15 Best Vegetables to Grow in Alabama

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Quick Answer: Best Vegetables to Grow in Alabama

The best vegetables to grow in the humid subtropical climate of Alabama include lettuce, radish, creepers (cucumbers, beans), asparagus, leafy vegetables (cabbage, collards, spinach), broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, sweet corn, okra, and onions. The mild climate allows the vegetables to be planted from spring till fall.

This is a complete guide to help you grow the best vegetables suitable for the regions of Alabama.

Best Vegetables to Grow in Alabama

Alabama has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. It has copious precipitation throughout the year. The warm climate of Alabama makes it ideal for nurturing many different vegetables most of the year.

Now, let us examine the different vegetables that can be grown in Alabama.

1. Lettuce

Easy-to-grow Leafy Vegetable

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is an important vegetable from the sunflower family (Compositae) that can be grown in Alabama.

Why Grow Lettuce?

Lettuce is one of the cool-season vegetables to grow in Alabama. It is easy to grow in home gardens and can withstand light temperatures. There are wide varieties available, giving you ample choices.

Maintenance And Care

Lettuce can be planted in spring and fall in the shade of tall plants. It will mature in 45 to 85 days. It is susceptible to mildew, aphids, slugs, and snails.

For more information on growing lettuce:

2. Radish

Radish (Raphanus sativus) is one of the annuals that grow well in Alabama weather. It belongs to the Cruciferae family.

Why Grow Radish?

Another easiest vegetable to grow in Alabama weather is radish. It grows well in cool weather and develops rapidly to produce flavorful roots.

Maintenance And Care

Radish can be planted in spring and fall at about one-inch depths. Some varieties may mature as early as 25 days.

The common issues faced are cabbage maggots, cutworms, flea beetles, mildew, and black root.

Radish planting is covered here:

3. Cucumber

Popular Home Garden Vegetable

One of the popular home garden vegetables suitable for Alabama is Cucumber (Cucumis sativus), belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family.

Why Grow Cucumber?

Cucumbers are suitable for Alabama weather giving multiple harvests. Homegrown cucumbers can be used in multiple cooking applications.

Maintenance And Care

Plant cucumber seeds in spring after frost and fall (July) spaced about 36 inches. It requires trellis and needs about 50-65 days to harvest.

It is prone to squash vine borers, cucumber beetles, and powdery mildew.

Check out this video for growing cucumbers:

4. Beans

Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) of the Leguminosae family are a popular vegetable among Alabama home gardeners.

Why Grow Beans?

Both bush and pole beans are commonly grown in Alabama. It is easy to grow with low maintenance giving high returns on investment.

Maintenance And Care

Beans can be planted about one inch deep, leaving 30-36 inches apart when the danger of frost has passed. It can be harvested in 50-75 days, depending on the variety.

It is susceptible to spider mites, bean beetles, deer, groundhogs, and fungal diseases.

Bean planting is covered here:

5. Asparagus

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is a valuable home garden vegetable adaptable for Alabama weather. It belongs to the onion family (Liliaceae).

Why Grow Asparagus?

Asparagus is a perennial vegetable giving high yields and is suited for Alabama weather. With proper care and fertilization, it will give you yields every year.

Maintenance And Care

Asparagus can be started from a year-old crown in the early spring. It is a hungry plant and requires amending the soil with regular nutrients.

Take care to harvest only after the second year of planting crowns.

Here is a video on growing asparagus:

6. Broccoli

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea Italica) is a thick-stemmed plant suitable to grow in Alabama weather and belongs to the Cruciferae family.

Why Grow Broccoli?

Broccoli is a popular fast and easy-to-grow plant. It is best grown in the fall season in Alabama.

Maintenance And Care

Broccoli is a hungry and thirsty plant and requires fertile, friable soil with good moisture-holding capacity. It grows well from transplants that are spaced about 12 to 18 inches apart.

It is susceptible to cabbage loopers, cabbage worms, maggots, aphids, black rot, and clubroot.

Here is a video on growing broccoli:

7. Cabbage

Another leafy vegetable of the Cruciferae family that is popular in Alabama is the cabbage (Brassica oleracea Capitata).

Why Grow Cabbage?

Cabbage has a relatively fast growth rate and can be grown either in the spring or fall of Alabama.

There are many varieties available suitable for your backyard garden.

Maintenance And Care

Plant cabbage about 12 inches apart. It can be harvested when it reaches adequate size depending on the variety and growing conditions.

Cabbage worms, cabbage loopers, slugs, clubroot, mildew, and cutworms are the common problems of cabbage.

Check this video for cabbage planting:

8. Carrots

A root vegetable of the Umbelliferae family that is popularly grown and consumed in Alabama is carrots (Daucus carota var.sativus).

Why Grow Carrots?

Carrots are a cool-season crop suitable for growing in spring and fall. Also, home gardeners have access to many varieties that have versatile cooking applications.

It can also be grown in containers if you have space constraints.

Maintenance And Care

Carrots can be planted when the soil temperature reaches about 75oF. It is ready to be harvested in 60 to 80 days.

It is susceptible to carrot rust flies, weevils, nematodes, deer, and carrot yellows.

Carrot planting guide here:

9. Cauliflower

Cauliflower (Brassica oleraceae Botrytis) of the cabbage family is another sun-loving cool-season vegetable of Alabama.

Why Grow Cauliflower?

Cauliflower has moderate slow growth and is best planted in early spring or midsummer. It is suitable to grow in Alabama, with wide varieties available.

Maintenance And Care

Cauliflower is affected by the change in temperature and is easily stressed. It can be harvested in 70-100 days, depending on the variety.

It is prone to cabbage maggots, cabbage loopers, black rot, club root, and cabbage worms.

Check here for growing cauliflower:

10. Collards

Another Cruciferae member that is closely related to cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts is collards (Brassica oleracea Acephala).

Why Grow Collards?

Collards are nutritionally valuable, cool-weather vegetables very popular in Alabama for cooked greens. Many varieties are available all year round.

Maintenance And Care

Collards can be transplanted in spring or fall with plants spaced about 12 inches apart. These can be harvested about two months after planting.

Be on the lookout for aphids, cabbage loopers, maggots, flea beetle, slugs, and cabbage yellows.

Here is a video on growing collards:

11. Sweet Corn

Sweet corn (Zea mays) of the Grass family (Poaceae) can be grown in Alabama due to its mild weather.

Why Grow Sweet Corn?

A fast-growing annual that can be planted in spring and grows through the summer is sweet corn. You may choose early varieties for a quicker harvest.

Maintenance And Care

Sweet corn can be planted with seeds about 12 to 15 inches apart. It may be ready to harvest in about three weeks when the first silk appears on the ear.

It is prone to rodents, raccoons, birds, and smut.

Here is a video on planting sweet corn:

12. Eggplant

A warm-season crop suitable for Alabama is eggplant (Solanum melongena) of the Solanaceae family.

Why Grow Eggplant?

Eggplant is easy to grow and will be fast-growing in many regions of Alabama. It can be used both for cooking and as ornamentals.

Maintenance And Care

Eggplant is grown best when started as transplants two weeks after the last frost date. It can be harvested in 65 to 85 days.

It is susceptible to many pests and diseases of the nightshade family, including cutworms, hornworms, and mildew.

The eggplant planting guide is covered here:

13. Okra

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is another warm-season vegetable crop grown in Alabama for its edible seed pods.

Why Grow Okra?

Okra can be grown in most regions of Alabama. It is used in most cooking applications as a thickening agent. Also, okra pods are relatively pest-free.

Maintenance And Care

Plant okra seeds about ¾ inch in depth after soaking in warm water. Harvest the pods when they are two to four inches every two to three days.

It is susceptible to aphids, Japanese beetles, and stink bugs.

Check here for okra planting:

14. Onion

One of the hardy and popular crop favorites in Alabama is onions (Alium cepa) of the Liliaceae family.

Why Grow Onion?

Onions can be easy-to-grow with low maintenance. It also gives a good return for the space occupied. It is included in most home gardens in Alabama.

Maintenance And Care

Plant onions as seeds, bulbs, or sets as the soil are workable in the spring. It has a shallow root system and requires a constant supply of moisture.

Pests and diseases that affect onions are rot, splitting, thrips, and maggots.

Here is a video on growing onions:

15. Spinach

Another green leafy vegetable of the Chenopodiaceae family that grows well in Alabama weather is Spinach (Spinacia oleracea).

Why Grow Spinach?

Spinach is a fast-growing vegetable that can be harvested in a short time. It has high nutritional value with many cooking applications.

Maintenance And Care

Plant spinach about 24-30 inches apart in both spring and fall. It can be harvested in 40-45 days by pulling the whole plant or leaves.

Few fungal diseases, including mildew and wilt, can be a problem.

Check out this video for growing spinach:

What Is The Easiest Growing Vegetable In Alabama?

The easiest-growing vegetable in Alabama is lettuce. It is one of the important cool-season vegetables that require less maintenance.

Many heat-tolerant varieties are available, making them a good choice for a spring or fall garden. It can be grown both in garden beds and containers.

The other vegetables that can be easily grown are radishes, cucumbers, and beans.

What Is The Best Time To Grow Vegetables In Alabama?

The best time to grow vegetables in Alabama is starting in spring when the soil temperature is warm, through summer and fall.

The length of the growing season will vary depending on the region. A typical start date ranges from March to April 15th. It will end between the 15th of October to November. Many vegetables can be grown in this time frame.


Which vegetables to grow in the summers of Alabama?

The different vegetables to grow in Alabama’s summers include tomatoes, corn, squash, and okra. These vegetables require good cultural practices, including weed control, proper irrigation, crop rotation, and adequate nutrient supply.

What is the planting hardiness zone of Alabama?

Alabama’s planting zone ranges from 7a to 9a. Most plants that grow well are tropical. Some of the popular crops that grow well in Alabama are beans, cabbage, greens, and peppers. The plants that are rated for a higher zone may not survive in these regions.

What can you plant potatoes in Alabama?

Potatoes require well-drained, bottom land. It can be planted in North Alabama from the 15th of July to first week of August. In middle and South Alabama, it can be started from the 1st to the 15th of August.

Quick Recap: Top Vegetables to Grow In Alabama

Here is a quick recap of the top vegetables suitable to grow in Alabama`s weather conditions.

Vegetable Why Grow
Lettuce1. Easy to grow cool-season vegetable
2. Recommended for Alabama weather
Radish1. Grows rapidly
2. Many varieties suitable for home gardens
Cucumber1. Multiple harvests and high yields
2. Many varieties suitable for home gardens
Beans1. Annual vegetables that can grow quickly
2. Low maintenance with high returns on investment
Asparagus1. Valuable spring perennial of Alabama
2. High returns on investment with proper maintenance
Broccoli1. Fast growing plants
2. Easy to grow in the fall weather of Alabama
Cabbage1. Fast-growing multiple varieties
2. Can be grown as both fall and spring crop
Cauliflower1. Cool-season crop with many varieties
2. Versatile uses
Collards1. Nutritionally valuable
2. Multiple applications all year round
Sweet corn1. Grows in spring and through summer in Alabama
2. Fast-growing annual
Eggplant1. Easy-to-grow and fast growth rate
2. Can be used both for cooking and as ornamentals
Okra1. Can be grown in most areas of Alabama
2. Warm-season crop that is used as a thickening agent
Onion1. A tough and hardy vegetable
2. Good return on investment for the space occupied
Spinach1. Fast-maturing and early-harvesting
2. Cool-season crop in both spring and fall

Bottom line

Hopefully, this guide has given you ample choices on the best vegetables for growing in Alabama.

You may pick the ones catering to your needs and requirements.

Please do share the guide with your gardening friends to help them out!



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