Southern Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

What's in Season in the South?

Fresh Okra for Sale
Okra at Market. Phichay Cheiyw Sa Ri Kic / EyeEm / Getty Images

Okra, year-round sweet potatoes and greens, and pecans are just some of the seasonal fruits and vegetables you'll find in the South and Southeastern states. In the more southern areas, the climate can be warm enough so growing seasons almost flip-flop with the rest of the country, and the height of summer months can mean there's little at the market besides okra—everything having given up in the heat—whereas green beans and tomatoes pile high during the winter month.

Exact crop availability and harvest times vary locality-to-locality and year-to-year depending on the exact weather conditions, but this summary will help you know when to look for what at markets near you in the South.

Apples, mid-August through February (varies greatly by specific region and often available from cold storage in the winter months)

Asparagus, mid-April through June. Skinny spears may be in fashion, but fat asparagus can be just as tender.

Beets, May and June, and again in the fall. Look for spring beets with their green still attached (cook them like turnip greens).

Blackberries, July and August.

Blueberries, end of May through August.

Broccoli, April and May. Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli takes on a bitter taste when exposed to much heat when it's growing, so it's planted in the fall or winter and harvested in the spring in warmer areas.

Butter Beans, mid-July through August for fresh; dried versions available all year

Cabbage, May through December

Cantaloupes, July and August

Cauliflower, April through June

Collard Greens, year-round

Corn, mid-June through mid-August

Cucumbers, June through October

Eggplant, mid-June through September, sometimes even earlier in the hottest of areas

Figs, August and September

Grapefruit, winter and spring

Grapes, August through October

Green Beans, June through September

Greens, year-round

Herbs, year-round

Kale, best in fall and winter

Lettuce, fall through spring

Mangoes, May and June, most of the U.S.-grown commercial crop is grown in Florida

Okra, May through October

Oranges (Navel), winter and spring

Oranges (Valencia), spring and summer

Peaches, June through September

Peanuts, year-round

Peas, July and August

Pecans, November and December

Peppers, mid-June through October

Persimmons, October through December

Plums & Pluots, mid-May through July

Pole Beans, May through September

Potatoes, mid-June through July

Pumpkins, September and October

Raspberries, July through September

Spinach, year-round

Strawberries, mid-April through mid-June

Squash (summer), mid-May through September

Squash (winter), mid-September through mid-December

Sweet Onions, spring and summer

Sweet Potatoes, harvested July through October, available year-round

Tomatoes, July through October, although they're often available for even longer in the warmest areas

Tomatillos, fall

Watermelons, June through August

Winter Squash, mid-September through mid-December

Zucchini, June through October

Zucchini Blossoms, spring and summer, look for fresh, just-picked specimens for the best texture and brightest flavor

Many root vegetables and frost-friendly cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, kale, and broccoli, will fair quite well through the South's often mild winters, so those items may show up for months after what's listed here, especially if winter is a mild one that year. 

Remember, you may well see items at farmers markets well before (or after) they are listed here. Ask the farmer about where and how they're grown. Maybe that farm has unique microclimate conditions that allow for early or late harvest, maybe they've been driven in from the different part of the state or region.