Gardening in El Paso :: When to Plant What + the 5 Best Nurseries


Get dirty in the garden this year!

small planter garden
This was our first small planter garden here in El Paso.

Gardening is a fun family affair. It’s the best of both worlds. You get to teach your children about a variety of different plants, how to plant them, nurture them, get dirty in the garden, and best of all–enjoy eating them come harvest time!

My three kiddos and I enjoy gardening together. It’s fun to pick out the seeds, dig in the dirt, water, and nurture the plants. They also love to get dirty in the garden too!

It is so much fun to see the little sprouts coming up, and it’s even more fun to enjoy the fruits of our labor. I am not ashamed to admit we talk to the little seedlings. It’s silly, but it is fun for our silly family. We mostly enjoy tomato, onion, jalapeno pepper, and bell pepper plants, as well as wildflowers (not edible, but fun to watch bloom). I love making homemade salsa, which those ingredients are key in.

fresh vegetables for homemade salsa
Fresh peppers, onions, and tomatoes make a yummy homemade salsa!

Having a good garden strategy is key to a successful harvest.

Cole crops like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage can be directly seeded into your garden around February 9, assuming the ground can be worked. But it’s better to start them indoors around January 12 and then transplant them into the garden around March 2. Do the same with lettuce and spinach.

Plant onion starts and potatoes around January 22. Sow the seeds of peas (sugar snap and English) at the same time. If the ground is still frozen, then plant these as soon as the ground thaws.

Do you want to grow tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants? Start these indoors around January 12. Then around March 18, you should start watching the weather forecast. As soon as no frost is forecast, go ahead and transplant those into the ground.

Now, for all the summer vegetables like beans, cowpeas, corn, squashes, pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelons, gourds, and sunflowers, you should plant those seeds directly into the ground around March 22, or if your soil is still very cold, once the soil is near 60° F in temperature. (Source)

Did you know that the tomato plant is the most popular plant to grow in El Paso? It’s true.

garden fresh tomatoes and okra
Just picked cherry tomatoes and okra.

Gardening in the fall can be much more challenging than spring planting because you are in a race to get your crops mature and harvested before the winter frosts begin, around November 8. This means you need to consider how much time each variety needs between planting and picking. Those numbers vary widely between different varieties of the same kinds of plants. Usually the “Days to Harvest” are present on the seed packet.

Most tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, for example, require around 100 days to harvest; therefore, you’d want to transplant those into the ground around July 31.

Fall is the time to plant garlic. Around September 24, take your cloves apart and plant the toes about 3 to 4 inches deep. Garlic dates vary wildly around the country. The way to be sure is to use a soil thermometer. When the soil temperature is 60° at a depth of 4 inches, then plant your garlic.

Crops like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage can be directly seeded into your garden around August 30, but because of the heat during that time of year, it’s better to start them indoors around July 11 and then transplant them into the garden around August 20. Do the same with lettuce and spinach. Sow peas directly around August 25.


Gardening in El Paso :: When to Plant What + the 5 Best NurseriesNeed some help getting your garden started? Here are the 5 best Garden Nurseries in El Paso.

Sunset Gardens

105 Lindbergh Ave, El Paso, TX 79932 
(915) 581-2504
Stop by to walk through their nursery, get some gardening tips from their professional staff, or peek inside their shop filled with lots of specialty items!

Eastside Discount Nursery

8423 N Loop Dr, El Paso, TX 79907
(915) 591-3333
They have everything for your gardening needs or wants. Sod, plants, soil, fertilizers, tools, pots, decor, house plants, and plenty more.

Production Growers

4950 Love Rd, El Paso, TX 79922
(915) 584-0581
Looking to plant trees? Let Production Growers help you design and plant the yard of your dreams! Their yard maintenance services include pruning, weeding, planting, and fertilizing. A hidden jewel in the Upper Valley boasting trees, roses, flowers, shrubs, and more.

High Desert Native Plants

4200 Doniphan Dr, El Paso, TX 79922
(915) 487-7657
Located in Keystone Heritage Park and the El Paso Desert Botanical Garden, this family-owned nursery functions as a full-service garden center. They offer a variety of plants, trees, succulents, and cacti, as well as landscaping advice, services, and design for the environmentally conscious landscaper.

Bodega Loya 

10257 Socorro Rd, Socorro, TX 79927
(915) 269-6277
Bodega Loya is a fresh fruit, vegetable, and dairy farmers market supporting local farmers, who use organic practices, on a centennial farm, in Socorro, Texas.

texas wildflowers
The Texas wildflowers are so pretty and bloom quickly and often!

Good luck and good gardening to you! Have fun, and remember, it’s okay to get dirty in the garden!

Here’s another helpful article for gardening in El Paso.

Originally published February 2022.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of El Paso Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

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Carrie Ring
Carrie is a seasoned marketing and event professional at the crossroads of creativity and strategy, with a career spanning over two exciting decades. She proudly holds the title of Certified Festival & Event Executive (CFEE) from the prestigious International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA), marking her journey as a dynamic force in Marketing, Advertising, Graphic Design, and Event Management. She enjoys working remotely for the IFEA as their Director of Partnerships & Programs. When she’s not busy dazzling the world with daily affirmations and spreading positive messages, you'll find her in the kitchen, whipping up culinary delights that would make Gordon Ramsay sit down for dinner. Cooking, baking, and charcuterie board building are her love language, and let's just say, her friends and family are always eager taste-testers for her latest creations. Her family consists of three amazing teenagers, her wonderful husband of 18 years, and her adorable 'wild' kitty, Odin.


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