix, Arizona, is mild, with a few inches of rainfall and cool, sunny days. As such, the growing season in Phoenix is year-round and vegetable gardens are productive during the winter months. By planting during warm summer months and into September and October, you may harvest winter vegetables through to March, when the temperatures begin to rise. Your winter vegetables need well-draining soil with a thin layer of mulch. Plant them in full sun, as the winter months in Phoenix will provide them with six hours of sunlight a day.
Hot and Sweet Peppers
Though both hot and sweet pepper plants grow well in warm weather, the summer heat in Phoenix slows the production down and pepper plants may wither and die. Hot pepper plants, such as jalapeño and habanera, will grow in the winter months and produce their peppers during the early spring and into the summer. Cut the plants back when they stop producing healthy peppers. They may come back in the fall for another season. Sweet peppers are better planted in August and September so they produce their fruit before the coldest part of the winter in January. Plant sweet peppers again in early spring to harvest before late summer.
Fill your winter garden with squashes such as butternut, spaghetti squash and acorn squash. These hardy vegetables enjoy the warm afternoons and cold nights of winter in Phoenix. Winter squash on average requires up to 100 days to reach maturity. Plant squash seeds as early as July and no later than September. The plants then will be strong enough to withstand the drop in temperature. With successive planting, you may be able to harvest throughout the autumn and winter months. If frost threatens, however, cover your plants to protect them. Zucchini squash grows almost year-round in Phoenix, dying back during the late summer. Plant this squash in autumn and again in spring to enjoy zucchini throughout the year.
The hardier leafy greens such as kale and chard may be planted in late summer and harvested before the rains and frost of January and February. These greens grow fairly quickly, reaching maturity in 60 to 90 days. Plant them in late summer and harvest them before November. Plant them in early February and harvest again in March. Spinach also does well in the cool winter months in Phoenix. Plant spinach at the same time as your kale and chard for a tasty mix of winter greens.
Broccoli is prolific in Phoenix throughout the winter months. A cool-weather vegetable, it will bolt and go to seed when the temperatures warm up in April. Plant broccoli seeds in August and September, continuing to seed your garden into December. You'll enjoy broccoli throughout the winter months.