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Winter Gardening in Globe-Miami. Part 2

Mary Hysong lifts the cover of one of her many green houses to reveal a bed of kate

The Globe-Miami area is about 3500 feet in elevation, and offers a year-round growing season for dedicated gardeners. Mary Hysong, is a local grower who sells produce from her gardens at the Globe and Superior Farmers’ Markets. She has nearly 20 acres of land just east of Miami and offers these tips for successful gardening in Globe-Miami.  With over thirty years of experience in the area, Hysong is often asked how she produces such a robust crop. Listed below are her suggestions for the winter months of January, February and March.

Planting Tips by Mary Hysong

January Planting Schedule

Indoors under lights

In the warmest area, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants. They can’t be planted outdoors until night temperatures are at least 50 degrees or warmer. Start in small containers and move to larger ones as they grow. Start cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale, beets, pak choi, onions and leeks in the coolest area. Beets and pak choi can be transplanted outdoors directly from small pots. I move the others to 4-inch pots and put them in a protected area outdoors until the roots fill the pots, then move them to the garden.


If you didn’t get your wildflowers planted last fall, early January will work, although they may not get as big as when fall planted. I also scatter cilantro and Oriental poppy seeds in odd corners. You can plant potatoes in January if you give them a very thick mulch of straw or leaves. For new potatoes in June, I plant them 9 inches deep and 9-12 inches apart on a hexagonal grid. Cover with 6 inches of straw or leaves. Watch carefully during warm spells and if you see any sprouts coming through, add more mulch. Potato leaves are very frost tender, and you don’t want them to get set back by being frozen.

While I prefer to plant my sweet pea flowers and my edible peas in November and early December, you can squeeze some in now, but if we have a hot early spring expect them to die out quickly.


Indoors under lights

More tomatoes, eggplants and peppers in the warmest spot you have. More broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collards, beets, kale, pak choi and other Asian greens. Swiss chard plants can live a year or longer if you keep them from blooming and going to seed. Now is a good time to start some. I like to start my heading lettuces indoors then plant them out as soon as they have a couple of leaves. February is too late for bulbing onions, but you can still start green onions and leeks. This is also a good time for starting chives, both regular and Chinese. Hardy herbs like parsley and sage are easily grown from seed. I start both indoors under the lights and pot them up as they get bigger. You can start asparagus from seed now and plant it out later. It will be 3 years before you can pick it. I like to start a lot of large African marigolds, along with calendula, also known as pot marigold, now. The calendula, which are cold hardy, can go outside as soon as they are big enough to handle, but the Africans will want to wait until we are frost free.


I direct seed lettuce, especially the mesclun mixes that I will cut once or twice then replace. Lettuce and cilantro will not sprout once the temperatures are hitting 80 degrees, but cilantro will still sprout in February. If you planted cilantro last fall let some of it flower when the weather warms up. It’s a great plant for bees, butterflies and ladybugs, it’s pretty in the garden and you can even eat the flowers, they taste just like the leaves.

You can still plant potatoes through the end of the month. Remember to mulch heavily. You really don’t want to see the sprouts out in the open until the chance of frost is past.


Indoors under lights

All sorts of herbs, like basil, parsley, sage, calendula and yarrow, and flowers like marigolds, dahlias, carnations and snapdragons. If it’s still pretty cold you could hold off on the basil, it really likes to be warm, but everything else should do fine.

Towards the end of the month is when I start my earliest cucumber and squash plants. Remember that these are very frost sensitive and want to be quite warm. You can wait and direct seed outdoors later, but as a market gardener I try to have some ready as soon as I can.


You can direct seed lettuce, radish, beets, carrots, turnips, kohlrabi, dill and cilantro. You can transplant all the cold hardy crops you started earlier indoors, like cabbage, kale, beets and lettuce, and Asian greens like mustards and pak choi.


A free planting schedule is available from the University of Arizona Cooperative extension service for more on planing in this area.

Go Back to Gardening in Globe-Miami Part 1

BioMary Hsong started gardening 50 years ago, and has been gardening in Arizona since 1987. At her home in Miami, she grows vegetables year-round, organically, on a 1,000-square-foot plot. Mary’s gardening method is based on John Jeavons’ book How to Grow More Vegetables Than You Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine – now known as the bio-intensive method. She also reads and experiments constantly. Currently Mary is studying soil science through lectures on YouTube and is incorporating permaculture principles into her gardening. She sells her produce at the Globe-Miami farmers market in the summer and at Superior’s market in the winter.  

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