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10 Best Vegetables to Grow in New Mexico (2021 Guide)

What are the best vegetables to grow in New Mexico?

Finding the best vegetables to grow in New Mexico was not as easy as I thought. Some require extensive care, others are prone to pests, and lots are just not simple & quick enough to grow.

That’s why I created a list of the 10 Best Vegetables to Grow in New Mexico!

This ultimate guide will give you the best vegetables to grow, why you should grow them, and even how to grow them.


Read THIS Before Growing Vegetables in New Mexico

Knowing what hardiness zone New Mexico is in is critical to understanding the best vegetables that can be grown.

It can be the difference between your vegetable garden thriving and providing a bountiful yield or producing nothing.

New Mexico is mostly considered Hardiness Zone 6, while some of the lower-level regions are Hardiness Zone 7 and 8.

hardiness zone map


10 Best Vegetables to Grow in New MExico

#1. Cabbage

growing cabbage

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Popular Varieties: red cabbage & white pointed cabbage

Why Grow Cabbage in New Mexico?

cabbage growing

Thrives in Cold:

  • While some vegetables are cold-hardy, cabbage thrives in New Mexico’s cool spring and fall weather. If you want the tastiest cabbage you should grow them in early spring and harvest before the heat of the summer.

Perfect in Raised Garden Beds:

  • Peas do not need much room. They also grow great among other vegetables and plants. And when protected against mother nature they do even better. This makes it perfect for raised garden beds, which is one of the most popular techniques of gardening in New Mexico.

THESE Could Harm Your Cabbage

Pests:

  • Deer, Rabbits, & Squirrels LOVE eating cabbage leaves during early summer. Whether protected or unprotected pests pose a risk to growing cabbage in New Mexico.

Insects:

  • Out of all the vegetables on the list, cabbage are most prone to insect attacks. Aphids, Mites, and many other bugs can commonly attack leaves and the head of the cabbage.

Additional Resources

The biggest tip I have when growing Cabbage in New Mexico is to give your vegetable enough space. Most gardeners plant cabbage too close to one another, inhibiting the size and flavor of your vegetable.


#2. Asparagus

growing asparagus

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Popular Varieties: White, Green, & Bath

Why Grow Asparagus in New Mexico?

asparagus growing

Thrives in Droughts:

  • Unlike other vegetables, Asparagus does not require a lot of water to grow, flower, and bloom into a crop that can be harvested throughout summer. This is great for the unusual dry summers and even wet ones.

Great for Perennial Gardens:

  • If you want a vegetable that grows every year with little to no maintenance then asparagus is perfect for you. The best part is this can be grown among other vegetables in a small garden.

THESE Could Harm Your Asparagus

Insects:

  • Asparagus is one of the few vegetables that require constant insect control. Insects can quickly destroy your asparagus when it because to grow and if you leave it in the ground too long.

Pests/Animals:

  • Because Asparagus is one of the first perennial vegetables to grow up from the ground in late spring/early summer they are prone to being eaten more by pests/animals.

Additional Resources

The biggest tip I have when growing Asparagus in New Mexico is to plant them in an area of your garden you plan on dedicating to them every year. Not only this, but it will be beneficial to keep them among other animal repellent plants to properly protect them.


#3. Kale

kale growing

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Popular Varieties: Curly, Lacinato, Red Russian, Ornamental

Why Grow Kale in New Mexico?

growing kale

Cold Hardy:

  • Kale is the hardiest vegetable when it comes to cooler springs and falls in New Mexico. Unlike any other vegetable on this list, Kale can be grown throughout the entire year.

Ornamental:

  • Kale is the only vegetable on this list that can also be considered an ornamental plant. This means it can add color, features, and beauty to any type of garden.

Perfect in Pots:

  • If there is any vegetable that can be grown in gardening pots in New Mexico, it’s Kale. This is one of the most adaptive vegetables, making it perfect for beginner gardeners in New Mexico.

THESE Could Harm Your Lettuce

Aphids

  • Like many other vegetables, aphids are one insect you don’t want. Aphids are especially prevalent in New Mexico and can stunt or kill your kale.

Extreme Heat

  • Like lettuce Kale does not tolerate extreme heat. After just a week in temperatures over 90 degrees, Fahrenheit and direct sunlight Kale can flower and become inedible. It is recommended not to grow Kale in direct sunlight in the summer.

Additional Resources

Learn How To Grow Kale HERE


#4. Peas

growing peas

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Popular Varieties: Snow peas, sugar snap, english peas

Why Grow Peas in New Mexico?

peas growing in ohio

Thrives in Cold:

  • While some vegetables are cold-hardy, Peas thrive in New Mexico’s spring and fall weather. If you want the tastiest peas you should grow them in winter and early spring.

Great for Vertical Gardening:

  • Peas are one of the few vegetables that are perfect for vertical gardening. Vertical Gardening is popular in the cities of New Mexico and even in urban areas where land for horizontal growing is scarce.

Perfect in Raised Garden Beds:

  • Peas do not need much room. They also grow great among other vegetables and plants. This makes it perfect for raised garden beds, which is one of the most popular techniques of gardening in New Mexico.

THESE Could Harm Your Peas

Pests:

  • Deer, Rabbits, & Squirrels LOVE start to come out and become hungry in spring. One of the first plants they eat is peas. Whether protected or unprotected pests pose a risk to growing peas in New Mexico.

Any temperature but cold:

  • While most vegetables grow in New Mexico’s summer heat, peas cannot. Any temperature, but cool weather will pose a risk to growth & tastiness.

Additional Resources

Learn How to Grow Peas HERE


#5. Squash

growing squash

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Popular Varieties: Zucchini, Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti

Why Grow Squash in New Mexico?

squash growing

Thrives in the heat & cold:

  • Squash is one of the most versatile vegetables. Some varieties can be grown in cold weather, some can be grown in warmer weather, and some are perfect to be grown in both types of weather.

Provides All-Summer Harvest:

  • Squash is one of the few vegetables that you will be harvest from as early as May to as late as November if planted right. This means you will be able to enjoy or store it all year long.

Perfect Cross-Pollinator:

  • Squash may be the best vegetable on this list to help to cross-pollinate other vegetables. Plant squash next to tomatoes, beans, carrots, and cucumbers for even more vegetables.

THESE Could Harm Your Squash

Birds, Squirrels, Rabbits, & Chipmunks:

  • These pests will generally not harm your actual squash vegetables. What they will do though is immediately eat squash flowers if you do not protect them with netting or rodent spray.

Small Gardens:

  • This is a little different than other vegetables. Squash requires lots of room to grow. If you try growing it in gardening pots, raised garden beds, or small gardens there is a chance that it will take over other vegetables or just not produce the harvest you want.

Additional Resources

Learn How to Grow squash HERE


#6. Cucumbers

growing cucumbers

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Popular Varieties: Pickling, Armenian, Persian, English

Why Grow Cucumbers in New Mexico?

cucumbers growing

Thrives in the heat & cold:

  • Cucumbers are another hardy vegetables. Some varieties can be grown in cold weather and some can be grown in warmer weather.

Lots & Lots of Harvest:

  • Cucumbers are one of the few vegetables that you can harvest from late spring to late fall. This means you will be able to enjoy it all year long.

Amazing Cross-Pollinator:

  • Cucumbers are another vegetable to help to cross-pollinate other vegetables. Plant cucumbers next to tomatoes, beans, carrots, and squash for even more vegetables.

THESE Could Harm Your Cucumbers

Birds & Rodents:

  • These pests will generally not harm your actual cucumber vegetables. What they will do though is immediately eat cucumbers flowers if you do not protect them with netting or rodent spray.

Little Space:

  • Cucumbers require lots of room to grow. If you try growing it in gardening pots, raised garden beds, or small gardens there is a chance that it will take over other vegetables or just not produce the harvest you want.

Additional Resources

Learn How to Grow Cucumbers HERE


#7. Peppers

peppers growing

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Popular Varieties: Bell, Jalapeno, Habanero

Why Grow Peppers in New Mexico?

growing peppers

Loves heat:

  • These low-maintenance vegetables love the heat. The hotter the summer the better they do. And the longer summer goes on the more peppers you will have.

Perfect for Vertical Gardening:

  • Peppers are one of the vegetables you may not think of when it comes to vertical gardening, but they do just as great as others. This makes it perfect for small spaces and even in pots.

Fits in ALL Gardens:

  • Regardless of whether you live in northern or southern New Mexico peppers grow great in all types of gardens. I especially love growing them in raised garden beds and garden containers.

Insect Hardy:

  • If you have trouble with insects infecting your vegetables in New Mexico then you should plant Peppers. This vegetable is one of the few in New Mexico that you won’t have to worry about insect infestation all year.

THESE Could Harm Your Peppers

Diseases

  • Peppers can be prone to diseases in late summer. Expect blight, fungus, and rot to affect your plant later in the season near the time you will harvest your peppers.

Additional Resources

Learn How to Grow Peppers HERE


#8. Green Beans

growing green beans

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Popular Varieties: Bush & Pole

Why Grow Green Beans in New Mexico?

green beans growing

Thrives in Droughts:

  • Unlike other vegetables, Green Beans do not require a lot of water to grow, flower, and bloom into a crop that can be harvested more than once. This is great for the unusual dry summers.

Great for Vertical Gardening:

  • If you want a vegetable that grows up a pole then no look further than the pole green beans. This green bean was created specifically for vertical gardening.

THESE Could Harm Your Green Beans

Insects:

  • Green Beans are one of the few vegetables that require constant insect control. Insects can quickly destroy your green beans’ leaves before flowers grow and can destroy the vegetable itself if not properly cared for.

Cold Weather:

  • If the weather drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit expect your green beans to not grow, become stunted, and potentially even die. This means growing green beans in late fall is not recommended.

Additional Resources

Learn How to Grow Green Beans HERE


#9. Radishes

growing radishes

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Popular Varieties: French, Tarzan, Stela

Why Grow Radishes in New Mexico?

radishes growing

Thrives in Droughts:

  • Like Carrots and other root crops, Radishes require little water, sunlight, and even pest care. This makes it great for full-sun and partial-sun garden areas.

Cold Weather:

  • Radishes are one of the few vegetables that can survive cooler temperatures, such as frost. This means you can plant, grow, and harvest your radishes in the early spring, late fall, and even winter!

THESE Could Harm Your Radishes

Clay:

  • Almost all of the vegetables on this can grow in any type of soil. The one exception is radishes. Radishes need loamy and small particle soil. If it is planted in clay soil it will not grow at all.

Additional Resources

The biggest tip I have when growing Radishes in New Mexico is to give your vegetable enough space. Most gardeners plant radishes or radish seeds too close to one another, inhibiting the size and flavor of your vegetable.


#10. Eggplant

growing eggplant

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Popular Varieties: Fairy Tale, Thai, & Italian

Why Grow Eggplants in New Mexico?

eggplant growing

Loves heat:

  • As you can tell there is a trend. Eggplants are another vegetable that does great in New Mexico’s summer heat. The hotter, the better. And if there is rain expect bigger and better eggplants.

Numerous Varieties:

  • This may be one of the most underrated factors for growing eggplants in New Mexico. There are almost 20 types of eggplants that can be grown. This means you can pick your type for your specific need and climate.

THESE Could Harm Your Eggplant

You:

This may seem strange, but the gardener is most prone to harm your eggplant. Most gardeners will harvest eggplants either when it is too hard or too soft. Not only this, but gardeners tend to overfertilize eggplants causing too big of eggplants.

Additional Resources

The biggest tip for growing eggplant is not to fertilize them. Fertilizing will cause your eggplants to become too large and too hard, sacrificing the taste and color of your vegetable.


Common Growing Factors of New Mexico’s Best Vegetables

vegetable garden

As a reminder, the below factors are common for the Best Vegetables to Grow in New Mexico:

  • Thrives in Heat & Drought
  • Thrives in Cooler Temperatures
  • Can Grow in Vertical Gardens
  • Hardy against Pests & Insects
  • Can be planted in ALL Types of Garden
  • Great Cross-Pollinator

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