In my previous post in this series, I detailed the things we’ve learned that have seemed to make the biggest difference in our ability to grow vegetables in this harsh climate. Included in that list, is choosing the correct varieties, specifically shorter season varieties and those that can tolerate extremes in climate.

This is a list of the vegetables that have, outside of being eaten by rodents or starved of water by drought, grown predictably well over and over again. They have all grown better and better every year as we continue to build the topsoil that was completely nonexistent when we first moved here.

We usually order seeds from the following heirloom seed companies:

Nearly all of the varieties below can be found on those websites.

Red Potatoes

  • De La Soda

Summer Squash

  • Desi
  • Tatume

Melons

  • Kazhak (musk)
  • Desert King (watermelon)

Winter Squash

  • Hopi Grey
  • Butternut

Lettuce

  • Grandpa Admire’s
  • Bronze Arrow

Swiss Chard

  • All Varieties

Carrots (that grow in clay soil)

  • Nantes
  • Danvers

Okra

  • Burgundy

Tomatillo

  • Everona Large Green

Beets

  • Detroit Dark Red
  • Bulls Blood
  • Early Wonder Tall Top

Collards

  • Georgia Southern (survived spring, summer, and now in fall)

Cowpeas

  • Red Ripper
  • California Cream
  • Tohono D’odham

Turnips

  • White Globe
  • Purple Top

Cabbage

  • Early Jersey Wakefield

Sweet Potatoes

  • Pretty much every variety we have chosen

Mustard Greens

  • Tatsoi for Fall/Winter (hardy down to 15 degrees F)

Herbs of all kinds

Garlic

Fava Beans

You’ll notice things like tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers are not on this list. Some years these have worked okay, other years not at all. For that reason, they are not something we focus as much on, though we do like these vegetables very much.

Happy growing!