New Mexico Vegetable Garden Varieties

(in addition to those recommended by the Extension Service)

Compiled by Darrol Shillingburg - Spring 2005

PDF for printing

Lima Beans

Hopi Yellow Limas - A sprawling bush lima with a long history in the southwest - heavy producer, but needs some room to sprawl. Can be tied up but not a true climber.
source - Native Seed SEARCH 


Christmas Limas - A true pole bean with large seeds. Very heavy producer - needs to climb.


Dixie Butter Peas - A bush lima with dark red seeds. Will produce two crops from the same plant if started early enough. Very heavy production.

Pole Beans

Little White Ice Beans - A small white bean, developed in Holland and introduced into the U.S in the 1700s. A long time favorite in Appalachia. Produces two harvests - excellent as a green snap bean, a shelley bean and a dry bean. Vigorous.


Progress #9 - Edible as a snap pea when pods are small, a shelling pea when larger and as a dry soup pea - if there are any that don't get eaten in the meantime. Can be self supporting if planted closely (2" spacing"


Alveron Temporal - A dry farmed snap/shelling pea introduced into New Mexico by the Spanish. It is more heat tolerant than most modern peas, but needs irrigation in southern areas. 


Ojito Peas - A traditional Spanish soup pea (small seeded) introduced into New Mexico by the Spanish and grown in northern New Mexico since then. It grows well in the garden in the southern region. Needs support for climbing vines.

Fava Beans

Guatemalan Purple - Grows well here in spring and fall and reasonably cold tolerant. Will produce two harvests with some irrigation and is a good nitrogen fixer. Pods and seeds edible as a green snap bean, a shelly bean and a dry bean.
source - Seeds of Change


Sweet Loraine - A small seeded fava, sometimes referred to as a Bell bean. Cold hardy, fast growing. Makes an excellent green manure. Pods and seeds edible at all stages of maturity.
source - Seeds of Change


Nutri-Bud - Develop by Seeds of Change in New Mexico. It is very vigorous, cold tolerant and takes heat well for a broccoli. An open pollinated variety that will produce good flower and seed from the fall planting.
source - Seeds of Change


Jericho - The most heat tolerant Romaine available today. Developed in Israel, this open pollinated variety will remain sweet even while bolting - until it forms flowers. It is also very cold tolerant - producing well in winter - even without row covers.
source - Seeds of Change


Chicon panache - A wild type of romaine grown in France. Grows will here in summer and winter - readily reseed's itself. A little less heat tolerant than Jericho, but produces well in summer with some afternoon shade. Seeds not available from U.S suppliers (see me for a starter package - then you must save your own seed) Beautify and delicious!


Ruben's Red Romaine - Produces very well here. Not heat tolerant, buy a very good cool season lettuce - beautiful reds particularly in winter. Mature heads bake well with excellent flavor.


Amish Deer Tongue Lettuce - A tight beaded romaine with high water content. Mature late spring heads bake well with delicious flavor. For baking the flavor is best when the plant is too bitter to eat raw.


Kagraner Sommer - A true bib lettuce that grow well here in spring, fall and winter. It is rather heat tolerant for a bib lettuce - excellent texture and flavor.


Red Mountain Orach - A great summer green, but will grow here year round. Good raw and cooked. Will self sow if left to seed.
source - Baker Creek


Perpetual Chard Spinach Beet - The BEST of the chards. Edible raw when large, remains sweet throughout summer. A biennial that will self sow if left to seed. Fast growing - the best spinach substitute.
source - Nichols


Italian Sliver Ribbed Chard - Excellent thick leaves and wide stems. Not as fibrous as most other chards. Very cold tolerant. Superior flavor.


Nutri-Red Carrot - A classic cooking carrot. Vigorous and reddish colored, not useable for eating raw or for juicing - but outstanding flavor and texture when cooked. Open pollinated. Makes an excellent nectar source for small beneficial insects.
source - Nichols


Baby Fingers (also called Little Fingers) - An excellent small carrot for eating raw - will self sow if left to seed. Makes an excellent nectar source for small beneficial insects.

Summer Squash

Hopi Pumpkin - A viney green zucchini like squash with outstanding flavor. Can be grown to maturity and stored like a winter squash, but best when green (raw and cooked).  Very vigorous vines that need some space to grow. Produces secondary roots at the vine nodes. It is not powdery mildew resistant, but tolerates some squash bugs. Grow it once and you'll be hooked.